TOP 10 OF DUBAI'S FINEST RETAIL DESIGN SHOPS
Where do you start?! Where do you go?! Yes, those are the questions on most people’s lips when it comes to finding that perfect yet distinctive piece of furniture or a uniquely quirky piece of art. Dubai is a ginormous hub of retail design and architecture. After speaking to a few experts in the field, I wanted to find out what are the most popular places people like to shop at, for personal use or for business. After a bit more research I decided on the following retail and online stores as being the most popular amongst us ‘creatives’ in the industry. Be it budget or high-end, you are sure to find something magnificent in this Top 10 list! Let’s have a look shall we?
An old faithful and favourite among most of us. Pottery Barn can either be a hit or a miss with some decorators, but personally, I love the fact that their style is easy and comfortable. I would describe my personal style as rustic with a touch of contemporary elegance, which makes PB the perfect fit. You are most likely to find at least one item in your house from PB that you’ve had for years, which just emphasises the quality of their craftsmanship and materials. PB is known for their functional designs and we are also happy about the fact that they are working with individual artisans, which makes some of their items more tailored and unique. With summer coming to an end soon (thank goodness) it’s time to spruce up our outside living areas. Check out the latest PB catalogue for some inspiration and some really great furniture pieces.
Are you looking for that perfect, sleek, modern couch? …or are you wanting to be bold and add some colour to your life with some new accessories and decor? West Elm is the place for you. They are known for their bold but seamless design and crisp pared-down lines that fall on a clean backdrop. I am particularly in favour of their Emmerson Collection made from reclaimed wood. Whenever I see companies actually going the extra mile with sustainable design, it automatically catches my attention. I am well impressed with West Elms social consciousness in addition to their personal touches, like being able to add custom made monograms to soft furnishings (see here for more details). Want some inspiration on stylish ways to decorate with West Elm in real life? Head on over to Instagram, search #westelm and be prepared to be totally WoWed.
Even though there is only one outlet in Dubai Mall at the moment, don’t miss the opportunity to pop in. Flamant, a Belgium based company, is an excellent example of artisanship meets design. Even though at the higher end of the price bracket, their statement pieces and accessories are truly something, especially their chandeliers. Eclectic elegance is how I would describe their style with a playful yet clever mix of materials and texture. One can shop online with them, where there is a bigger variety of furnishings and accessories available than in the store. Should you have your eye on a specific piece the lovely store manager Naomi will certainly help you to order it in. See their website for further details.
I don’t know about you, but I have stacks of bookmarks saved on inspirational and cool interior shops and blogs. Also, don’t get me started on my hundreds of pins saved on Pinterest! I constantly feel the need to be inspired by new trends or just doing something different with a space. In saying that, a lot of the articles I have read and the unique pieces of furniture and accessories I’ve seen are from The One – literally the funkiest shop in Dubai. Talk about exclusivity with attitude! From rustic bohemian to metallic glam, they have something for everyone. As a lover of Scandinavian design, these guys take it to a new level. Also don’t miss out on the oh-so-yum café that they have in their Jumeirah branch, near Jumeirah Mosque, opposite Palm Strip Mall. See this Zomato review of their café which is definitely Instagram worthy.
Chattels & More
I find sometimes, walking into some interior stores can be overwhelming, visually you are mind-blown to the max. The confusion sometimes makes you question your own style, but do not fret, at Chattels & More you are bound to find something unique – to not only fit your needs – but suit your exact style. Think variations of timber, brass and copper details on a backdrop of concrete, geometric clean lines with a hint of warmth. For someone like myself that has a slight obsession when it comes to symmetry and straight lines, I truly love C&M. But can we please talk about the Winston Chair in Lemon?! …Oh-My-Soul-On-a-Roll…, an immaculate piece of furniture confident in both style and colour, I believe it’s a must have as a focal piece. A lot of people are scared of using yellow in a space, but I think it adds a sense of boldness, especially when paired with warm neutrals like pale brown or grey. On a different note, did you know you can earn air miles when buying from Chattels & More? Check out their website for more info.
Interiors who are part of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group have been around for a very long time. They are like the ‘Grand Maester’ of interior companies in and around Dubai! Rightfully so, as they have featured in more than a few well-known magazines such as Elle, Inside Out, Emirates Homes and AD. The words that come to mind when describing Interiors style is luxury and elegance with an array of opulence. Looking at brands like the Calvin Klein Curator Collection, which has a very natural and simple feeling, to the very opposite of the spectrum with Bruno Zampa, the Italian brand which consists of exceedingly lavish tailor made pieces. Interiors can provide you with over 100 different brands, so shopping there is like going to the Citadel – the place in Game of Thrones where all the maesters go to learn, train and study – almost a giant library of décor and design. The options are endless.
Wishbone, Ant and Swan chairs, do these seem familiar? YES! These are just some of the authentic items of designers such as Eames, Ovist and many more that one can find at Ikon House. The pinnacle of high class design. Working with various brands and designers, they are uncompromising in standard when it comes to materials and timeless design. Their style gives off a sense that’s almost boastful in their existence, but in an elegant and pristine way. For those interested, Ikon House has officially joined Pinterest, so go and follow them for some inspiration and to keep up to date with their latest designs. Shop online or pop over to their showroom in Al Quoz.
‘Live Beautifully’, the tagline of Indigo Living says it all. These guys are well up to date with all the latest trends in the design industry. If you aren’t sure what your style is, no problem, they have in-house consultants that will help steer you in the right direction – leaving you feeling inspired and motivated. Do yourself a favour and have a look at their exclusive range by famous British designer, Kelly Hoppen. With a tactile approach to design – and her infusion of East meets West – this neutral yin-yang style of design is very refreshing and welcoming in the chaotic lifestyle of Dubai. For those of us who are living in the UAE as expats, we know the struggle and costs involved when it comes to relocating. Indigo Living offers you the option of renting furniture – separate items or a whole package deal – on short or long-term basis (see here for more details). They will cater for your exact style and make sure it suits your budget perfectly.
Maison du Monde
Upon arrival, you are greeted by an array of colours and textures, all neatly sectioned into different areas. You don’t know where to start, everything you see gives you warm fuzzies and you can’t help but smile. What an incredible shop! From bright Bohemian to classic gold and white, to the quirkiest little accessories like small cacti candles and bright pink flamingo sculptures to tiny origami mobiles. We absolutely ADORE Maison du Monde. Pop into Mirdiff City Centre and feast your eyes. WARNING: enter with caution, it is one of those stores that you spot accidentally and an hour later you walk out of there with an entire trolley full of stuff (oops!).
Scandinavian design is characterised by functionality, simplicity and clean lines. If you are all about detail and wanting to stand out from the crowd with a few delicately crafted unique pieces, D.tales is the place for you. Consisting of various brands such as Muuto, Frama and Mr Perswall, just to name a few, D.tales brings harmony to a space where one can feel in tune with an environment, be it at your home or office. I am particularly intrigued by their collection of acoustic wall panels – something that a lot of people tend to forget about when designing a space, but it’s actually one of THE most important aspects of interior architecture and design.
So, there you have it, some of our favorite retail design stores in Dubai. Have a look at the other wonderful shops that we have listed as well.
Janine Boast is our intern from South Africa. She's a creative who believes in the power of beautiful interiors that can transform your life and make you feel at home. As a graduate designer, she has a trained eye for quality, craftmanship, textiles and materials. She draws inspiration from her extensive traveling and is super enthusiastic about bringing forth her unique ideas through her designs; replicating certain moods or atmosphere. Janine has an innate desire to create interiors that exceed client’s expectations and leaves them speechless.