Gone are the days when the living room of every expatriate in the UAE was fitted with the same affordable, if somewhat generic, furnishings by a certain Swedish homeware brand. These days, residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to home decor, with countless international names, as well as a growing number of local brands, offering their wares.
The latest addition to Dubai’s home-furnishings scene opened last week, and is a three-floor store called The Home, located near Mall of the Emirates, on Umm Suqeim Road. It’s a one-stop-shop kind of place; you could easily furnish an entire home, complete with bathroom accessories and kitchen necessities.
The store’s three floors cover 100,000 square feet, making it something of a hyperstore, and it boasts more than 55,000 items, 40 per cent of which are made in the UAE. The Al Barsha outlet is its first, with five more expected to open across the country within the next five years.
The original concept store stocks items that are sourced internationally, but its claim to fame is that it also manufactures its own products in the UAE, says Sulin Sugathan, spokesman for The Home and director of the store’s owning company, the Royal Group.
“This home-grown brand produces 40 per cent of the bedding, mattresses and sofa sets in its factory in the UAE, and offers customers the unique service of bespoke and customised furniture,” says Sugathan. People can find something they like, and tweak it so it becomes something they love, whether in terms of fabric colour, upholstery type, size, the stain of the wood, and so on, Sugathan says.
Local designers are thrilled with this increase in options on the market. “There’s a new shop in town…and they even customise sofas and beds,” says Nisrine El Lababidi Moghraby, who is the founder and interior decorator of the Harf Noon Design Studio.
Interior designer Ash Young, who runs Adore Decor DXB on Facebook and Instagram, describes The Home as “huge”, boasting a “wide range of furniture and accessories at bamazing prices”.
“I am especially excited that they have an in-house design studio, and can make bespoke curtains and sofas. I’m struggling to find the forest green velvet sofa of my dreams, so I may well test that service soon,” says Young.
Our Five Favourite Finds
What is popular in fashion is often translated into home accessories. This year was undoubtedly the year of velvet, and The Home knows it. There’s a wide assortment of velvet throws and velvet cushions to choose from, in every jewel tone you can think of (they range in price from Dh35 to Dh49 each). Velvet also features prominently on sofa and armchair upholstery, bringing a touch of opulence to a space, whether classic or contemporary. We spotted the Splender sofa set, in a very enticing shade of pink, entirely done in velvet with some elegant tufting. A three seater, two-seater and two armchairs retail for Dh4,900.
Marble has made a huge comeback in design, whether in kitchen islands and backsplashes, or in subtle touches such as marble-inspired wallpaper or laptop covers. The Home has its own affordable take, with a Dh545 round side table (the Armada end table, to be exact) featuring a shiny marble top on chrome criss-crossed legs. It could work next to a comfy armchair as the perfect reading spot, or a pair would make elegant bedside tables.
Large-sized art is always an impressive talking point in a home, but not always affordable. At The Home, options for your wall decor are plentiful, and we particularly liked the metal sculptures posing as art. Our favourite – a series of six, large, metal feathers, painted in an alternating distressed finish of blue and white – retails for only Dh169. There are plenty of other options to consider, most of which are Dh299; the most expensive one that we found is Dh329, and all pack a punch.
We did a double take when we spotted the Barney desk (Dh1,095). It looks like it’s made entirely out of concrete, but that turned out to be just an illusion – one we’re firmly behind. The large desk features four drawers and will be a conversation piece wherever you place it in your home. It’s the perfect shade of neutral gray. One of the easiest ways to achieve an industrial look is to go for industrial-inspired materials, making concrete a key interior trend at the moment. If you have space for it, don’t think twice.
The Home’s top floor is perhaps our favourite, with plenty of rustic and industrial options to choose from. We spotted the Zambia coffee table (Dh1,145), which looks like it’s made from reclaimed wood in a patchwork design, resting on iron, hairpin legs. Then there’s the Roxy side table (Dh895), which looks like an ancient, vintage radio, but opens up to provide storage space. The most impressive has to be the classic-styled sofa EGE corner sofa. “The perfect combination of design, inspiration and ample comfort,” says Sugathan. “Available in blue, light grey and dark grey, this stunning piece is a trendy, yet functional sofa with great fabric that is soft against your skin.” We can certainly vouch for that.