Behind the keyhole: Arif by Design’s eclectic apartment in Dubai Marina

How interior designer Arif by Design crafted his home in Sulafa Tower, Dubai Marina using a collection of eclectic items from around the world

Arif Hussainy from Arif by Design has crafted an eclectic home in the Dubai Marina
Arif Hussainy from Arif by Design has crafted an eclectic home in the Dubai Marina

Interior designer Arif Hussainy from Arif by Design has lived in his 57th-floor apartment for 10 years. A reflection of his personal style, the apartment is decadent and creative. The designer’s home looks unrecognisable from its sister apartments in the same building, as the wooden floors, dark walls, and painted ceilings create an unusual, drama-filled look. We caught up with Arif to hear about how he curated his unique apartment.

The location

Having moved around a lot in Dubai, usually staying 2-3 years in each place, the Dubai Marina is the area that has had me staying the longest which is a testament to how much I love it. Situated on the 57th floor, the views are particularly spectacular. Another drawcard for me is the fact it’s so close to the beach.

Eclectic apartment in Dubai Marina
Each item has been carefully arranged to create a home that’s reflective of its vibrant owner

The style

It’s a fusion of styles, but I would label it as eclectic. It’s a melting pot of ethnic and modern items. A blend of borderline overkill but with laid-back tones. It’s balanced and harmonised with controlled clutter.

It took a while to build up the look, it was definitely a labour of love. The overall style is an amalgamation of the items I’ve collected on my travels over the last decade. Usually one procures items to fit the home, but since this collection has taken over 10 years, the collection plays a leading role.

Get the look     

So many pieces have come from all over the world, from Sudan, Brazil, Oman, Morocco, Prague, Paris, and South Africa. If you did want to achieve a similar look, I would advise you to experiment. Don’t go for what’s accepted or normal. Instead, you should work on finding your own niche. The home should reflect you, rather than an aspirational magazine cover.

For achieving a similar look I recommend living by the mantra: “more is more”. Don’t be afraid of using colour, but consider using dark walls for an unusual look. Using carbon coloured walls makes a room dramatic and helps to highlight the eclectic objects. Lastly, if you’ve got beautiful objects, display them don’t keep them hidden away.

Want more local home content? Take a peek inside Jo England’s boho villa, or nosey around interior designer Sopranda’s truly original apartment

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