Matters of Space and Time

Updated: Aug 23

Are we ready for new-age, home-grown brands re-defining our spaces?

As the world markets continue to reset, travel is restricted, and life remains predominantly online, and most probably will be for most of 2021, we turn to our personal spaces to breathe new life into them.

With the current circumstances, we have almost entirely sought out experiences without having to go far from home.

"I have traveled so much in my life and will continue to do that, but what I have learned the most this year is how much I love to be home." - Diane Von Furstenberg

We devoted our delayed experiential spending on travel and other things, to improving experiences at home. Whether it is home furnishings, décor, or uber cool appliances, the focus has been to elevate and luxuriate our personal spaces. Many of us took to home improvements, DIY, Marie Kondo-ing, nurturing blooming gardens and creating home offices from scratch! The top motivator being “finally having the time.”

We got our hands dirty and we loved it!

In addition, many products turned to becoming services to bring the experience to our homes.

Here in the UAE specifically, salon and fully equipped spa services were set up at home. Virtual cooking classes and personal chefs set up three- course meals for family and friends right at home.

The bandwidth only keeps expanding. Not to mention the number of home businesses that grew. Necessity is the mother of all invention indeed.

As we pay more attention to our homes, to the spaces right under our noses, whether it’s a painting or a piece of art from one of our travels, an old frame or a unique piece from our local brand, we have always wanted our spaces to mean something, tell a story.

We tuned in and turned to the homegrown, in our backyards.

(Interiors and home featured above are of @mirinajariankhayat)

Jennifer Black made a natural shift from fashion to home at the end of 2019 when she launched Wear the House, which caught on quickly. A proud artisan who believes in uplifting your space and mood with quirky cushions, prints, tableware, and lots of colour, she started the concept from home. Interestingly, this season she started sourcing and producing locally. With shipping costs not being viable anymore, especially for entrepreneurs and independent enterprises, creators look at home ground as well. Jennifer says she surprised herself, because it was something she thought she couldn't do before.

"Personally I feel very inspired at home. I have everything around me and I don’t think my space is ever fully finished. We notice the things that we want to change around us and we are taking the time to make it better." - Jennifer Black

Maya Al Omary of Maison Mishmashi, creates because she believes in making beautiful things to spread joy. Fabrics are mixed and mastered (as she likes to call it) to create interesting pieces, that are undoubtedly conversation starters. The ethos of Maison Mishmashi is slow design, but the pace of life for Maya was anything but 'slow'. With the turn of events, Maya says her creativity took on a new meaning as she finds more inspiration in her home and studio with her favorite colors, photos, objects that bring back special memories, and her fabric-stash that makes her heart skip a beat everytime.

"Now more than ever, I am taking in 'my spaces'- my home and my studio, where I am generally surrounded by so many meaningful things, and my people, that create joy and remind me of what I love." - Maya Al Omary

Maya finds her customers are more emotional when they are choosing the combinations for their Queen Pouf Chairs and Cushions, or maybe it is not really ‘new’ but rather that she is more tuned in and enjoying the moment with them, now more than ever.

Flowers are a timeless way of elevating our mood and what's better than having them nurture our living and working spaces. Started in 2020 by Natalia Shustova, who is a stylist and fashion contributor, Gosha` is a truly artistic concept of avant garde creations of flowers and ceramics, inspired by poetry. Everlasting and fresh flowers arranged in the most unexpected way, it is named after and dedicated to the incredibly talented florist. The concept is beyond what meets the eye.

In 4 months of launching, it has seen radical growth, partnering with luxury brands Prada and Gucci as their regional floral provider.

Natalia believes it is beautiful to be a part of the various and intimate moments of people's lives everyday. What's more, the arrangements are sustainable as the fresh cuts that are left over are dried to make them everlasting.

“It’s proven that humans feel less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers.Flowers bring a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.” - Natalia Shustova as quoted to The National News

Time and space, the constructs of human perspective, have gained immense value, as they should.

The homeware and furniture market saw a global rise of 7-8% between Jan-March 2020 ( From last year, we have seen a rise in the homegrown segment, from fashion to home decor to gourmet, and it will only continue to grow as we (and not just millenials and Gen Z) look for meaning and purpose.

For luxury brands now seizing the homeware market, it may be a challenge to forge connections in the changing societal landscape where localisation has now become modus operandi.

With our priorities undergoing a radical reset, needs have preceded wants; creating time and curating spaces has become the highlight at the turn of the century.

Get to know more about the brands here!

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