Video: Analysing noise pollution and how loud our offices are?

Presenting FF&E Talks in collaboration with NGC Nafees.

Workspaces with open floor plans are the modern-day standard for office design, and there’s a reason for that: they boost creativity, encourage teamwork, and foster collaboration. But there’s one downside: noise. Environmental noise strains the brain, heart, and ears, according to Dr Wolfgang Babisch, senior researcher at the German Federal Environmental Agency specialising in environmental noise.

The panel discussion, titled “Noise pollution: How loud are our offices?”, hosted by NGC Nafees, looked at real-time project case studies in the region and the effects of noise on employee well-being as well as available solutions and products.

 

The panel included Dragana Cemalovic from Bluehaus Group, Vijay Nambiar from Roar, Adriana Graur from DWP, Stuart Allen from AAID, Joakim de Rham from Swiss Bureau, as well as NGC’s general manager James Prathap, as their host, and Marina Mrdjen from Intelier as the moderator.

The six-part “FF&E Design Talks with NGC Nafees” aims to bring together leading interior designers for discussions on the challenges, opportunities, and trends in FF&E design across hospitality, commercial, and residential sectors.

Stuart Allen: Acoustic specialists should be involved early in a project

Acoustics is one of the most important considerations that interior designers can be challenged on or held responsible for because designers cannot see it and can’t fix it afterwards, as Allen explains it.

“Acoustic specialists should be involved early in a project. Acoustic issues must be resolved during the construction process with all stakeholders involved from the contractor to the project manager and the client,” he says.

“Bringing an acoustic specialist on board early in the process when you’re laying out your projects, deciding on the wall thickness when trying to go slab to slab on walls, and the treatment of additional layers on those walls is prevalent in what we do. It’s very important to get acoustic reports and to determine how well the existing building performs acoustically. “

Stuart Allen, managing director at AAID

AAID’s founder and managing director says that traditionally glass partitions were the main acoustic treatment, limiting noise transference from one room to another.

“However, in the last few years, acousticians have become a necessity, as recommended by our team, the project manager or the client. It is essential in a design that the client is educated about reverberation and noise transference.”

Dragana Cemalovic: I prefer concealed acoustic solutions, which are integrated into the structure 

According to Cemalovic, following the Covid pandemic, designers are now focusing more on the overall experiences and creating a comfortable, healthy, and safe workspace for people in the office.

Dragana Cemalovic, associate at BluehausGroup

Recently, Dragana and her team at Bluehaus Group completed the new Du headquarters in Dubai Hills Business Park, which required noise control throughout a seven-storey office environment.

“Taking place right after the Covid-19 pandemic, we needed to design around Du’s new workplace strategy by bringing people back together, opening communication and removing barriers while creating a collaborative, positive and safe work environment for everyone.

This concept immediately raised acoustics concerns as she points out.

“We separated all areas that could potentially cause noise pollution by creating a ring around the open plan core,” says Cemalovic. “Our team created the so-called ‘Live Link’ around the core featuring activity-driven spaces such as meeting and team rooms, collaboration spaces, and multifunctional spaces.”

Dragana prefers concealed acoustic solutions, integrated into the structure, and designing walls and floors to minimise unwanted sound transmission between spaces.

Vijay Nambiar: Do people get annoyed when it’s very noisy? Yes, but only when they don’t have a choice

“Do people get annoyed when it’s very noisy? Yes, but only when they don’t have a choice,” says Nambiar who’s currently with his team at Roar designing a large co-working space in Abu Dhabi that targets creative professionals such as architects, designers, and photographers.

“As designers,  we like the chatter because it’s also a way of learning from other people,” says Nambiar. “So, the creatives who will be renting these spaces will also rent the community experience.”

It’s about the quality of noise and the intention behind it, as he puts it.

“We had to create spaces that allowed for noise, attracting people to the community, but also giving them the option of moving into their own sanctuaries or smaller spaces where they could focus and work. The acoustics had to be carefully considered since it is a very high-volume space with different sound interactions,” he says.

Vijay Nambiar, associate at ROAR

According to him, the clients are becoming more aware of the risks of overlooking acoustics during the design process.

“And that helps us because now we are able to design better,” explains Nambiar. “As designers, we tend to be lazy sometimes. When we know that certain products works, we tend to stay with it. Now, more experts and product specialists, like NGC Nafees, are coming to our office to show us different products and applications, and what value they can add to our projects. That’s how we learn.”

Adriana Graur: Our design process will be heavily influenced by adaptability in the future

According to Graur, some of the ways interior designers can control sound in an office environment are designing walls and floors to minimise unwanted sound transmission between spaces, specifying absorptive finish materials, and planning adjacent spaces with similar uses and noise levels.

“Additionally, we work at different times, so the workplace has changed as well. We’re working remotely and more collaboratively, so different ways to look at the spaces and acoustics are required for those work scenarios. Our design process will be heavily influenced by adaptability in the future,” she says.

Graur points out that the flexibility designers need to work with acoustic products, as well as manufacturers’ willingness to develop them further, also played an important role in their evolution, especially in the last two years.

“Before we were looking at buffers as the only solution for the open-plan offices, now we’re looking at curves and how we can apply the acoustics into a curve partition or how we can treat the glazing that still requires acoustics with micro-perforated foils that act as sound comfort optimiser,” she adds.

Adriana Graur, design director at DWP

Previously, Adriana was one of the designers involved with one of the key government headquarters projects, envisaged to become a futuristic development in terms of design, sustainability and well-being, whilst targeting LEED Platinum and nZEB status.

She comments: “Bringing everything to the excellence level becomes more challenging when you need to incorporate the MEP requirements, Net Zero goal, sustainability, great acoustic performance with beautiful design. During our time here, we’ve gained a deep understanding of how to work with the highest international standards, including acoustics, and how to apply them correctly.”

Joakim de Rham: Good acoustics are no longer optional, but a necessity.

In a study published by Oxford Economics, two-thirds of office workers lack private workspaces that can be used for focused work. Workers in noisy offices are more likely to quit within six months.

Acoustics are now becoming as important to employee wellbeing as the lighting in workspaces, says Swiss Bureau Interior Design CEO & Co-Founder – Joakim de Rham.

“Good acoustics are no longer optional, but a necessity. Additionally, acoustic products and solutions are improving dramatically, from well-known buffers to sleek new designs. The wallpapers and different materials we’ve seen today at NGC Nafees are beautiful and you don’t realise they also have acoustic performances,” he says.

Joakim De Rham, CEO & Co-Founder at Swiss Bureau

According to the same study, 75 per cent of employees take walks outside to concentrate, and 32 per cent use headphones to block out distractions. One of the Swiss Bureau’s existing clients instituted a week of silence to allow their teams to fully focus on a specific project by reducing distractions, such as phones, music, and loud talking.

“We have recently completed another large project here in Dubai for a luxurious brand company with 40% of the staff still working from home. However, the acoustic is not only between employees but also when we have Zoom meetings with our clients. So we have to provide adequate spaces that support the concept of hybrid working, from collaboration rooms to meeting pods.”

According to de Rham, the level of knowledge among designers about noise pollution issues is low because acoustics is not properly taught in design schools.

“Our senior designers have extensive experience dealing with acoustic challenges on every project, and they train younger designers in this area based on their experience. Acoustic specialists are definitely brought on board for more complex projects to help with their extensive knowledge,” he says.

James Prathap:  3D architectural walls are developed to meet the needs of project managers and contractors, depending on the project’s purpose and style

NGC Nafees’ general manager James Prathap showcased the company’s latest products, including Texdecor acoustic panels and 3D wall decor made in France, York acoustic wallpapers and flooring solutions with optimal sound absorption and insulation from Dutch brand BLOQ.

“BLOQ flooring products reduce impact noise by 26 decibels, resulting in excellent acoustics. Additionally, Texdecor’s 3D architectural wall decor enhances interiors with its look, while guaranteeing its acoustic comfort and compliance,” explains Prathap

NGC Nafees offers Texdecor acoustic panels and 3D walls

Acoustic qualities are exclusively developed by Texdecor teams to meet the needs of project managers and contractors, depending on the project’s purpose and style. Texdecor wallcoverings come in a wide range of finishes, from extremely resistant and easy-to-care vinyl to fine materials and paintable fibres to coordinate and renovate.

James Prathap, NGC Nafees

During the pandemic, NGC also developed an interactive website with an extensive digital material library, featuring more than 17,000 products across all categories.

Next month’s FF&E panel at NGC Nafees will spotlight some of the most prominent high-end residential designers discussing where grand opulence meets minimalism in home design.

 

6 Mural & Wall Cover Design Themes to Transform Your Living Room

As one of the most noticeable features of a living room, your walls need to highlight or, at the very least, complement your interior design style.

If you want an easy way to ensure your living room matches your interior design theme, wallpapers are your best
option.

Wallpapers come in so many different colors and patterns that you can easily find one that features or matches your interior design theme.

Your living room wallpaper can even set the stage and transform this space if you want to change and elevate its design and look dramatically.

You can also use wallpaper to create a custom mural with a design of your choice that can act as a focal point to change the look and mood of your living room.

Wallpaper Design Themes for an Elevated Living Room

If you wish to change your home’s interior style and want to use your walls as the starting point, consider these living room wall covering ideas and themes to change the look and feel of the space significantly:

1. Art Deco

Art deco style was born in the 1920s, which is why it is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, the famous novel and movie.

This style highlights geometric shapes, graphic patterns, polished and glossy features and furnishings. It also showcases bold, artistic expressions with striking touches.

Wallpapers with bright, exotic and contrasting colors, including blue, gold, green, silver and red are redolent of the art deco interior theme. Products with elaborate and opulent designs and patterns convey this style further.

Examples of wall covering designs that tie in with this theme include floral with large, vibrant flowers, colorful animal patterns and elaborate geometric outlines.

2. Modern

A modern interior design is usually a complex overlay of careful compositions, well-thought-out functionality and defined lines. It emphasizes clear-cut forms and visual simplicity as well.

Although the style focuses on simplicity, it still conveys beauty and elegance.

Wallpapers with defined lines and uniform patterns and shapes are your best options for your walls.

Floral patterns and nature-inspired wall coverings are excellent products that add a touch of modern look to your living space while effortlessly bringing in the outdoors indoors.

Stripes are also the perfect accouterments in a modern living room. Therefore, vertically and horizontally striped wallpapers are great options.

3. Minimalist

The minimalist interior style was inspired by traditional Japanese design and Zen philosophy.

This theme emphasizes aesthetics revolving around the design’s efficiency. It is free of distractions or clutter and maximizes bold visual impact and the room’s underlying functionality.

Wallpapers with minimal elements and motifs and hushed hues make for excellent living room wall coverings with a minimalist interior design theme.

Additionally, wall coverings with a standout accent or two do well in the room’s design style.

Lastly, wallpapers featuring line repetition and movement are also great options.

Wallpapers with subtle, neutral grain textures and concrete, calico, brick and linen styles or effects are perfect examples of products to decorate your minimalist living room’s walls.

You can also go for a plain wallpaper with warm, neutral tones.

4. Scandinavian

The Scandinavian interior design style emphasizes simplicity and functionality; however, it also adds warmth and coziness to the concept.

This theme embodies a color palette teeming with black, white, gray, and blue tones. An occasional vibrant hue can be added to bring visual appeal and respite to the design.

Wallpapers with this theme feature these hues as well as rounded contours and silhouettes and organic textures.

For Scandinavian-inspired wall coverings, you won’t go wrong with abstract geometric shapes, flowers and leaves.

Wallpapers with stripes and trees and a wooden look go well with a Scandinavian interior design.

5. Industrial

The industrial interior design style focuses on the raw beauty of different building parts and transforming them into something more appealing and functional.

These elements include columns, beams, ducts and pipes.

Although this interior design may seem too modern and trendy to some people, when done correctly, it can be rustic and pleasing.

Popular colors that convey an industrial design theme include warm and neutral tones, such as shades of red, brown and gray. However, white, blue and black are also popular hues.

Wallpaper designs that imitate bricks, cement structures, rough concrete and dilapidated plaster can complete your industrial-themed living room.

6. Traditional

This interior design style represents region- and age-specific looks and finishes. Examples of these include classic Victorian, French and European décor.

Traditional or classic interior designs are known for their features and furniture with interesting silhouettes. However, their backdrops, which your wallpaper should exemplify, are typically simple and light, with vibrant colors and lines that add classical opulence to the room.

Black and white patterns are also popular motifs for this type of design style.

Wallpapers with traditional designs are often intricate and elaborate that catch the eye and evoke awe. Popular patterns include damask, floral stripes, vines, paisley, and acanthus scroll.

Custom Wallpaper Mural

If you want to install a wallpaper mural in your living room with any of these themes, you need to have it customized.

First, prepare a photo of the design. Next, measure the wall you will cover and take note of the measurements.

You then have to choose the type of mural you want to be made. This can be peel and stick, self-adhesive, or paste the wall or paper.

Lastly, contact us to start the wallpaper customization process. We provide custom wall mural printing based on your preferred design and size created by a team of expert technicians and studio designers.

Buying Guide: 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Carpet for a Mosque

Mosques are special places for Muslims. They are places for prayer, introspection, and reflection, where Muslims can go to fulfill all of their five ritual and obligatory daily prayers. Mosques especially come alive during midday prayers, when communal praying at a mosque (particularly on Fridays) is encouraged.

Therefore, mosques must be decorated in a way that befits their purpose. They should inspire awe, but they should also be warm, inviting and, most importantly, comfortable.
To this end, flooring has a crucial role, and as a carpet flooring Dubai supplier, we have tips on choosing the perfect carpet for a mosque.

1. Decide on the Best Carpet Design for the Space

Design is one of the most important considerations when choosing a carpet for any space. Specifically, you need to consider whether the carpet’s color and pattern suit the area you’ll use it on. You want a carpet that ties in with the mosque’s whole aesthetic.

Popular colors include jade green, crimson, and turquoise blue, but a mosque carpet can be any color that complements the mosque’s interior design and architecture. Neutral colors (tan, beige, brown — i.e., the colors of sand) are also preferred.

Typically, more than one complementing or contrasting color comprises a mosque carpet’s color palette.

Tip: Dark colors are great for mosques. They are warm, somber, and thus particularly suitable for the purpose. They are also better at hiding stains and dirt than light-colored carpets.

Mosque carpets are also almost always patterned. Patterns vary, but they are almost always one of three types: geometric, arabesque, and calligraphic. The circle, repeated and combined in many different iterations, is a popular geometric design, while stylized or semi-abstract intertwined plants and flowers often comprise arabesque patterns. Islamic arches are also a popular carpet pattern.

Tip: If you are picking a carpet for a large open space, it’s a good idea to choose something lined or bordered. This pattern can help direct or focus the gaze on the space’s focal point – say, an important work of art at the other end of the room. You can also use it to emphasize the size of the room.

However, more than design, they serve the purpose of neatly organizing people into single rows. This is a good idea in mosques that can get particularly crowded during prayer times.

2. Choose the Right Carpet Type for Your Needs

Should you go for carpet tiles or wall-to-wall carpeting?

Wall-to-wall carpets are broadlooms or wide-width carpets. One wall-to-wall carpet can cover an entire room by itself, although in bigger areas like mosques, you probably require multiple pieces of wall-to-wall carpets to cover the floor completely.

Carpet tiles, meanwhile, are modular, square-shaped carpeting that you can put together to cover the entire floor. Each carpet square can measure from 48 cm x 48 cm to 96 cm x 96 cm, although they should be available at even smaller or larger tile sizes.

INSPIRATION

Wall-to-wall carpets are recommended for large-scale, unique, and complicated designs. Your wall-to-wall carpets Dubai supplier can supply custom-made rugs. This will guarantee your large-scale patterns are recreated exactly as you want them to look and placed precisely where you want them to appear. You may not have as much design leeway in carpet tiles because of their limited sizes.

However, carpet tiles are easier and less costly to install than wall-to-wall carpeting. They are also easier to replace. If one square wears out, you can replace that square without replacing everything. In wall-to-wall carpets, you will probably have to replace the entire roll of carpet if a place becomes significantly worn out.

Tip: If you have a complicated design, you need wall-to-wall carpeting. However, when it comes to ease of installation and maintenance, carpet tiles win over wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet tiles can be more practical, particularly in high-traffic areas like mosques.

To create complicated designs, you can always mix and match different designs of carpet tiles. For instance, you can mix solid or plain carpet tiles with patterned carpet squares to create more large-scale designs and patterns.

3. Know Your Carpet Material Options

Carpets can be natural or synthetic.

The most popular natural fibers include:

  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Silk

Synthetic fibers are a great alternative to natural-fiber carpets because they provide excellent value for money. Examples of synthetic fibers used in making carpets include:

  • Polypropylene or Olefin
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Acrylic

Natural-fiber carpets, particularly woolen carpets, are beautiful additions to any space. They can retain their color for a long time, depending on how they were treated. You can also easily refresh and plump up their fibers again, regardless of how much crushing they go through.

However, woolen carpets can be costly. Wool is also fodder for insects. Additionally, while humidity won’t damage wool fibers, humidity, in the long run, can make wool (and other natural fiber) carpets susceptible to mold growth.

For these reasons, synthetic-fiber carpets make great alternatives to natural-fiber flooring.

Nylon carpets are best for high-traffic areas like mosques. They are resistant to crushing, stains, and mildew. Polyester carpets, meanwhile, are more affordable than nylon carpets. However, they are not as durable.

INSPIRATION

Olefin carpets are also a great choice next to nylon when it comes to commercial applications.

Therefore, they can be a good choice for mosque carpeting. Acrylic carpets, meanwhile, are soft and feel like wool, but they are less durable than nylon and olefin for high-traffic applications.

Tip: Mosques are high-traffic areas. Therefore, you need a carpet that can withstand the pounding of so many feet and last a long time. Otherwise, your carpet will cost you a considerable amount in upkeep.

In this case, you can choose wool or nylon carpets. While wool is an excellent material, the more practical option is nylon. It is stain-, crushing- and mildew-resistant and can withstand high-traffic and variable climate conditions. Most of all, it is more affordable than wool.

Choosing a Carpet for a Mosque

When choosing a carpet for a mosque, you have to decide on the carpet’s design, type, and material. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your priorities, such as aesthetics, cost, design application, durability, and ease of installation and maintenance.

NGC Nafees is a supplier of commercial floorings, wall coverings, and fabrics in the UAE. Contact us for our recommendations on your mosque carpeting options.

The post- Covid challenges of FF&E procurement in hospitality design

Panel discussion held in the newly renovated Deira showroom of NGC Nafees

Presenting FF&E Talks in collaboration with NGC Nafees.

Adapting to change was one lesson learned by the hospitality design industry as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, those in charge of Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment ( FF&E) struggled to find solutions to problems they had never encountered before while working to meet their project deadlines due to furniture shipping being “delayed” or manufactured under “extended lead times.”

The panel discussion, titled “The post- Covid challenges of FF&E procurement in hospitality design”, explored whether procurement and design decisions now require more planning because of the increased lead times caused by labour shortages and raw material shortages.

It featured Kristina Zanic of Kristina Zanic Consultants, Roy Posey of Hirsch Bedner Associates, Dina Murali of DZ Design, Christian Merieau of MMAC Design Associates, Alika Watson of Mitchell & Eades ME and NGC’s managing director James Prathap as their host and moderated by Marina Mrdjen from Intelier.

The six-part “FF&E Design Talks with NGC Nafees” aims to bring together leading interior designers for discussions on the challenges, opportunities, and trends in FF&E design across hospitality, commercial, and residential sectors.

Kristina Zanic: The FF&E constitutes about 45% of the budget

FF&E services are a vital part of the hotel design process and have an enormous impact on the outcome. As Zanic explains, FF&E procurement accounts for most of a project’s budget.

“Many people think that it’s just the wall panelling or ceiling decor, but I would argue that the FF&E constitutes about 45% of the budget, whether it’s the furniture and accessories, carpet flooring, wallpapers and fabrics,” says Zanic.

As a team which prefers working with tactile objects, luxury textures, and fabrics, an immediate shift from physical to digital mood boards was one of the biggest challenges Kristina Zanic’s team faced during the Covid pandemic.

“We are heavily influenced by materiality in all of our designs, so producing physical mood boards with fabrics and finishes that people can touch and feel is an essential part of our design process,” she says. “When we were working together on the Red Sea project with Kengo Kuma and his team, we were presenting to the client during the actual lockdown so we had to sneak to the office to prepare and scan the actual materials that went into our 3D visuals. I remember that we had to prepare more than 30 mood boards so not being able to get those bespoke materials and samples from suppliers was a big issue.”

In addition, Zanic addressed material shortages and fabrics and carpets that have shorter life cycles on hospitality projects, which typically last between three to five years. “We are finding a lot of material reliability issues on longer projects as a result, which means respecifying and reevaluating our designs,” she adds.

Christian Merieau: The current global supply chain crisis further fuels the demand for local suppliers 

According to Merieau, before the Covid pandemic, the FF&E and procurement processes were “extremely comfortable”.

He comments: “You would just go to local suppliers and specify products for the rest of the world and we followed the same process regardless if the project was in Uganda or Nepal. The ongoing supply chain issues forced us to completely rethink how we worked and put a great deal more emphasis on the destination itself and working with local manufacturers and suppliers, whether they are in the UAE or overseas.”

In addition, Merieau emphasises the importance of involving early in the design process the procurement agents who are more familiar with the local capacities.

“We go all the way up to schematic design and then we ask the client to involve their procurement team or agency to manage their budget and ensure that everything can be delivered on time,” adds Merieau.

According to Merieau, many design studios are now diversifying from Chinese manufacturers due to shipping delays and the inability to review samples.

He says: “We previously used to go systematically to China for entry-level properties because it was simple and the factories were very competent, but the global supply chain crisis has further pushed for local manufacturing. Before the pandemic, we had already encountered some difficulties that were slowing down our processes, such as getting materials into China to make a chair. Due to the closed borders, it was almost impossible for us to review samples. Consequently, we now work more with Turkish suppliers who share the same values as us when it comes to quality and cost control.”

Dina Murali: Do local, buy local and be local

According to Dina Murali, specifying locally has given designers and suppliers an opportunity to improve. “This has also resulted in more sustainable choices,” she says.

“Even though we had a lot of backlogs and we have to redesign many of our projects due to supply chain issues, things are looking better now. We have greater resources; our supplier base has grown, and the local suppliers have improved their capabilities. So, yes I hope this trend of ‘do local, buy local and be local’ continues.”

In Murali’s view, even though hospitality designers aim to create timeless designs and designs for the future, they should still evaluate every design critically.

DZ Design’s design director comments: “We should reevaluate the designs that we have done at the end of the two-year period without thinking that this undermines what we have done previously. Social media exposure and progressive digitisation have made everything change in a matter of months so reevaluating what you have done is always a good idea.”

Roy Posey: Local craftsmen unable to cope with large quantities required for hotel properties

Posey and his team at HBA often have to come up with quick FF&E answers at the very end of the project lifecycle even when working on large hospitality projects, which usually take several years to design.

“As designers, we are all experiencing the same supply chain issues and extended lead times at the moment. Clients and developers now have a greater understanding of realistic options. In the past, we were pressured to meet their exact expectations, but now they’re more open to different approaches,” he says.

Looking back at one of HBA’s major hotel refurbishment projects during the pandemic, Posey says they were forced to compromise, not only on the overall design but the quality of materials.

In addition, local craftsmen were unable to cope with the capacity and large quantities required for hotel properties, despite producing high-quality work.

“The construction quickly continued but there was massive pressure on designers after the lockdown because the right solutions were simply not there. While supply chain issues will always affect the way designers work, the outcome will always be beautiful since that is what we are paid to do. But sometimes, this isn’t the original vision you had,” Posey concludes.

Alika Watson: Re-selecting products and finishes strains smaller design studios and their resources

Re-selecting products and specifying finishes are time-consuming tasks for smaller design studios, adding considerable strain to their resources and manpower.

“Whenever you’ve shifted resources to a new project or any stage of the project, finding the time to sit down and reselect things can cause some bottlenecks, but it’s something you have to deal with through variation. Even though you can be as prepared as you like, there’s always going to be something that’s a little different from your previous experiences. It definitely puts a lot of pressure on manpower, but the end result is worth it,” says Watson.

Additionally, with F&B projects, unlike hospitality projects with long design phases, the procurement process and timelines are more challenging because you are “hitting the ground running,” as Watson puts it.

Mitchell & Eades’ design director in the Middle East further explains: “Often you might be midway through the design when the construction is starting so you have fewer options when facing shipping delays or extended lead times. Or we’re developing a project and the client leaves the FF&E till the last minute and that can be an absolute nightmare because of stock availability or discontinued products. I think it’s important if you can be involved in the post-contract side so that you’re not just handing over your design but you continue the responsibility through the construction development.”

Murtaza Kagalwala, CEO of NGC Nafees, and James Prathap, managing director, concluded the panel discussion by welcoming the panellists to their newly renovated showroom in Deira and discussing their approaches to the current FF&E procurement issues.

“As a leading provider of high-quality wall coverings, fabrics, and commercial flooring, we have further strengthened our suppliers’ network and increased the overall stock availability so that we can meet market demands,” explains Prathap.

During the pandemic, NGC also developed an interactive website with an extensive digital material library, featuring more than 17,000 products across all categories.

“Our clients and designers can now search products by brand or even colour. The ‘add to favourites’ feature allows them to shortlist and order physical samples easily. As a company, we pride ourselves on delivering samples on the same day or within 24 hours at the latest,” adds Kagalwala.

In the next month’s FF&E panel talks with NGC Nafees, some of the most prominent commercial designers will discuss noise pollution in office environments.

Foresti and Chanan Collection: Our Dreamiest Fabrics, Curtains and Wallpapers Yet

A lush, cool gray carpet, an ottoman dressed in plush blue velvet and, set by the warm white wall, dark navy and metallic gray curtains layered with sheer white drapery — doesn’t this conjure the image of a modern, elegant bedroom? Indeed, the color, pattern and texture of fabrics will define a space. So, be bold, and use fabrics that will bring to life your unique aesthetic.

NGC Nafees is the interior design professionals’ go-to provider of residential and commercial wallpapers and wall coverings, floorings, curtains, and upholstery fabrics. We bring together under one roof decades of experience and more than 50 trusted interior furnishing brands.

We continue to grow our portfolio of notable collections. Joining our family of interior furnishing brands are Foresti and Chanan Designs. Both offer innovative concepts in fabrics, draperies, and other products that will breathe life into your interior design.

Foresti

Established in 1964, Foresti has always had one driving ambition and an abiding obsession: to become the hallmark of sophistication and innovation in fabrics, curtains, wallpapers and other interior furnishings.

The brand has its roots as a traditional maker of Italian lampas, damasks and brocades. However, its pursuit of excellence has driven it to evolve and experiment with various colors, prints, textures and styles.

Foresti’s fabric collection includes silk, velvet (e.g., Trilogy), linen, cotton, and wool. Styles range from classics like Rialto and Canal Grande, and contemporary designs like Maxxi, Sole, Luna and Morgana. For those who require them, Foresti also has printed, outdoor, easy-clean, plain and textured plain (e.g., City Life) fabrics.

Complementing Foresti’s fabrics are its collection of white and natural transparencies (e.g., Arianna) for home drapery applications.

Foresti conducts its own design research to ensure yarn and design exclusivity. Its extensive collection of fabrics and draperies spans various styles. They have prints and embroideries, and they have classic, modern and contemporary styles.

Beauty, excellence, sophistication and innovation are a common theme across all Foresti collections, so whichever fabric you choose, you know it will elevate your interior design project.

Chanan

Chanan Designs is the brainchild of designer Canan Sönmez, who draws inspiration from the seasons. The brand’s fabrics will make you feel the vibrant warmth of spring, the melancholy of fall, or simply the passing of time.

Romance and whimsy are common threads that bind Chanan Designs’ decorative drapery collections, which include Spellbook, The Doors’ Story, Loves Me Loves Me Not and City of Trends.

The City of Trends line creates a ready palette of inspiration for trendy interior design projects. Its themes include Elite, Ethnic, Classic, Natural, Century, Metallic, Crazy, Innovative and Kids and Young.

The City of Trends makes choosing decorative fabrics easier for design professionals and do-it-yourselfers. A kid’s room instinctively calls for a Kids and Young theme, while somebody’s study probably calls for Classic or Elite.

Chanan Designs delivers gorgeous, decorative draperies. Sheer or opaque, printed or embroidered, vividly dyed or naturally colored — whatever it is you’re looking for in your curtains, you will probably find it at Chanan Designs.

The brand’s extensive drapery collections means a virtually endless range of decorative possibilities. However, the theming and classification makes matching drapery to interior design projects intuitive and relatively painless.

Explore the wide range of fabrics from Foresti and Chanan Designs.

Contact NGC Nafees for inquiries.
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TEL: +971 43087474

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5 Easy and Affordable Ways to Update Your Rental Property

As a landlord, spending more money on your rental property can be a difficult consideration since an additional investment could mean lower profits for the next few months.

However, making essential renovations to a rental property provides several benefits, so that in the end, the money you put into it will be worth your while.

When you update your rental home, you can attract better renters and reduce turnover eventually since appealing and problem-free property gets occupied faster and for longer.

You can also charge your new tenants higher fees when you renovate a rental property they want to move into.

Moreover, updating your rental home doesn’t mean putting all your money into this project. There are several ways you can upgrade your property without breaking the bank with cost-effective and appealing designer wallpaper, carpets, rugs, and fabrics.

Inexpensive, Stress-Free Ways to Upgrade Your Rental Home

When you’re ready to upgrade your rental home, consider these tips and tricks to renovate your property inexpensively and easily:

1. Use Wallpaper

Wallpaper is one of the best home improvement materials you can use for a rental property makeover.

Wallpapers are cost-effective and easy to install and remove. Moreover, there are various ways to use them to upgrade your rental home.

Aside from covering and updating walls, there are other ways to use rental-friendly wallpaper creatively to update the property. These include:

  • Creating an accent wall in the living room, kitchen, or bedroom.
  • Updating the cabinets, shelves, and drawers.
  • Using them as faux paneling or cladding.
  • Decorating the ceiling.
  • Wallpaper is a versatile product you can use to give your rental an elevated and appealing look.

    2. Enhance the Flooring

    If the floor is damaged and looks old and worn, consider replacing it.

    And if you want a floor covering material that is cost-effective and easy to install, opt for carpet tiles.

    Carpet tiles are durable, easy to repair and replace, and versatile. They can be installed in various creative ways as well.

    Additionally, carpets are low maintenance, giving your future tenants an easier time maintaining and cleaning them.

    Carpets are excellent flooring options since they are warm to the feet and comfortable to walk and sit on. They also reduce the risk of slips and falls, making them one of the safest floor covering materials around.

    Lastly, they are great investments for rental property renovations since they have soundproofing qualities, helping reduce the noise your tenants make and preventing them from disturbing other renters.

    3. Decorate With Rugs

    If you don’t need to replace your flooring or only want to cover some unsightly or damaged areas, you can use rugs to give your rental a more appealing look.

    Use vibrant and stylish area rugs to add color and cover unappealing parts of your floor. Whether you have ceramic tiles, hardwood, or vinyl flooring, these features are welcome additions to the living room and bedrooms and brighten the rental home overall.

    If you have neutral and low-pile carpets, you can use rugs to add color and texture to your flooring.

    Aside from elevating the look of your floors, rugs can make rooms warmer and cozier regardless of their size.

    4. Update Window Treatments

    If you provide curtains to the rental units, consider changing your current ones to give the home a new look.

    Replacing the old curtains with new ones is an easy way to upgrade a rental property and give it a fresh, modern feel your prospective tenants will love.

    Plain fabrics or those with simple patterns and classic colors are the best options for new curtains for your rental. They are the safest choices since some tenants may not be too keen on window treatments with vibrant hues and flashy designs.

    If you’re shopping for high-end fabrics in Dubai for curtains, ensure the ones you choose provide sufficient shade and privacy to the home. Examples of these textiles include linen, polyester, silk, and cotton.

    5. Improve Lighting

    Lighting can completely change the look and feel of a room. It can make it appear cool and modern or warm and rustic.

    Since lighting fixtures can dramatically enhance the look and feel of any space, it is a great idea to update them during your rental property renovations.

    The good news is there are many expensive lighting features you can get to update your rental home. These include lampshades, wireless lights, pendant kitchen lights, and accent lighting.

    Aside from changing the fixtures, replace the bulbs as well. Opt for LED bulbs since they are more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

    Don’t forget to enhance the natural lighting in all the rooms. Consider choosing light fabrics for curtains and draperies and keep them tied or pulled back during the day.

    Also, hang one or two inexpensive mirrors in each room to maximize the lighting.

    Upgrading your rental home doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. With the right supplies, tips, and tricks and a little creativity, you can make your property more appealing and comfortable for your future tenants.

    Renovating your rental property also ensures you’ll continue to have a reliable passive income generator for years to come.

    Visit our blog to get more ideas and tips about updating and improving residential properties.

More Than Window Treatments: 5 Creative Ways to Use Curtains in Your Home

Curtains are typically used to cover windows, but did you know that they can also add drama, softness, and movement to any given space?

Many homeowners and apartment dwellers find these fabric panels useful for enhancing indoor aesthetics. They also find them useful in saving space, getting shade from the sun, and enhancing privacy.

Want to know how you can maximize this material in your interior design? Below are five creative ways to use high-end fabric curtains you should definitely try:

1. Space Divider

If you live in a small house or apartment, you’ll want to maximize the use of space as much as possible. This may leave you hesitant to build more walls when dividing a room into two or more sections.

This is where curtains come to your rescue.

Probably the most helpful home improvement hack of all, using drapes to separate sections within a single area is a creative and practical alternative, especially for those renting studio-type apartments.

For this project, you’ll need custom-made drapery long enough to completely cover the space between the ceiling and the floor.

Choose a material that blocks enough light. We recommend using dimout fabric that reduces light transmission (versus blackout that blocks light 100 percent).

The design is up to you.

You can go with a neutral hue for an already-vibrant space. This is also ideal for people who prefer a subtle approach to this curtain hack.

Of course, if the space is relatively plain, you may want to add a splash of color using textile materials with more lively designs.

Either way, a dimout curtain divider should filter enough light, provide privacy, and define the room’s borders while helping you save space and cost.

2. Closet Cover

Curtains are excellent alternatives to closet doors, especially in tight and awkward areas.
Many interior designers use these fabric panels to hide unusually shaped storage, like those built into tight corners or curved walls. Moreover, this technique can be applied to several areas in the house:

Bathroom and Laundry Area

Shower curtains offer freedom of movement in the bathroom while maintaining privacy. However, those with a glass splash guard can also benefit from a drapery on the other side of the room without looking too shabby.

Plus, you can also hang drapes to keep your washing machine and other laundry implements out of sight when not in use. This is an excellent solution to your limited bathroom space woes.

Kitchen

Many houses use the space under the sink as storage for cleaning products and other materials. To conceal this area and still keep your cleaning tools easily accessible, you can create a small row of short curtains tailored to the height of your sink.

Bedroom

Walk-in closets add a luxurious element to a bedroom. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to have one built into their homes.

Whether you have limited space or don’t want to spend too much on home improvements, you can easily create your very own walk-in closet using curtains. All you need are rolling curtain tracks and drapes.

Run the fabric along one wall that separates a narrow area or small corner from the rest of the room. Then, hang your clothes on a rolling rack and chaise, bring them inside the concealed space, and voila! The perfect walk-in closet for your little bedroom.

3. Wall Cover

Many people are quite fond of using curtains to cover windows and storage spaces. However, only a few have discovered that they can also use fabrics to deal with irregularly shaped and less-than-appealing walls.

You can use drapes to create a visually appealing space, especially if you can’t commit to a wallpaper design or paint color or are not allowed to make changes to the structure.
Besides, curtains also make for a wonderful textural backdrop for vibrant art and furniture, creating a moody vibe to the room.

4. Canopy Bed Implement

Are you having difficulty falling asleep in your bedroom? Perhaps the space is not cozy enough or gets too much light because of an open floor plan?

Whatever the case, you can easily solve the issue with the help of curtains. All you need to do is create a canopy using these fabric panels around your sleeping area to keep the light away. You don’t have to buy a four-poster bed to achieve this either. Simply install a curtain track around your sleeping space and hang a blackout curtain to keep the light at bay.

5. Patio Shade

Drapes don’t have to be used inside the house. In fact, another exceedingly creative way of using these fabric panels is by shading your patio.

Depending on the patio design and your purpose for introducing drapery into the area, you can use blackout or sheer elongated curtains that can be tied back or spread out.

Some professionals and interior-design-savvy homeowners even use a combination of the two for a double-layered shade. This way, you can control the amount of light that enters and maintain your privacy in this outdoor space on your property.

Get Creative With Curtains

Curtains are among the most common elements in interior design. However, you can get creative with these fabrics and use them beyond window treatments.

Not sure how to match drapes with your home wallpaper?

Check out our Project Portfolio or visit our showroom to get helpful interior design ideas for your home.

NGC Nafees – Meet the sponsor for Commercial Interior Design Awards 2022

 

James Prathap is the general manager of NGC Nafees.

It wouldn’t be a Commercial Interior Design Awards without the support of our beloved sponsors.

Firms from the design industry are already pledging their valuable support to the 16th annual awards, which take place this year on 15 September 2022.

With the nominations coming in, we introduce our sponsor spokespeople for the 2022 awards – James Prathap, general manager of NGC Nafees.

 

Founded in 2006, NGC Nafees established itself as a leading provider of high-quality wall coverings, fabrics, and commercial flooring for residential and hospitality environments. From Missoni Home and Roberto Cavalli to York, Spradling and BLOQ, the company continues to offer the latest designs from leading European and American brands.

NGC Nafees is a category sponsor for the CID Awards 2022 and Prathap talks about what makes the company stand out from the rest…

Caustiously optimistic

With the iconic Marsa Al Arab hotel soon to be added to their project portfolio, Prathap shares NGC’s latest updates.

“It has been a great year for us, and we are very excited to announce that we have just been selected to supply the wall coverings for the guest rooms of Marsa Al Arab”.

 

NGC Nafees showroom in Dubai. Image supplied

As a result of our growing portfolio and expanding brands, we have completely refurbished and redesigned our showroom and head office in Dubai.

Keeping the overall user experience in mind, we designed our showroom so that designers and architects can easily access our brands, catalogs, and finishes.

During the past two years, we have been able to secure amazing and price-competitive brands, which were not yet represented in our region, such as carpet tiles from Suminoe Japan, Cormar from the UK, and BLOQ from the Netherlands.

Additionally, we now offer fabrics from Spradling, Spain, and Thibaut, America.

Largest digital library

During the pandemic, we also developed an interactive website with an extensive digital material library, featuring over 17,000 products across all categories. Our clients and designers can now search products by brand or even color.

The “add to favorites” feature allows them to shortlist and order physical samples easily. As a company, we pride ourselves on delivering samples in the same day or within 24 hours at the latest.

Top 4 Pet-Friendly Flooring Options for Your Furry Friends

When you’re choosing flooring materials for a home you’re having built or renovated, you need to consider different key factors. These include:

  • Durability and longevity of the material
  • Ease of installation
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Interior design style and theme

Additionally, you have to think about your family, your lifestyle, and the activities that will take place in your home.

And when you’re factoring in your family, you have to consider your pets, if you have any.

Fortunately, wall-to-wall carpets in Dubai and other flooring options can accommodate both the two-legged and four-legged members of your family. As such,, you won’t have a hard time finding the best one that would look great in your home and meet everyone’s requirements.

Best Carpets for Families With Pets

Although carpets may not be your first choice for flooring materials if you have dogs or cats (or both), they can be great options as long as you pick the right type.

As such, carpets should be one of your top options for your flooring material.

If you’re leaning towards carpets, below are the best types suitable for homes with pets:

● Nylon carpets

This carpet type is highly popular due to its durability and longevity. Its stain-resistant quality makes it an excellent choice for homes with furry family members.

Nylon carpets can resist soil, dirt, mildew, and pet odours. Their stain-blocking feature ensures they stay clean and can withstand the damage caused by heavy foot traffic and the wear and tear of your furry friends.

Nylon carpets are also easy to clean and maintain, even when your pets continuously make a mess on them.

● Wool carpets

If you want something elegant for your home, a wool carpet is a great option.

Wool carpets, such as ROLS Luna wool carpets, provide both humans and pets unmatched comfort and luxury. Moreover, you can have peace of mind that your furry friends are safe and healthy with this floor covering option.

Additionally, this carpet type is not prone to bacteria and dust mite growth. It does not release harmful emissions, making it a safer choice for senior canines and those with weak immune and respiratory systems.

Lastly, wool has a natural stain resistant property. Because of this, you can easily clean the mess your pets may leave on your carpet.

● Olefin carpets

Also known as polypropylene, olefin carpets have the look and feel of wool carpets.

Olefin carpets have shorter and denser fibres made of plastic, making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

This type of floor covering material can resist stains, soil, pilling, moisture, and mildew. It is also easy to clean and doesn’t fade quickly.

Because of these properties, olefin carpets can withstand the mess and wear and tear that your pets can constantly leave on your floor.

● Carpet tiles

The most significant benefits carpet tiles offer are that they are easy to install, remove, and replace. This means they are excellent options for your home when you have pets.

Carpet tiles provide all the advantages of conventional carpets but in a piece-by-piece layout. When your pet stains a tile heavily and it can’t be cleaned thoroughly, you can remove and replace it quickly.

Like wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles come in different materials, colours, and designs. As such, you have various options to choose from.

Other Pet-Friendly Flooring Options

Aside from carpets, there are other pet-friendly flooring options you can consider for your home. These include:

1. Vinyl

Vinyl is one of the most durable and long-lasting flooring materials on the market. This option is also waterproof and scratch-resistant, making them the perfect choice if you have playful dogs or cats that love to scratch surfaces.

Vinyl floors can withstand the wear and tear of heavy traffic of humans and pets. They are easy to clean and maintain as well.

This type of flooring material comes in different patterns and finishes, allowing you to find one that matches your preferences and home’s interior design.

2. Tiles

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are perfect for pet owners because they are highly durable that even sharp dog and cat claws can’t scratch and damage them.

Glazed ceramic tiles also resist stains and liquid penetration effectively. As such, they won’t get blemished or discoloured and damaged from water spills and pet urine.

Aside from glazed ceramic tiles, matte surface tiles are also good alternatives.

3. Bamboo

Lastly, engineered and solid bamboos are also pet-friendly floors since they are durable as well as moisture- and stain-resistant.

This flooring material is also easy to clean and maintain. You can wipe spills and any mess quickly from bamboo surfaces.

Since bamboo flooring is strand-woven, it is scratch-resistant. As such, it holds up best in homes with furry animals.

Carpets and pets go together, as long as you choose the right type. And even if you opt for other flooring materials, you can still cover them with rugs or carpet tiles to give your home texture and a touch of elegance.

Your carpets and rugs can make it more comfortable for you and your pets to walk, sit, lie, and play on.

Browse through our collection of wall-to-wall carpets and carpet tiles on our Floors page today.

How to Find the Perfect Carpet to Match Your Living Room Aesthetics

Should a carpet match the walls? Or perhaps it should emulate the fabrics used in the furniture and other interior design elements?

These are just a few questions you’ll need to answer to figure out what carpet flooring matches your living room aesthetics best.

Apart from style, pattern, fiber type, and quality, you must consider the color. This applies to area rugs, carpet tiles, and wall-to-wall carpets.

If you’re not sure how to start, we’ve compiled below a few tips and tricks you can use to choose the perfect >carpet flooring in Dubai.

1. Learn the basics.

Ideally, the carpet color should match the most significant parts of the room. In the case of your living room, this includes the couch, the walls, and window treatments.

Although using contrasting hues is the simplest way to prevent any space from looking monotonous, you can also experiment with various color combinations to achieve an aesthetically pleasing interior.

The task is easier for new homes because they are still bare. However, you can still choose a carpet that would work harmoniously with the rest of the living room, even if you’ve gathered up quite a few items after living in the place for a long time.

To start, you must first take note of the color of the furniture you have or are planning to buy. Then, proceed to the curtains and window treatments.

Only after considering these elements would you be able to select the best carpet color for the space.

2. Complement the walls.

As mentioned earlier, your carpet must also complement the walls to achieve a visually pleasing interior design.

Like the furniture, searching for the perfect carpet is much easier if you can adjust the wall color with new paint or home wallpaper in Dubai. This way, you’ll have a wider range of options than when you’re already stuck with an existing wall color.

Of course, you can always forgo repainting or wallpapering, so long as you take the time to ponder the best carpet color to coordinate with the walls.

If you’re unsure about the existing designs in the market, you can always have carpets custom made for your convenience. All you need to do is select a design, approve the layout, and wait for production and installation.

3. Consider the carpet location.

Carpets should also match the room they will be installed in, particularly how it’ll be used.

For high-traffic areas like the entryway or hallway, it’s best to opt for a darker hue since it can hide dirt better than lighter-hued ones. The same goes for common areas meant for entertaining guests.

Of course, if your living room is meant for your exclusive use and won’t be subjected to too much traffic, you can have a lighter-colored area rug for your comfort and relaxation.

Otherwise, some dark colors like deep brown can also come off as cozy, which could just be what your living room needs, especially if you have a fireplace.

If neither of these scenarios apply, carpets with a mid-tone might be your best bet.

Alternatively, you can pick out a striped or gradient piece that is eye-catching and practical at the same time. Just remember to take into account how it would look with your walls.

4. Go with neutral carpet colors if you’re unsure.

Neutral-colored carpets are the most popular choice because they support other elements in a room. With grey, white, or beige carpets, your furniture, window treatments, and even the walls could look more pleasing to the eyes.

Just remember to ease up on dark fabrics if you’re considering wall-to-wall carpets in Dubai. Too-dark floors can overpower a room, which is the one rule you should never break in interior design. It is also the main reason behind the subtle designs in most carpet floorings.

5. Showcase your personality.

Injecting your personality when designing your living room makes it more appealing not only for guests but, more importantly, for you. This is why you may want to set aside neutral carpet colors as a last resort option and prioritize designs that align with your interests.

Choose a carpet with a bit of pattern without being too flashy. The key is to find the balance between boldness and simplicity.

We suggest carpets with simple designs, like two-tone stripes, monochromatic swirls, and varying cuts and loops in certain places. Textured carpets could also work well.

You can also experiment with different patterns in the same color scheme for different rooms. Consider carpets with parallel lines on each side for more formal areas like the study room (or living rooms that double as home offices).

6. Consider your lifestyle.

Finally, you must think about your lifestyle when choosing a carpet color.

Besides your personality and how you intend to use the carpeted room, you must also consider the frequency of cleaning and maintenance needed for your carpet flooring.

For example, if you live in a busy household with pets, kids, and working parents, you might want to steer clear of plain white carpets that easily show dirt. The same goes with very dark colors, as they show more undesirable debris such as dust, lint, and animal hair.

Mid-tone carpets are the safest choice since they would be able to mask issues that too light or too dark colors couldn’t.

Match Your Carpet Perfectly

Carpets are irreplaceable when it comes to improving living room aesthetics. Although they don’t need to cover the entire floor, they still change the look of a place significantly.

Follow the tips provided here to match your carpet perfectly, and visit our website to get more inspiration on carpet flooring for every room in your home.