Monthly Archives: September 2013

LDF 2013 Lecture Series – In conversation with Alidad


The London Design Festival is a love fest of design that takes place over a 2 week period every year. This year a large number of exhibitions and several major trade shows such as Tent London, 100% Design and Focus took place all over London over 9 days from September 14 – 22nd.

Out of all the trade shows and exhibitions however, it is Decorex that I look forward to the most. Decorex is a trade show exclusively geared towards the Interior Design industry. All the major companies and suppliers associated with the industry take part and walking up and down the aisles provides one with a lot of jaw dropping inspiration and a feast on the eyes.

It is also here that I get the opportunity to watch and listen to some of the best Interior Designers in the world discuss and provide insight into a profession that I most eagerly want to be a part of. It is through the Decorex Seminar programme, that I get the most inspiration. This year I managed to attend several talks and I’m going to share my learnings with you over the next week or so.

The first seminar I attended in the series was an informal chat with world renowned Interior Designer Alidad. Giles Kime (Deputy Editor of Homes & Gardens Magazine) asked Alidad a series of questions around his life, work and design philosophy. Here are some of the key points I took from the conversation.



  • Alidad studied Computer Science. He then went on to complete a one year course at Sotheby’s and was then hired by the company and eventually became Sotheby’s youngest departmental director for Islamic works of art and textiles.
  • He believes that Interior Design is ingrained in mathematics


  • There are some things that just cannot be done, for example you cannot turn a North facing room into a sunny bright lit room. You have to have the confidence to say no to your clients.
  • Every client comes in with baggage. You need to work with and understand it. I learn a lot about the clients wants through conversations not related to designing their home. Understanding a clients personality and baggage will help you create the right home for them.


  • Always remember that first and foremost you are creating a home for your client. It has to have their things and show their personality.
  •  Regardless of the style or period you are trying to create, it still has to relate to a modern existence. These days, everyone uses technology and although a client might love an 18th Century style, they still live in a modern world that your design will need to accommodate.
  • Proportion is the most important element in a design. To the untrained eye something might seem slightly off, it is usually the proportion that is causing the problem.
  • Give everything a function, for example a veranda that was a derelict space was re-created into another room.
  • It’s not enough to make a room beautiful, you need to think about functionality, how will it work, what is it used for, the traffic flow of the room. Comfort and usability are just as important as looks.
  • It’s the details that show in the end.
  • There is always a lot of change within the design process and it is normal for trial and error to take place over and over again until you get the right scheme.
  • A lot of the time there will be architectural details or flaws you cannot change, in this instance scaling up furniture can help remedy the problem.
  • Listen to the story of the house, it has a lot to tell you. Look into the history of it and use it to help with inspiration of the design.
  • Always future proof and think about the longevity of what you are doing.


I found Alidad to be a very candid and passionate designer who designs first and foremost for his clients. His designs are exotic and ornate, however he did attest to also designing more minimal schemes based on clients needs. His genius is that he has the ability to mix many seemingly unrelated patterns and styles together effortlessly.  Information on Alidad’s work can be seen at He also has just released a book called The Timeless Home.  I hope you enjoyed the first post in this lecture series. I’ll be back for more on Thursday. Till then. xD

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Starting Again…


I realised recently that it will be one year since I wrote my first post on this blog in a couple of weeks time.

As a result, I decided to take some time to have a good think about what it was that I wanted to achieve both for this blog and for myself (this is a diary after all) during my second blogging year.  So I created a new mood board for the blog.

When I first started, it was a place to share my learnings. The focus was on understanding design principles, styles and learning to analyse a room to understand why it worked. I also used it as a basis for inspiration. The past year was focused on THEORY.

As I progress into my second year of blogging, I want to continue on the course of sharing my learnings, but I also want to start DOING. 

You can only learn so much by reading a book and taking notes. As in life, you need to experience things and invariably make mistakes to learn the important lessons. So moving into the next year, my focus on the blog and my life will be about EXPERIENCE.

I am taking the plunge from learning about design to bringing a design into the real world. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating and it’s darn right scary. It feels like I’m starting my life again, except this time I’m building a life around design rather than a corporate career.

I hope you will join me on the next phase of my foray into becoming an Interior Designer.


p.s. A new schedule will be in place starting next week, posts will come out Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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Moody Garden Update


Hello Friends! It’s been far too long since my last post. Sincere apologies for the radio silence. The summer flew by with the blink of an eye and I suddenly find myself sitting here typing to the gentle sound of pitter patter from the rain outside. Autumn has definitely arrived in London.

This is my favourite season.  I love the anticipation of the change from warm to cold. It’s the season where everyone starts to bring their activities indoors, where regular outings to the park are replaced with staying in with a roast dinner simmering in the oven,  and alfresco dinners in the still light filled garden are replaced with darkening nights on the sofa with a cuddly throw.

It is also a time, when the tree’s and plants prepare for winter by changing into the most vibrant shades of red, yellow, purple and brown and when the grass is so lush, it looks like a carpet of deep velvet mint green.

It was during a recent downpour that I noticed that the grass and plants in our back garden had turned from yellow to green and that it was well on it’s way to being the “Moody Garden” that I had been planning way back in July – here.

We have since finished the improvements and I thought I’d post an update on the changes we made over the summer. It is certainly not finished, but the framework is there and my plan is the cover all the black pergola structures with climbing plants, Jasmine & Roses to add more green and lushness into the garden. It’s well on it’s way towards my ideal garden. Here are some before and after shots…




That’s all from me today. It’s London Design Week and I have organised a couple of days to go and check out some of the exhibits going on around London. Will write again soon. xD

Photography: Doris Lee


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