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2011 Expo

Amazing transformation

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Dramatic changes in form of appearance speak volumes, writes Alnoor AMLANI with special reference to Ideal Interiors Expo 2011, which experienced  an inspirational metamorphosis.

In the same way that a writer or painter approaches a blank page, or a musician reaches for a sweet and elusive melody; a great interior designer approaches an empty space with acute awareness of a large number of factors.

Ultimately, a designed space is a sensory experience and through design these spaces should encourage the occupant to react in the desired way. For instance, in a hotel, a client would be anticipating an overall effect of serenity and comfort for guests; for a home environment, the feeling of a nurturing shelter emerges. Where the space is intended for a retail function, designers seek to inspire confidence in the products and in a corporate office setting they seek to motivate.

Light, colour, dimension, movement, temperature, ventilation, flooring, amenities and mood are direct considerations to name a few. And of course, there must be a practical knowledge of what options are available locally and abroad in line with the budget. Finally (and certainly not the least), the designer must be clear on what the client requires and the purpose of the space.

 Looking for inspiration

Yet amidst all this, designers all ultimately search for something that is difficult to describe. It is commonly referred to as inspiration, but it inches closer to a kind of presence or character of the space that can only be sensed or felt within its context. Indeed great sculptors claim only to be releasing the form or feeling that is trapped within the wood or stone they are working with. Therefore by inference, great interior designers bring forth or release a form that potentially exists in the empty space.

When the sense of what the space wants to be is strong and clear, and the creative force is allowed free reign, the result is transformative design.The presence that could only be sensed is manifested and can be experienced. In being manifest in-turn, it affects those who experience it and hence the true artist lives through his or her work.

All creatives search for this effect. But without vision, it cannot be successfully achieved.

The Decor Interiors’ space at the recently concluded Ideal Interiors Expo at The Village Market is an example of how a space can be transformed with vision. Their style of contemporary earth led them towards the use of natural materials and tones. With a simple and powerful vision, they blended the various interior elements in a complex interplay that is ultimately pleasing and comforting

 Surprise turn

Visitors to the first floor car park area discovered that the entire parking space had metamorphosed overnight into an unrecognizable interiors exhibition space, protected from the elements by canvas tents and filled with a range of furnishing, lighting, flooring, plumbing and even cutlery options. The car park ordinarily is a rushed, hurried space with people seeking to park quickly, avoid the cold and deal with their shopping bags and children before someone runs them over! This transformation took visitors to a

comfortable, warm and relaxing zone where they felt at ease to browse and feel. And at the centre of this transformation is DecorInteriors; offering a modern, multipurpose space, with a tasteful dining setting, lounge sofas and a bar counter all manufactured in workshops run by Décor Interiors Ltd. The elevated flooring and dramatic angled pillars projected visually a creative energy that is impossible to restrict or contain. It is a design simply bursting into being however you approach it. The effect wasparticularly dramatic in the middle of an exhibition setin a car park!

Home away from home

After the exhibition closed for public display, the Decor Interiors space became an intimate meeting place for people toshare, laugh and indulge; a testimonythat the energy of the 36 sqm was indeed transformed into a home away from home.

DECOR INTERIORS won two awards at the exhibition for Best Stand in the Auxiliary Décor & Support Services category, and also came in an outstanding second in the People’s Choice Award and set a new standard for exhibitive display regionally. Then they took it down and rebuilt it in their showroom in Viking House. The elements have moved somewhat in their showroom. The bar is in the corner and the lighting fixtures have shifted. The stone gazelles are now standing on the sisal coffee table. But the feeling is the same.

This is a tenet of good design. The elements flow together well, because they have been carefully thought through. The harmony within the space is evident and the effect of calming, warmth and comfort can betransplanted, modified and, if necessary scaled up.