Prove your metal
Take a hint from your festive ensemble and channel Diwali’s gold rush into your interiors – furniture and decor gold and brass are the metallic picks of the season. Lama Awa, Head of Interior Design at Al Huzaifa Furniture, says they’re a great addition to create an illusion of space as shiny surfaces ‘reflect light and add dimension while also lending class and elegance to a room.’ Mirrors on the wall are your best friends: ‘place a large mirror with a metallic frame on a bare wall,’ says Ranim Mansour, designer at Interiors.
Stephanie Lim, Home Box’s concept VM manager, advises playing with textures, by balancing sleek brass vases with rough golden mosaic tealights. Matte finishes are easier to work with than glossier surfaces, says Mei Al Hakim, interior designer at ID Design.
Narita Mangaran, Interior Designer at ID Design cautions there’s a thin line between tasteful contrast and a complete clash. ‘Just like with jewellery, don’t over-accessorise or combine too many different metallic shades.’
For those who want to be bold, invest in corner pieces such as metallic bookshelves or coffee tables. Or opt for easily replaceable pieces such as metallic lamps, door handles and vases, suggests Lama. Sayed Habib, general manager of buying at Danube Home suggests coffee tables, sofas or chairs with just their legs done in brass or gold.
Colour me festive
Nothing freshens up the look of a room like a splash of colour and navy blue, burgundy and turmeric yellows are the reigning shade for the fall season. Timeless neutral navy blue takes on the moniker Saragasso Sea in the Pantone Fall/Winter ’18 palette and the stormy, deep blue is a hot favourite with interior experts. Moor rooms to the grounding colour with an accent wall, suggests Home Box’s Stephanie Lim. ‘Match it with a neutral sofa to get a good balance of light and dark colours and throw in some deep orange cushions to give it a fresh vibe.’ Combining navy blue walls or statement chairs and accessories with cold whites add drama and elegance and soften its broodiness, explains Narita Mangaran.
For Amit Yadav, marketing manager at 2XL and Mei Al Hakim of ID Design, burgundy remains the ultimate fall classic. ‘Burgundy mixed with beige or gold is a match in heaven,’ says Amit.
‘Deep reds can be incorporated through small accessories or cushions or even a carpet that can become the room’s main focus,’ suggest Mei. If you tend to favour warmer shades, turmeric yellow can instantly spice up your décor. ‘In classic patterns like florals or damasks the shade has a warming uplifting effect and you can use navy blue to cool off rooms that receive excess sunlight and heat to create an atmosphere of serenity,’ suggests Ranim Mansour, designer at Interiors.
All’s well that ends in Velvet
Furniture upholstered in velvet can do wonders for a space, instantly adding richness, warmth texture and colour – all reasons why the plush, lustrous fabric is in demand on the runways and the design scene this fall. As far as luxury goes, velvet is the fabric equivalent of gold, exuding glamour and style, but just like gold it follows the less-is-more rule. ‘A single footstool, statement cushion, or a corner armchair are all subtle ways of making your room look regal without being loud,’ says Sayed Habib of Danube Home. What you can never go wrong with is a velvet sofa. ‘There is something magical about a red velvet sofa,’ says Imedla Dimapiles, interior designer at BoConcept Jumeirah.
Velvet adds personality to a room but it’s a fabric with a strong personality, which is why Mei suggests avoiding velvet with shiny finishes, tufted stitches or patterns and stick to plain colours. But plain doesn’t mean boring, stresses Ranim Mansour of Interiors, ‘bold jewel tones such as navy blue, purple, turmeric yellow and champagne are chic and glam choices.’ To ensure your velveteen furniture finds don’t weigh down a room, pair it against a wall with a bold colour or a graphic wallpaper whose colours are complementary and don’t clash, suggest Amit Yadav. Combining brushed brass or metal also works great with velvet, says Narita Mangaran of Indigo Living.
Let there be light
The festival of lights isn’t just about propping a couple of candles and tealights around the house. Investing in stylish lighting fixtures, quirky lamps and opulent chandeliers can transform a room and enhance ambience, making your home a well-lit, happy space 365 days a year and not just on Diwali. ‘Always think about lighting in three categories: functional, ambient and decorative,’ says Sayed Habib of Danube. The secret to great lighting, according to 2XL’s Amit Yadav, is details. ‘As a rule, darker rooms require more ambient lighting as dark colours absorb more light and for rooms with low ceilings, select a style that is wider that it is tall.’
Chandeliers are Ranim Mansour’s go-to style: ‘they can illuminate the entire room in a way floor lamps can’t,’ she says. ‘But floor lamps create romantic, ambient lighting.’
Those who like to keep things subtle but enjoy the drama of ceiling lights, pendant lights suspended over centre tables make a great statement, explains Amit.
For some Diwali sparkles, string fairy lights to curtains or hang lanterns from consoles, suggests Stephanie Lim of Homebox.