To the delight of Dubai residents with a passion for all things interiors, Belgian artist and interior designer Nadia Sallustio recently parlayed her interest in décor into The Den, her new store at City Walk. Here, Sallustio shares her expertise with Savoir Flair on how to go about designing your home like an interior designer, from entrance hall considerations to where to hang your artwork.
Function should meet form in your entrance hall.
“Pay attention to the entrance hall, which is the first glimpse into your house and sets the tone for the rest of the space. However, be mindful that since it’s also the room that gets the most footfall, you should avoid fragile decoration. Instead, try pieces such as this large wicker basket, in which you can collect shoes in an elegant but practical way.”
Lighting is essential for your home’s character.
“Lighting is an essential part of the look and feel of your home. Take time to choose the right lamps and – even more importantly – the right light bulbs. My favorite ones are the LED bulbs 2700 kelvin, which spread a nice, warm light throughout the house. Go for indirect lighting that is more intimate and one or two signature self-standing lamps, which will give character to your room.
Additionally, use many candles to create a warm atmosphere at night. Luminara offers a range of real-wax candles with LED flames that are timer-operated and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They are absolutely beautiful, mimic real candles to perfection, and are safe even during long parties. For the winter, they also come in a bark shell, which looks so warm and cozy.”
Use color to bring your living room to life.
“This is an essential room in your home and should be considered as a whole – and composed like a painting. Personally, I love highlighting walls with colors. They can bring a room to life and make it unique. I even use black, which, when used as a wide border at the bottom of a wall, underlines it and protects it from feet and furniture marks. Ressource offers a wide selection of colors. It also just launched an amazing made-to-measure collection of wallpaper that I cannot wait to play with.”
Opt for black-and-white photographs in central spaces.
“Whilst having a centerpiece artwork on your main wall is a great way to add personality to your room, make sure you choose one you can live with every day. I love oversized black-and-white photographs, which are elegant and powerful. I keep edgy and really arty pieces for rooms that are often forgotten about, like the bathrooms – they come to life with an art piece. In the kitchen, a classic photograph remains a really nice touch if the frames are chosen with care. A stroll through Al Fahidi Neighborhood’s art galleries is always a great idea, whether you’re looking for inspiration or to discover emerging local artists.”
Consider your flooring options.
“Choose materials that are easily washable and that you won’t have to worry about. I like rustic woods or quick-step flooring, which is the perfect option for rented houses as you can take it with you to your new home on your next move. I also find cement tiles amazing; they allow you to give a neo-vintage feel to your room and can create carpet-like designs in large rooms. Natural stones, like sandstone or raw marble, are also elegant options that keep the house fresh in the summer.”
Not all rugs are created equal.
“Rugs help structure a room and absorb sound. I am a huge fan of Moroccan tribal carpets, especially Berber kilims, which are woven. I love the ones with a vintage feel and washed out colors. Beni ourain carpets are woolen rugs with long, soft hair. They usually come with white-and-black geometrical patterns, and are very soft under the feet. Azilal are playful and full of colored fibers, while boucherouite rugs are totally pop art-inspired – they look like a Keith Haring painting, with their striking colors and black contours.”