Renovation Journey: Arabian Nights
At A Glance
• Nidhar Taib, 32, senior fire officer and Shariffah Raudha, 30, homemaker, and their two children Maryam, three, and Nafisah, eight months old
• Size: 93 sqm
• Location: Fajar Crescent
• Cost of Renovation: $35,000
• Cost of Furnishing: $20,000 - $25,000
• Interior Design Firm: Fatema Design Studio
• Interior Designer: Wan
When it comes to the honeymoon, most couples would pick pristine Maldives or posh Paris. But senior fire officer Nidhar Taib, 32, decided to follow his heart and brought his bride Shariffah Raudha, 30, backpacking through the Middle East. So when they received the keys to their new and first home, a four-room BTO flat in Fajar Crescent, the couple (who now have two daughters Maryam and Nafisah, aged three and eight months old, wanted that same spirit of adventure to endure in their living room. Qanvast sits down for a chat with the couple on their plush Persian carpet, and finds out how they did just that.
Qanvast: Why did you want a Mediterranean-style home?
Nidhar (N): For our honeymoon, Shariffah and I backpacked through the Middle East so it holds special meaning for us. We also like the architectural features of Middle Eastern culture such as the tiles and the wood carving - the same design elements you’d see in a mosque.
Qanvast: Why did you pick Fatema Design Studio for the job?
N: We wanted a Mediterranean vibe for our apartment, and after meeting a few interior designers recommended by Qanvast, we felt Fatema Design Studio with their niche in Modern Islamic designs was the only one to hit the spot. We liked their idea of having an decorative ceiling wood panel and mosaic wall art to create the Mediterranean influence.
Qanvast: Where did you source your Moroccan tiles from?
N: It was quite challenging. For our tile selection, Wan brought us to a few shops before we found the ones that we wanted. We finally found a store that carried all the ones that we needed, such as the white Moroccan style tiles with intricate carving patterns that you see in our kitchen.
Qanvast: Where did you purchase your furnitures from?
N: We shipped some of our furniture, like the lights and table, from Egypt. Although there were a few shops along Arab Street which sells Middle Eastern style lights, we felt they looked too ordinary. So we went online to source for more unique pieces achieve a more authentic Middle Eastern feel. We also lay Persian carpets around the home so that we can just sit or lie on the floor. Plus, it helps to enhance the Middle Eastern vibe, and save space.
Shariffah (S): A few of our furniture are from Commune – like the TV console. It was helpful of Wan to provide a colour guide for our furniture to complement the décor.
Qanvast: Why a sit-down-on-floor-style dining area?
N: It didn’t start out like that. We bought a dining set with table and chairs, but it just took up too much space. So we decided to switch to a low dining table which was how we mostly dined when we were in Saudi Arabia and Israel.
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