Monday,20 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1434, (14 - 20 March 2019)
Monday,20 May, 2019
Issue 1434, (14 - 20 March 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Dream home designs

Whether moving to a new house or carrying out renovation, everyone needs help in creating the house they are dreaming of, writes Mariam Ayman

Dream home design
Dream home design

Home is everybody’s comfort zone because it is created in a way that gives the maximum sense of restfulness, warmth and contentment. That’s why the décor of a house can say so much about the resident’s character and the style he or she favours. With the evolution in taste and needs, interior-design experts have developed new styles that create a variety of choices to satisfy such needs.

In the old days, there was just the classic and the modern type of interior, but “now the classic is ‘vintage’ and the modern is ‘contemporary’ or ‘mid-century modern’, and there are also industrial and Scandinavian styles,” said Ayman Fahmi, an interior designer.

Mid-century modern emerged in Egypt in the 1990s and is characterised by clean and simple lines, shades of cool green like olive, blue like light petroleum or baby blue, and light brown or beige. The style also uses wood and aluminium, Fahmi said. 

Wood is used to cover walls or floors to lend warmth, and aluminium is used for windows and access doors leading to gardens, roof tops, or outdoor areas, he explained. In furniture, “this style appreciates the organic or the natural, like an oval-shaped centre table or an irregularly shaped dining table,” he elaborated. It is a style favoured by people who like simplicity.

The vintage style of interior design is related to French country interiors and is appreciated by those who favour detailing and class. “It has a rich colour palette using warm, earthy colours like brick, red, brown and yellow,” Fahmi said. “This style is also all about details, with furniture made from dark, heavy finished wood using lots of curves and motifs.” It also uses different fabrics with different textures and intricate patterns like velvet, silk and brocade.

“The vintage décor is known for bulky pieces of furniture, like in our grandparents’ houses where arm chairs are big and have curved edges and legs and beds and cupboards are heavy with lots of carvings,” he said.

Another interior-design style is the Scandinavian, inspired by the snow on top of Nordic mountains. “It is based on white with grey tones and characterised by simple, functional and practical pieces of furniture,” Fahmi commented. “It features clear, sharp shapes like squares and rectangles as proportions are very important in reducing the amount of space required, and it doesn’t use a lot of pieces,” he added. It can use playful accent colours like yellow lamps and blue frames to add a cheerful essence to the place.

“Scandinavian décor is timeless, which makes it appealing to lots of people as it lasts longer and works beautifully in living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms,” Fahmi said.

Another favoured style for interiors is the industrial, inspired by post-industrial city warehouses and lofts. It is a relatively cheap style to achieve and features a liberal use of raw and exposed materials, Fahmi said. “This style does not stick to a certain colour palette, as it is guided by the raw materials used to create the industrial look,” he added. The key trait consists of the elements that people usually try to conceal and an unfinished look overall, he commented.

A bare, rough brick wall is one of the typical elements of this style, and this can add a touch of colour to create a warm atmosphere. Concrete floors are often chosen, though rough wood can match as well. Ceilings are often left open and painted black to add the illusion of depth, with pipes, ducts and girders emphasised. Large steel windows complete the look, with these giving the impression of factory windows while letting in lots of light.

Industrial furniture includes rough-textured and dark-coloured pieces, like a grey leather sofa or a second-hand coffee table that is a bit scratched or looks rough and unfinished. “The style uses limited furniture as it is pared down to the essentials,” Fahmi commented. 

What if you want to mix styles, however? “It is possible, but with some of the styles you need to be cautious in order to maintain balance and create harmony between the styles used,” he answered. You can mix Scandinavian and vintage styles by using the colour palette of the first and motifs and textures from the second, losing the bulky look of vintage furniture. You can also mix the Scandinavian with the industrial by using the colour palette of the first and the unfinished, rough style of the second.

In order to complete the chosen look, you also need to select accessories like curtains, mirror frames, plates, table sets, table napkins, photograph frames, paintings, and so on. For the mid-century modern style, “you can use geometrically patterned curtains and table napkins, clean-cut mirror and photograph frames in plain colours, and sophisticated-style paintings,” Fahmi said.

The vintage style is all about floral patterned napkins and curtains, bulky curved mirror frames, classic paintings and Chinese porcelain plates with golden lines and classic silver table sets. The Scandinavian and industrial styles require plain coloured plates or white plates with small patterns like dots or lines, he added.

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