Dubai Finds: A Design Directory

95% of our job is not glamorous - long desk hours, endless traffic, grimy site visits, casual sexism - but once in a blue moon we get to be the ritzy glitzy people you think we are. Last week we got flown to Dubai (yes, you read that right) to buy accessories for a client. 

Ask us why this was the perfect opportunity..
(a) Love Dubai
(b) Love Shopping
(c) All of the above

Here is a list of all the stores we visited and our favourite products from them.

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The One
Very cool accessories and home decor (pictured above)

I Light You
Shout out to Marie & Afsal for being amazing! Over 300 designer brands for lighting with great customer service and experience as a bonus!

Crate & Barrel
Basic home furnishings.

Galeries Lafayette
Kartell & Mood

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West Elm 
"Just love me some west elm" - Obvs, Krishna. (Pictured above).

Super Studio
This cool warehouse is filled with designer furniture, lighting and accessories - Tom Dixon, Lee Broom, Moooi, Bocci and more! They will move to Dubai Design District soon.

Indigo Living 
Furniture, soft furnishings & accessories. They have Kelly Hoppen products !!

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Marina Home
Great for accessories but also have quirky pieces of furniture and lighting (pictured above).

Ethan Allen
Classy AF.

Shtorm Group 
Outdoor furniture galore. 

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Flamant 
LOVE this store, all neutral colour scheme, very contemporary and just so pure (pictured above).

Bloomingdales Home
Bernhardt, Pantone and all the cool stuff Fornasetti has to offer.

The Den 
Bits & Pieces
Designers Home

All of the above in a really nice area called City Walk - casual and design oriented products.

Andrew Martin
Blanc D'lvoire
D. Tales
Ikonhouse
The Bowery Company
The Odd Piece
The White Company
Zen Interiors

These are the stores exhibiting at Downtown Design during the Dubai Design Week in November:
Designed by Hind
Apical Reform
Ayka Design
Canvas Carpets Cushions
MISK
SACD
Studio A 
Roudha Al Shamsi
Chattels & More


Sriracha: A hot & spicy evolution!

The day has finally come! We are very excited to launch Sriracha to the world. It was a fun but gruelling adventure that involved crashing tons of food tastings that we definitely did not need to attend (such a hard life!). We thought we’d break it down for you, show you our process, our inspiration and before/after shots!

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You guys might recognise Sriracha- formerly Singkong - a local favourite. The space already had an asian vibe but we wanted to give it an upgrade with minimal intervention ie. keep structure, flooring and ceiling as is.

We didn’t want to go the traditional route when designing Sriracha, we’ve worked closely with the branding team (our design bff and neighbour A&J Design Works to make sure the design is unique and cohesive. The rest of the team included our long term collaborator Woodlabs who turned technical nightmares into sweet sweet realities and last but not least Krackn who are just badass and awesome and we love them. Together, inspired by contemporary asian design, we’ve used traditional materials and colours in a unique way that is minimal yet fun, perfect for a night out!

You can see some of our initial ideas in the mood board below which evolved over time thanks to a nudge on our clients end to make the design more “urban”. If there was ever a project to show off our street cred, this would be it. 

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We initially wanted to do an installation on the ceiling and after maybe going through over 10 different ideas we decided to drop it in favour of our much beloved mural.

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The whole project was about logistics, the client didn't want to close the restaurant down so we had to have each element designed in such a way that it would be made outside and assembled within a week on site. Since we were on a time crunch, we built the wall cladding over the existing cladding (so much easier than ripping it off) and had the wood cut into different sized panels (so the joints wouldn't be obvious).

Krackn to carry the heavy mismatched panels three at a time to their studio and paint the expansive mural panel by panel jigsaw style before putting it together on site. Troopers right? A second layer of wood in the form of long slats were added to bring out texture and warmth that would break away to reveal the mural.

The eight countries that Sriracha represents in its branding are subtly used in the interiors to differentiate itself from Sanchez. The mural is heavily inspired by this, besides our badass heroine, crazy tentacles and flying fish we we challenge you to find all representations from all 8!

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The service table were made from scratch and the dining tables were made using ash wood that was then charred using a blow torch. The chairs were carefully selected and shipped from Indonesia. Cermaics came from Pondicherry (best work trip!) custom made to fit in with the asian style and colour palette of the restaurant. Traditional earthenware accessories coloured in a deep red hue from the logo brings a pop of colour into our contemporary asian pine wood shelves.

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Diwali Gift Guide

We at PureSpaces celebrate the victory of light over darkness all day erryday. It’s our job to. Infact, we’ve even written about lights before. 'Tis the season to be jolly for £akshmi wa$ bo₹n and generally good trumps(lol) evil. Rama-Sita-Lakshman-Hanuman are all good and so we celebrate with lights and mithai. This lovely festival has two traditions: Noise/Air pollution which we don’t recommend (we have dogs and morals #sorrynotsorry) and extremely late spring cleaning which we do recommend. We hope you’ve spent this week cleaning, renovating and decorating for a new you. Below you will find our Diwali gift guide for last minute shoppers that is sure to make any home lit! 

  1. Banana Leaf Platter - Koy
  2. Niloufer Box - Urban Ladder
  3. Cow Bell Door Hanging - The Purple Turtles
  4. X-Stand - Deniable Studio
  5. Brass Diyas - Jaypore
  6. Metallic Candle Ring - Moonriver
  7. Trays - Pinklay
  8. Lotus Tea Light Holder - The Lohasmith
  9. Hanging Diya - Good Earth
  10. Ceramic Bowls - Fennel

Other stores check out!
Adddress Home
Artizen
Aion
Klove Studio
Curo Carte
Adarsh Gill

UPDATE: Hope everyone enjoyed their long Diwali weekend. We are really sad that we didn't get to use Mana's Diah during the festive break. This adaptable little light is pretty and straight forward. It comes flat and all you have to do is roll and snap it into place. We want to urge our readers to sign up on the waiting list and kickstart this really cool project in time for Christmas!


Inspiration Check List Part 2

A few weeks ago we listed out our favourite books, blogs and magazines. As promised, we have added to our list so you can be eternally inspired. You’re welcome.

PODCASTS

99% Invisible - The ultimate design podcast! We are properly addicted to Roman Mars’ voice. He makes the most mundane of topics interesting and there’s always a design twist. One of many amazing podcasts that are a part of Radiotopia.

The Urbanist - This is part of Monocle radio and has a slightly more serious take on design. This British Podcast talks about design, trends and the urban landscape in Europe and covers different topics over different segments within each episode.

Song Exploder - Part of Radiotopia, this is no ordinary music podcast. Here Hrishikesh Hirway breaks a single track down with the artists themselves and explains the concept as well as the technique of every single note. He’s very diverse and explore all genre’s from Carly Rae Jepsen to Norah Jones.

Design Matters - If you’re listening to it on Soundcloud, check out the actual website anyway because it’s v v cool (spoiler: It changes colours!). Debbie Millman, the host is an award winning designer herself but started the podcast to interview her idols and share it with the world. Design Matters is the first and oldest running design podcast to exist.

Adventures In Design - This is really an entertaining podcast full of design gossip and who doesn’t love gossip?

DOCUMENTARIES/SHOWS

Grand Designs - A BAFTA award winning British Classic. Kevin McCloud has been at it since 1999. We’ve literally grown up on this show (does that make us nerds?).

Abstract The Art Of Design - This Netflix original aired earlier this year. We particularly liked the episodes on Es Devlin and Ilse Crawford. Each episode has it’s own style and is well produced.

Chefs Table - You would think that David Gelb would’ve peaked after Jiro Dreams of Sushi but every single episode of Chef’s table does justice to his reputation. The amazing cinematography truly makes you wonder about the art form of cooking.

Design Trilogy - Gary Hurwist’s documentaries ‘Helvetica’, ‘Objectified’ and ‘Urbanised’ are the three commandments for every 1st year design student.

YOUTUBE

Karen Kavette - This OG vlogger is super nerdy but super fun. She started her YouTube career in RISD giving advice to all incoming art students and has worked her way up the ranks and is now a very prominent personality on the HGTV page.

Song of Style - Interior designer and fashion icon Aimee Song is so rock ’n’ roll. She documents her jet setting lifestyle on Youtube (and insta stories) and the glamour is addictive.

HGTV handmade - DIY goodness. Home, design, decorating and remodelling ideas. Arts and crafts galore!

House & Home - More DIY, makeover and home tours in case you aren’t sick of it already!

We just wanted to add that we use YouTube mainly for software tutorials. All those times you forget commands in AutoCAD, this becomes a life saver resource. We also love Youtube’s direct competition Vimeo for it’s quality videos.


Design is the best medicine.

Some of you may know the amount of time we have spent in the hospital this crazy year. For those of you who don’t know, don’t worry! We’re fine! All of us have been there, helpless in the hospital waiting room, hoping for a get well soon miracle. So today, we’re writing about something near and dear to us, something we get emotional about - design for good…design that saves the world.

 

Hospitals are crummy places, especially in India. Although we have made a lot of progress, the newer hospitals tend to have a corporate feel that doesn’t psychologically benefit the patients or their families. We trudged through the internet to find you examples of great design. Hospitals that have the perfect balance of function and beauty but most importantly have a meticulously designed interior that mentally soothes and encourages a sense of well-being.

We delved into it a bit further and identified characteristics of an ideal place of healing. Material and atmosphere are the key words here. Using wood and natural light to complement each other is one way to bring warmth and cosy-ness to a space. Colour is used to lift the mood, instantaneously cheering up a room. Scenery and greenery are vital - no one likes to be hauled up in a claustrophobic space when breathing room is essential to recovery. That leaves the best and most obvious for last - clean and quiet! Need we specify the reason? Check out the images below to see hospitals who walk the talk.

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Special Mention: Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in Singapore is hands down our favourite hospital. From the interiors and facilities to the customer experience, service and lest we forget, the world class doctors. Believe us, it's an outstanding place to be ill or not (preferably not).

Stay healthy, stay safe!

From the PureSpaces Team!