You don’t need to buy single-use plastic water bottles when you
have a stylish water filter in the kitchen. With a handy jug on the counter,
you can save money and the planet by filtering tap water for daily use in the
kettle or to cook. A slim jug will fit into the fridge door, or keep a stylish
one on the counter for room-temperature water or to use on the table during
As Dubai residents bid farewell to summer, returning to work and re-establishing routines, let’s talk about our homes and what they mean to us. Do you want your home to be a calm, peaceful sanctuary as you settle in? Do you ever feel like there is just stuff everywhere? Does the lack of space cause you anxiety? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t find that thing you need right now? Does the clutter drain your energy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can relate to how much our environment has an impact on us, physically and mentally. It is so important that weregularly address these areas of clutter regularly – otherwise, the daily stress and frustration will cause us to not fully love our homes. Our homes are our sanctuaries and thus need nurturing. Here, we describe some simple steps on how to create the desired calmness. Give it a go and feel the difference!
As a professional home organiser, I have the expertise to create calmness from chaos. It’s not always an easy process, but it is life-changing when you get it right. Having a home that works for you, meets your needs, and brings you joy is what we strive for. Having a vision for your personal space will help you make a powerful change. As for getting started? Follow my five-step S.P.A.C.E method to declutter, organise, and calm your home.
WATCH THE VIDEO: The S.P.A.C.E Method
1. See it all.
You need to see all the items that are in a space, and you need to see the area clear of all things. Starting with a good stocktake of all the things you own will help you process what is actually in the space. Take each item out of the cupboards, drawers, baskets, and closets. Find a large open area – like the bed, the floor, or a table – where you can put all the items so that you can see them.
Once you have emptied the identified space, look at it with fresh eyes. How can you maximise the use of the area? What spaces were not used before? What storage works well? What useful things do you not have? Keep the answers to these questions in your mind as you go through the process.
2. Put the items into categories.
This can be the challenging part for some people as it is natural to resist change and not want to let things go. When decluttering, you need to be brave and make quick decisions. You need to seriously ask yourself how much you need each item in your life, and whether it make a difference to your happiness if you didn’t have it. Keep those things that bring you joy and that you cherish. Once you have gone through all your items, you should have them grouped in the following categories: Keep, Donate, Dispose, or Sell.
Keep – These items are those you use regularly and need to have in your home. They should add value to your life and be a part of the vision you have for your home. ‘Keep’ items can be put into two subcategories: regular use and storage. You may not use some items right now, but you definitely need to keep them. Some examples of this category are seasonal clothing, travel items, seasonal decorations, and outdoor equipment.
Donate – These items are of good quality and can be used by others. Giving away an item can help you let go as it is easier when you know someone else will benefit from it more than you do. Be mindful about what you donate and make sure it is in a condition that you would like to receive it in – clean and well-presented. There are many local charities that will take donations.
Dispose – These items should be those that no longer serve any purpose and cannot be used by anybody else. Recycle as much of this as possible. Safely dispose of glass, electronics, and medical items.
Sell – Successfully selling items is not always an easy feat. You will need to list it, be patient, and be prepared for various offers. Local community groups are often the easiest way to advertise goods, as are online platforms. These products need to be in a good condition and have a market value to attract buyers.
3. Allocate storage areas.
Once you have gone through all your belongings and put them into the above four categories, you have completed the most difficult step. Now we focus on the items you have chosen to keep and how to store them. Firstly, group similar items together to get a better understanding of what storage areas you require. Categories may include frequently used items, extra stock, and items that need to be stored in the long term.
Next, look at the room and analyse it. Which is the most functional and practical place to put an item? Go through all the spaces and make sure you have allocated a location for all the items that are meant to be in this space. During this process, you may find that some objects don’t actually belong in that room, and it would make more sense to store them elsewhere. Remove them from the spaceimmediately so that you remain focused on the area at hand.
4. Contain your belongings.
Containing your belongings is the fun part! Think about what style you like and choose container colours that will match the existing colours in the space. The safest shades are white, black, grey, or natural tones as they can be used elsewhere if needed. You may have an accent colour in the room, which you could use for your storage containers to unify the look.
There are endless types of containers you can use from simple baskets to custom cabinetry. I recommend looking at what you already have in your home. Some containers might be moved around from different rooms. You can also repurpose furniture items to suit your new storage needs. For example, a bookshelf in the bedroom might now be better suited to the living room. You will be surprised at what you might find when having a good look around your entire home, checking how well each furniture item is being used. Baskets, drawers with dividers, plastic bags, hooks, hangers, and boxes are all examples of things we can use to streamline the storage of items and keep things in their place. The main goal with containing items is that they are easy to identify, easy to access, and easy to put back in their place after use.
5. Evaluate and enjoy!
This is the most rewarding part of the process. Once you have organised all the items into purposeful storage, use the space for a few days and tweak the area if you feel some things need moving around. Staying organised and maintaining your space is a constant task. You need to put things back where they belong in order to keep the space tidy and neat.
To create a stylish look that you love, choose some of your favourite items to display in the space. Examples could be photos, sentimental pieces, and artwork. Add plants to bring nature indoors and scented candles to appease the senses. These additional accents will complete the feeling of a calm and organised area that is clutter-free. Finally, it is time to enjoy your peaceful new space!
If you would like to know more about how to calm that clutter, visitFern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
With residents across Dubai returning home and gearing up for life as usual, let’s revisit the Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘declutter’: “to remove things that you do not use so that you have more space and can easily find things when you need them”, implying the main motivation for decluttering is that we can find things quickly when we need them and make more space. This is partly true, yes, but this definition does not reflect the impact of decluttering on a person’s lifestyle.
I believe that the main function of decluttering is something much more important. It changes the way you live in your home. By removing what you don’t need, you create space for calm and mindful living and make it a place you love to live in. According to Marie Kondo, decluttering only has an impact if it is all done at once – not throwing out one item a day and doing it gradually. And I have to agree with her. When you declutter an entire wardrobe or defined space in one session, you will see and feel its impact. You will feel lighter and feel a sense of relief, which is all you need to change your life from that point onwards.
Watch the Video: 6 Steps to Decluttering Your Home
How Do I Start?
No two people have the same clutter – what is clutter to me is not clutter to you. It is subjective. This is why there are no specific instructions about what to declutter. There are, however, steps to follow in order to guide you through the process of decluttering. After all, decluttering is the first step to starting a new lifestyle. Once you intentionally decide what you need to keep in your home to live your ideal life, you have established the path to clutter-free living.
Organising and storing your items is not going to change your life because you will constantly be tidying items that you do not need. Now you may ask: when does one organise and store their items? That step comes after decluttering. Your space can only be successfully organised if you have decluttered properly. This is why I have developed the following six specific steps to get you started correctly – and successfully!
1. Identify the Cluttered Space
The space you identify could be one of three things: a room, a smaller space, or a category of things. A room is the easiest thing to identify due to its physical boundary of walls. A room can also be the hardest thing to declutter as it can be large with various zones and many different items. Make sure to set aside at least four hours for a good declutter session to get the desired effect. A smaller space can include a closet, a nook, a bathroom cupboard, the bedside table, the kitchen drawers, or the fridge. These are spaces that keep the same sort of items performing one function together. These take less time, but are very rewarding as you can declutter it one session.
Decluttering by category refers to groups of items that could be in more than one place in the house. Examples include children’s toys, toiletries, cleaning products, or kitchen equipment. Often, this is a very efficient way to declutter as you are targeting all the items in that category at home. For example, you may have toys in more than one room, so you need to get all the toys out from all the rooms, declutter them, and then decide where they will go. It might be somewhere new that works better for the family. Cleaning products is another category that can be spread around the house – in the kitchen, bathrooms, or laundry area. When decluttering these areas, think of all the cleaning products in the house and do a stock take of all items to make sure you know exactly what you have in the house before you declutter.
2. Visualise the Space
Think of the details. How do you want the space to look and feel? What colours do you see? Is there a photo on Instagram or Pinterest that inspires you? Do you like neutral colours? Do you want that spa feel in your bathroom? Then think about why you want this feeling – really hone into your ultimate goal for your home and keep this in your mind throughout the process.
3. Start to Declutter
Take all items out of the space and spread them out on the floor or on a table. Pick up each item individually and ask yourself these few questions to determine where it needs to go:
Do you need it?
Does it add value to the life you want?
Does it belong to the vision of this space or should it go elsewhere in the home?
4. Sort Items Into Categories
Sort items into four storage boxes – Keep, Donate, Dispose, Recycle – while you are decluttering. Dedicate a space in the room to put the ‘Keep’ items. The rest of the items will go into the ‘Donate/Dispose/Recycle’ containers. Cardboard boxes or baskets are ideal, but make sure that they are clearly labeled and accessible nearby. You can use a marker on some tape or write directly on the boxes. Having these boxes at hand helps you make a decision quickly. You need to put the item in one of the three boxes if you are not keeping it.
It can also be motivating to have the ‘Donate’ box nearby in order to encourage you to get rid of items as you know someone else will make better use of it than you currently are. In the ‘Donate’ box, you might also identify some items you want to sell. You can address this at a later stage or have a separate box for sale items. It is time to give yourself a pat on the back when you have completed this step – it’s the most challenging part of the decluttering process. You may feel drained and exhausted as a result of all the decision-making, so take a well-deserved break as you only have two more steps to go.
5. Take Immediate Action
As soon as you have gone through all the items in the identified space, move the boxes out immediately. Take the recycling to the recycle depot or bin that day. For donations, do your research about where to take certain items. A professional organiser can help you with this, too. At this stage of the process, it is often easy to feel tired and unmotivated to carry on. Donating items is rewarding and will give you the motivation you need to keep going.
6. Give Yourself Some Love
Decluttering is no easy feat. People avoid it all the time as it is mentally draining and takes time. However, if you get it right and achieve your goal, decluttering can be life-changing. You’ll feel light and have a huge sense of achievement. You’ll also feel proud as throwing out items that once meant something to you is not easy. However, understanding that those items are no longer adding value to your life is even more important. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, put those feet up, and visualise the calm and peaceful space that is to come.
After decluttering, the next steps include allocating storage, organising the items, and beautifying the area. Not only can a professional organiser coach you through the decluttering process, but also provide you with their expert opinions on storage solutions and organisational methods that will calm and simplify your space. Make your home work for you already!
If you would like to know more about the art of decluttering, visit Fern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
All the Outdoor Furniture on Our Wish List Circa Now
Because decent weather is (nearly) in sight.
Living in a city where the hot desert climate is in effect for most of the year can have its ups and downs, but one of the many advantages? Being able to make use of your garden area to get a tan, hang out with friends and family, or simply unwind when the temperatures begin to cool off. Now, with summer coming to a close, you’ll get a chance to spend more time outdoors, making this the perfect time to rethink the aesthetics of your patio or garden. If you are contemplating a redesign in time for fall, you’re in luck. The Gaggler is here to help you turn your outdoor space into your own personal sanctuary with these furniture picks, each perfect for the upcoming cooler months.
Source: Danube Home
Danube Home Ashley 7-Seater Sofa Set in Grey
This selection from Danube Home displays the feel of sophistication and cosiness with ease. The dual-toned wicker frame and the beautiful upholstery work boasts unparalleled aesthetic and craftsmanship integrated into this outdoor piece. Comprising two two-seaters, a single seater, two corner tables, and a coffee table, it’s perfect for big groups that want to hang out and chat while basking in the outdoors. As an added bonus, the corner tables provide storage space, too.
Add a pop of colour to your outdoor space with this rattan stool from Homebox. The vibrant blue tone of this light, yet durable choice makes it a great accent piece that will complement any design theme. The glass top adds to its easy charm and, most importantly, takes zero effort to clean.
Take your siesta game to another level, courtesy of this gorgeous daybed from Rattan House. It is an upgraded version of a sun lounger that’s made with powder-coated aluminium with wooden finish, making it a classic piece that won’t compromise function. The light fabric of its cushions and drapes give it a clean, natural aesthetic perfect for the pool and garden area.
Hanging out with company is great, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a space reserved just for you. This hanging pod from Homeworks is the best choice when it comes to making the perfect scene for your well-deserved alone time. Laze around and take pleasure in the outdoors with a book and cup of coffee (or two) in this stylish and long-lasting outdoor chair.
If you’re big into camping and generally staying outdoors, you won’t go wrong with this beautiful gazebo from Home Centre. With its adjustable draping, you can set it up any way you want, depending on your style and lounging needs. The premium materials used in this outdoor fixture not only add to the style of your space, but also provide much-needed protection from the heat.
Kick back and free yourself from past exhaustion and future worries in this posh hammock from La Siesta. The lovely fabric comes in weather-proof material that will last you ages. Additionally, it’s 100% sturdy and built to fit up to two people comfortably! You can choose from three different colour assortments perfect for any style. For a bright and cheery look, we recommend the sea salt variant. And for a more classic and muted vibe? Opt for the almond alternative.
Car Trouble? These are the Top 10 Car Garages in Dubai
Let us lead the way.
While purchasing a car is simple, maintaining one is not. To extend the life of your vehicles, you must have regular maintenance performed on them. Each of us desires the highest quality services for our cars in order to prevent frequent breakdowns. Finding reliable auto repair shops that will treat our cars like their own, at a reasonable cost, is also rather difficult.
According to a recent survey, one car is owned by every two persons in Dubai, or 50% of the population. Even though there are plenty of public transportation options available, most in the UAE prefer to use their own cars. And owning your own car is undoubtedly convenient if you keep it in good condition. To prevent major issues, regular maintenance is necessary for automobiles. As the number of cars rises, so do the number of auto repair shops in Dubai.
Both the cost and quality of service must be taken into account when selecting an auto repair centre. In addition, narrowing down a single service provider to handle all of your car’s needs is also a hassle. After conducting thorough research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 car garages in Dubai that would be able to provide all required services and have the greatest teams of qualified specialists.
UNIQ Auto Spa
UNIQ Auto Spa
UNIQ Auto Spa is a leading car mechanic garage in Dubai, offering a highly equipped team of mechanics and technicians who take pride in delivering excellent services using cutting edge tools and technologies. They provide mechanical, body repair, car wrapping, ac service and repair, as well as the finest automotive polishing and detailing service. In addition, they deliver numerous other services with unrivaled workmanship, such as leather repairing and restoration, automotive repainting, sticky button cleaning & refurbishment, Gtechniq ceramic coating, and paint protection film installation. At Uniq Auto Spa, they believe that only the best will do for your car, offering total auto maintenance and repairs for all brands and models that are available in the region.
No matter what brand or model your automobile is, they are committed to going above and beyond to give you the best car care service. They provide all auto-related services under one roof. Their specialty lies in care, maintenance, and protection. With a team of more than 30 members, from mechanics to artists, and years of experience in the industry, you are guaranteed to receive service that is worth your money!
UNIQ Auto Spa, Warehouse #4, Galadari Complex – behind Gold & Diamond Park – Al Quoz Industrial Area 3 – Dubai, (054) 797-9680, uniqautospa.com
Carcility is a well-known facility for automobile services in Dubai. They are committed to provide their clients a hassle-free service at a reasonable cost. You can take your automobile there for servicing, rapid repair, parts recovery, and car washing all in one place. You can choose your car servicing hours with Carcility by making an online appointment in advance.
Radiant Car is another excellent location in Dubai for car recovery services. Since its founding in 1998, it has been loyally offering specialist repair and maintenance services to all of its clients. Radiant Car is renowned throughout Dubai for its best professional conduct and skilled, experienced experts that use specialised tools to repair your car. They offer a wide range of services, including denting and painting as well as repair and maintenance, transmission repair, electric and diagnosis, air conditioning, and services for your car’s spare components.
Since the last 40 years, Zone Auto Care has been offering its services in Dubai. It offers every type of service your car needs, from accident repairs to car detailing. This vehicle garage in Dubai is famed for its committed clientele and reasonable costs. It has branches in Sharjah, Dubai, and the Al Quoz Industrial Area.
The Service My Car centre is one of the best auto repair facilities in Dubai. The company was founded in 2019 and has since been offering its devoted consumers 24/7 authorised services. You only need to contact Service My Car if your vehicle requires annual maintenance, repairs, design work, or any other ancillary services. They will pick up your vehicle from your home, take care of the required work, and then return it to your door. They give various offers on all of your services at regular intervals.
Premier Car Care can be your next stop if you’re worried about enhancing the performance or appearance of your vehicle. They provide Dubai residents exceptionally high-quality care services that also boost performance. Premier Car Care offers a variety of denting and window-tinting services in addition to repair, maintenance, and air conditioning services. It also offers a number of environmentally friendly packages that can be used to swiftly and affordably customise and update your vehicle.
Z Degree is most popular for their tire replacement service. In addition, it offers services outside of their garage. They will come to you with all the necessary equipment once you simply phone them. The best part of having your automobile fixed in Z Degree is that you may switch your payments to low-rate easy installments options. Along with offering car maintenance services, they also sell high-quality tires that can be ordered online and fitted wherever you like. In Dubai alone, they operate at six branches.
Z degree, 4th Street – Al Quoz – Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, 800 933 4733, myzdegree.com
For more than 70 years, Open Bonnet has offered maintenance and garage services, earning the trust of its patrons. This shop offers a variety of repair services, battery support services, automobile inspection wash services, and air conditioning services. Additionally, Open Bonnet offers high-quality tires and other essential automotive accessories. Open Bonnet features a well-performing, round-the-clock hotline system. It is highly renowned for its fleet servicing solution, at-home services, and pre-purchase inspections that help you connect with your drivers, employees, and other relevant information.
One of the top garages in Dubai is GT Auto Centre. It offers different types of services, such as automobile detailing, body work, paint, dent removal, accident repair, refinishing, and car washing, among others. On request, it also offers a pre-service value so that the consumer can budget for his service fees ahead of time. The majority of insurance companies advise their clients to visit GT Auto Centre.
QuCars is a leading automotive repair and service facility for both small and large-scale automotive demands. It is situated in the heart of Dubai, and is a division of Golden Workshop, which was founded in 1980. They are well-known for providing services like insurance repairs, collision repairs, paint refinishing, and mechanical and electrical diagnosis. They are one of the experienced and trustworthy experts and service providers for auto maintenance. Their team of highly skilled professionals are equipped for maintaining commercial vehicles including vans, buses, trucks, bikes, etc.
Whether it’s vaccinations, annual exams, or one of those uh-oh moments when you need to see a vet ASAP, you’ll want to choose one who offers the best possible services. However, there are many options of vet clinics in Dubai – that’s why it can be hard to decide which one is best for your needs. We put together a list of the top veterinary practices around the city.
Founded in 1995, Modern Vet is one of the longest standing veterinary practices in the country. Modern Vet Hospital is the only multi-specialty, referral, 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital in Dubai with departments in Cardiology, Neurology, Orthopedics, and Soft Tissue. It also offers grooming and vet physiotherapy with the most sought-after vet physiotherapist in the UAE and has been featured in the media for several groundbreaking accomplishments. In 2021, Modern Vet was the brand behind two pioneering surgeries: a PDA heart surgery on a Pomeranian puppy and an advanced PRAA surgery on a 900-gram kitten. In both cases, the animals would not have survived without treatment. In May of 2021, a completely paralysed cat regained her ability to walk again by following the treatment plan created by Modern Vet’s Physiotherapist.
Modern Vet’s Downtown location is unique in its design by and of itself, with high-friction tiles so pets don’t slip and consultation tables that give clients the capacity to remain close to their pets during examinations and simple procedures. Planned with pets and humans in mind, the clinic is cosy, friendly, and very ‘sniffable’. They balance out their curated interior with a strong emphasis on technology and the latest in medical equipment. The goal? To improve the veterinary team, pet, and client experience in Dubai.
The most spacious Modern Vet Clinic can be found in JVC. The 200-square-metre practice is a full-service clinic offering everything from routine check-ups, spays, and neuters to more complicated orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. The team has over 275 years of combined expertise within the practice of veterinary medicine and is proud to have the most international team of veterinarians, nurses, and support staff in the country, so no matter where you may be from, you will find someone at Modern Vet who will understand your pet’s needs.
Modern Vet Clinic JLT is small, warm, and charming. The clinic exudes an intimate vibe, but most importantly, pets are allowed on the couch – which must be why they love it here! Clients are encouraged to relax and get comfortable so that all patients feel like they never left home. Another extra accent that makes Modern Vet JLT feel like home is the beverage station in the lobby stocked with tea and coffee for pet parents, and a “muzzle-level” treat bar for the pups, where they can pick out a snack after their visit.
City Vet has been performing quality basic veterinary services since 2012. It offers surgical and anesthetic services available to aid with surgeries, including emergency services. Their focus is mainly on dental health, neutering services, and routine check-ups. City Vet has locations on Al Wasl Road, in Mirdif, JVT, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Al Barsha, and Meydan. City Vet also houses an equine clinic located in Al Qudra.
Energetic Panacea Pet Clinic was established over 10 years ago, originally opening its doors as one of the first holistic veterinary practices in Dubai. Over time, they expanded into performing traditional veterinary services such as spays, neuters, and diagnostic procedures. This veterinary clinic is also one of the few in Dubai that offers a hydrotherapy pool for dogs needing an extra push when it comes to physiotherapy.
Energetic Panacea Veterinary Clinic, Villa 444, Jumeirah 2, Al Wasl Road , 04 344 7812,[email protected]
Zabeel Veterinary Hospital
Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is one of the few vet clinics in the country with the latest in diagnostic imaging such as MRI and CT. Their rooms are fully operational to house and work on most surgeries. Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is equipped to treat all kinds of animals including large, small, domestic, or wild animals.
Petzone came into our lives in 2009 and has achieved recognition from the community. It is a family-run clinic that treats domestic animals for the most part. Petzone is committed to the welfare of all animals and their services include dental hygiene, dermatology, radiology, ultrasounds, and basic surgeries. They also boast a huge retail section that you can check out while waiting for your turn.
One of the many perks of Pet Connection is the huge parking facility at the front end of the practice. Pet connection treats both exotic as well as domestic animals. Although it is not one of the older practices in Dubai, it does boast three consultation rooms, surgery, and recovery rooms, and an on-site laboratory.
Al Barsha Vet Clinic provides pet medical and sanitary services, its expert caregivers assuring your pet’s comfort. The clinic constantly encourages staff to learn new treatments for you and your pets, treating dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more.
Pawsitive Veterinary Clinic is a veterinary-owned and led clinic with state-of-the-art facilities, and offers 24-hour emergency veterinary care. The company offers a broad range of mainly small animal veterinary services – including both routine and advanced surgery – to meet all of a pet’s health and well-being needs (from microchipping and neutering to more complicated surgeries and leading-edge diagnostic technology).
British owned and managed, 2Feet4Paws opened its doors in Dubailand in 2015. It can provide you and your pet the full range of veterinary services for every stage of their life, from first-time vaccinations and early health checks to a lifetime of preventive care to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.
With state-of-the-art equipment and a full in-house laboratory, Vienna Vet offers a wide range of services from routine vaccinations and neutering to sophisticated medical treatments, dermatology, dentistry, oncology, and geriatric care. The surgeons here perform soft tissue orthopedic surgeries, too.
I’m sure you’ve heard of sustainable design, but do you know what it really means and how to achieve it in your space? There are many different aspects to consider when designing a sustainable interior, but once you nail these, you will have achieved an interior that’s healthier all around for you, your family, and the environment!
Sustainable design is essentially the inclusion of natural or untreated materials (think: bamboo, reclaimed bricks and woods, and organic fabrics such as cotton, linen, wool etc), along with the selection of furniture and finishes that have been manufactured by using sustainable practices. This includes taking into account the impact the manufacturing process has had on the environment and the lifespan of the product(s).
Why It Is Important
This approach inspires a wellness-based home design by improving indoor air quality and ensuring fewer emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the interior space which will lead to a holistically healthier space, aiding in improving the mental and physical health of the occupant. Harmful VOCs such as carbon dioxide and carcinogen formaldehyde are commonly found in finishes, furniture, and cabinetry.
Prolonged exposure to these harmful chemicals may result in many negative health issues, such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems, along with degrading cognitive performance (poor memory, concentration, etc). That is why it is so important to cleanse the air from these toxic chemicals and avoid the emission of their fumes in your home wherever possible. By creating a sustainable interior, you are not only improving your own health, but also contributing to a positive, long-term environmental impact by reducing waste – essentially lowering your own carbon footprint.
Cleanse the Air
Clean air is arguably one of the most important aspects of good health. Harmful toxins are frequently found in the home due to certain furniture and the use of household appliances such as gas ovens, heating, poor ventilation (exterior air entering and unable to escape), and household chemicals. Breathing in these fumes will cause headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation – to name a few symptoms – and so it’s important to rid the home of these toxins as efficiently as possible.
Plants are commonly praised for their ability to cleanse the air. Whilst this is true, certain plants are more effective at removing toxins than others. Plants such as peace lilies, devil’s ivy, and rubber plants do a great job of purifying the air and also enhance wellbeing-inspired interior by calming the mind due to the presence of nature. Materials such as cork can also help with toxin abortion by actively drawing the VOCs into fibres to wilt away instead of allowing them to freely flow in the air. Some useful tips to improve indoor air quality include:
1. Keep the air moving.
Ventilate the home as much as possible. Open doors and windows regularly, and let mother nature help blow out those harmful toxins, especially when cooking or cleaning.
2. Avoid including products in your home that are known to have a high VOC count.
This includes things such as furniture made by using particle board. The manufacturing of these types of products can be made using formaldehyde, which is highly toxic.
3. Avoid using harsh chemicals in the home.
Although chemicals such as bleach and ammonia are included in many products and commonly used in cleaning, the strong fumes they omit will linger in the air for a long time and can take over an hour or even days to fully expel! Try replacing it with organic products or solutions such as vinegar, lemon, or bicarbonate soda mix instead.
4. Use water-based paints if painting walls or furniture.
These paints are healthier for both the indoor air quality and the environment.
5. Where possible, use materials that are organic or reclaimed.
There will be no toxic chemicals present due to the nature of their fibres and how they’ve been finished, making them a healthy addition to your home.
The finishes used in many households are responsible for a significant amount of poor indoor air quality. When purchasing new furniture, installing permanent fixtures, or painting a surface, first think about the fumes they could omit. The traditional glues used when installing carpets contain toxic chemicals, which contaminate the air. Oil-based paints that contain Benzene and Xylene in their composition do the same. These harmful VOCs can cause potential health issues, so avoid them as much as possible.
Along with glues and paints, composite materials used in particle boards to make up furniture contain formaldehyde, which is an extremely toxic chemical. It can take up to five years (on average) for the fumes that are embedded within the material to fully dissipate. If you can’t avoid the use of particle boards in your home, make sure the material is sealed completely to avoid any leakage of the gases into your home.
Particle boards use glues with harmful toxins to stick the composite materials together. If you need to use them, make sure they are efficiently sealed to stop unwanted fumes from leaking out.
Use Sustainable Materials
When choosing soft furnishes such as bedding, throw cushions, rugs, curtains, and carpets, go for sustainable materials. Try organic fibres such as natural cotton, linen, cashmere, and wool. These materials are aesthetically pleasing and widely available. They’ve been found to exhibit health benefits, further surpassing their sustainable harvesting, such as hypoallergenic properties that allow for fewer asthmatic episodes and improved eyesight. Natural cotton can also relieve skin issues, such as psoriasis and general rashes.
Consider sourcing furniture made with hard sustainable materials such as fast-growing bamboo, rattan, untreated woods with FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council), natural stone, marble, and clay. These also offer great alternatives to floor and wall treatments.
But don’t forget that not all materials need to be organic in order to be sustainable. Reclaimed materials such as brick, wood, and reused fabrics – such as leather – are also considered sustainable. If any chemicals were used in their manufacturing, they will be long gone. Their reuse is also great for the environment! Repurposing materials ensure they will not unnecessarily end up in a landfill.
The Manufacturing Process
How was it made? What materials did they use? Were any of the components recycled? These are all questions that are asked when determining whether a product is sustainable. Also, consider what will happen to the product at the end of its life cycle. Can it be repurposed, recycled, or broken down and made into a completely new item? Failing these criteria, can the materials be returned to our natural ecosystem?
Making sure these important factors are adhered to ensures that the environment is not negatively affected, and landfills aren’t overwhelmed. A lot of people don’t realise what happens to items when they hit the landfill. Some items don’t just biodegrade over time; they can release toxic fumes as (and if) they decompose. Because of this, landfills are responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas production, making them a huge problem for environment sustainability and directly impacting global warming.
A great approach that sustainably conscious designers are adopting is called Cradle to Cradle (C2C) versus Cradle to Grave (C2G). C2C aims to replicate natural systems by focusing on products that can be recycled and upcycled and, failing that, are biodegradable – thus resulting in waste prevention.
When you think of your lounge, do you think of a space to unwind and relax in, a meeting place where you can entertain friends and family, or a vibrant area where your children can play? Furthermore, do you have an open-plan space where you would like to see more division so you can create a separate living area?
Lounge rooms have many different functions, depending on the occupant’s needs, but they have one function in common – they should act as a comfortable, inviting space where people want to spend their time. It must be a space that allows the occupant to feel at ease and fulfilled, yet calm in the surroundings. The good news is this can be easily achievable with the right placement of furniture, colour selections, and finishes! Here are some insider tips on how to create your own perfect, ambient living room for your home.
A Relaxed Scene
The first thing to do is to rid yourself of clutter! Put things away and be strict about it. Chuck things that are of no use. William Morris, a famous 19th century designer, is behind the famous quote that is still true today: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Make sure to have a clean space for a clean mind, so that you can truly relax. But keep the objects that you believe to be beautiful, as these are the items that will bring you visual joy.
The right ambience is important for a relaxed lounge setting. The texture is a vital element to consider. Materials such as wool, cashmere, and faux furs will instantly soften the space, making the area feel calm and serene. Along with materials, colour selection is always important. A combination of hues such as creams, beiges, taupes, and greys – or ‘greige’ – can be used as the main colour palette (and when used mindfully can add immediate warmth and a calming atmosphere). This base colour palette allows for the inclusion of colour in small doses without overwhelming the space and adding too much energy.
Everyone has their own emotional response to colour, brought on by individual experiences and memories. Try picking a couple of favourite colours and using them to add accents, such as cushions and throws, along with objects to add your own personal touch and individuality.
Another way to create a relaxed atmosphere is to add a touch of nature where possible. Position furniture for views of the garden, include plants in the area, or leave windows undressed for maximum nature views. Plants have been proven to calm the psyche and clear the mind, along with cleansing the interior air, so include them wherever possible!
An Entertainment Vibe
If you love to entertain in your lounge room, then you need a space that will invite guests in and enliven the mood of the area. For a lounge room that is used frequently for entertainment purposes, you’ll want to include ample seating that is either faced or angled towards each other – this will invite people in and encourage conversation. Try not to close off the living room furniture placement and ensure there is plenty of space for moving around to encourage a social environment. Leave the area free from obstruction to open the space for an easy conversation setting.
Don’t forget to add a vibrant selection of colours to the space! Reds and greens do a great job of encouraging conversation and setting a social scene. Red tones stimulate the brain and add excitement, whilst greens encourage emotion and communication. You may want to add a variety of colours with some complex hues to add a sense of allure to the space and keep the conversation flowing. Complex hues use a variation in texture and tone to keep the mind alert. This type of finish on colours is visually intriguing and will keep the mind focused.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to add colour in absolute abundance to achieve the desired effect. Soft furnishes such as cushions and throws, along with smaller objects, will also help deliver the desired environment. You can pair these brighter colours with natural materials, balancing the mood with texture – this will ensure that there isn’t too much energy included in the space.
Vibrant Family Area
Anyone wanting to achieve a comfortable, functional family area will need the right balance of shapes and colour. An obvious choice is to avoid sharp edges and breakable surfaces! Pick fabrics such as leather that are easy to clean and durable, or fabrics that have been treated with eco-friendly, non-toxic fabric protectors such as protectME. Try to avoid traditional fabric protectors, which can be packed with harmful VOCs – and don’t forget to choose colour selections that can withstand the occasional spill.
To add vibrancy to the space, the use of colour is as important as ever! Try using yellows and greens, along with blues, to liven up the area. They allude to nature (think: the sun, the sky, and green foliage) and are very therapeutic to have in your orbit, evoking feelings of freshness, health, and happiness. They also encourage good moods and cheerful energy, and actively reduce stress and agitation, leading to less commotion and an overall positive setting.
Lounge rooms can sometimes adjoin other functional spaces in the home, such as the dining or kitchen areas. In such cases, a purposeful division of space is necessary to create individual areas. The use of furniture placement is an effective way to do this. Placing a bookshelf or sideboard as a divider will instantly break up the space.
Another great way to create division is with the use of colour and/or texture. Paint walls with colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel (such as yellow and purple) or add definition with the use of tone. Go a good few shades darker or lighter than the main colour by adding grey or white to the existing colour as this will add depth to the hue and is instantly noticeable without creating a blatant contrast. Or try adding a bright colour to a wall that adjoins a neutrally painted wall. This approach will create an instant division, and the contradiction of colour will alert the mind to notice these are different areas.
You can create the same effect with the addition of wallpaper, used as a feature wall. Wallpaper is a great addition as it can add pattern and texture, as well as colour. It also comes in many different patterns and is an easy way to change the space instantly and economically.
With the 25-fil tariff on single-use plastic bags now in full effect across Dubai, many shoppers are suddenly more conscious of their everyday choices. Where exactly will my toothbrush end up? Is it time to do away with tampons and pads? And just how wasteful is my morning coffee routine? But don’t let such questions overwhelm you – the more you do, the better, but don’t try to change too much too quickly. The goal here is progress, not perfection. Here, we share 10 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste so that you can join the millions of people participating in the Plastic Free July global movement circa now.
Up to one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year around the world, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, making reusable grocery bags a no-brainer – especially with the new tariff in place. Keep a set of cloth bags in your car or by your front door so that you remember to bring them to the store with you.
Whether you’re ordering a drink at a restaurant or making yourself a cold beverage at home, single-use plastic straws are simply unnecessary. Looking to swap for a more sustainable alternative? Reusable straws are now available in stainless steel, silicone, and even glass to accommodate thicker beverages like smoothies or boba tea.
Reduce your consumption of single-use plastic water bottles by joining the Dubai Can movement, accessing drinking water at the many water stations installed across Dubai – Kite Beach, Zabeel Park, and Madinat Jumeirah included. Besides, glass and stainless steel water bottles are healthier options than plastic.
Considering there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050, the time to make your own snacks is now, especially as anything homemade will be healthier than their pre-packaged counterparts. A few easy-to-make snacks: applesauce, hummus, trail mix, granola bars, protein balls, and fruit smoothie popsicles.
Both nylon mesh and cloth bags are great for both produce shopping and storage, replacing single-use plastic bags. Yes, the latter (those thin and colourless bags dotted across the fruit and vegetable sections of supermarkets) are just as problematic – difficult to recycle, unlikely to be reused, and a huge contributor to litter.
Chewing gum is an environmental nightmare as it doesn’t decompose, so consider giving it up entirely. Most are made from inorganic polyisobutylene or polyvinyl acetate rubber bases, both of which are resistant to biological breakdown processes. Furthermore, gum can clog the digestive systems of birds, fish, and other small animals that may mistake it for food.
Not only are commercially made cleaning products housed in plastic containers, but they’re also riddled with chemicals. We suggest you go back to basics, making a DIY all-purpose cleaner that you can whip up in no time. All you’ll need is one part white vinegar, one part water, the rind of lemon, and some rosemary sprigs. Simply combine, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and let infuse for a week before using.
With the rise of waterless beauty, shower essentials like soap, shampoo, and conditioner are now available in solid bar form. They’re eco-friendly, devoid of plastic packaging, and a breeze to travel with (goodbye, spillage). Bonus: bars are cost-effective, typically lasting much longer than a bottle of liquid shampoo or conditioner.
Balloons may be considered a staple for special occasions, but they cannot be recycled and are surprisingly hazardous for wildlife. They can resemble jellyfish if they end up in the water – and therefore mistaken for food – thereby clogging the digestive tracts of some marine animals. Instead, opt for eco-friendly party supplies such as bamboo plates and biodegradable paper confetti.
Single-use menstrual products wreak havoc on marine environments. The solution? A reusable menstrual cup that, with proper care, can last up to six years. Other options include period pants (which can be put in the washing machine after use) and reusable tampon applicators by brands like Dame and Thinx.
4 Ways to Incorporate Well-Being into Your Kitchen
Yes, it can be a calming space.
When you picture a healthy kitchen, I bet you immediately think of fresh vegetables, clear water, and freshly baked goods. However, a healthy kitchen is not just about food. The overall appearance of your kitchen, ease of use, and accessibility of foodstuff also plays a huge part in the ‘health’ of your kitchen – and even your own well-being!
A kitchen’s main purpose is a function, but an aesthetically pleasing space will also calm the mind and encourage a good mood and positive attitude, resulting in healthier eating practices. Here are four ways to achieve that.
1. Harness the Power of Nature and Colour
Your kitchen needs to give off a clean, fresh, open vibe that will create a positive environment and put you in the right frame of mind for healthy eating, meal preparation, and planning. Where possible, allow as much natural sunlight into the space as you can. The sun is a natural mood-booster, and exposure to it is known to create a cheerful atmosphere by immediately improving our moods with the increased production of serotonin – one of our body’s feel-good hormones.
While the sun can’t be replicated, you can achieve similar results with artificial inclusions if exposure to natural sunlight isn’t possible. Try adding cool-white or daylight-coloured light globes and yellow hues to the space. The bright light effect and yellow tones will reference the sun, resulting in an uplifting and vibrant atmosphere. For optimal results, try adding white to add contrast or reflect yellow tones when trying to imitate natural light; this will make the yellow really stand out.
Allow much sunlight as possible to release natural endorphins.
Try adding yellow to reference the sun and improve the mood of the space.
Colour selection is just as important in a kitchen as it is in any area of the home. When creating a colour scheme that is going to encourage positive and healthy minds, bodies, and practices, the inclusion of colours connected to nature is an immediate choice. Being surrounded by nature has an immediate calming effect on us. This comes not just from the physical elements of nature, but also the use of colours, textures, and patterns that remind us of nature.
You could add touches of green to deliver a mood that is full of health and vitality. Green is a colour with many positive benefits, and the hue plays a significant role in improving our overall well-being and actually encourages us to breathe more deeply, allowing more oxygen into our lungs and thus improving our focus and concentration. You can either paint a wall, use the colour in your tile selection, or simply add green in the form of objects or indoor plants. If possible, you could also try adding a planter just outside the kitchen window for the same result. Simply viewing green and nature will immediately improve your mood and lower blood pressure.
Adding green to a kitchen immediately alludes to nature and calms the psyche.
Another good colour choice for kitchens is to choose hues within the neutral realm. Neutrals such as whites, cream, or beige will create a calm and balanced environment. These tones are also a great base for a space where numerous additional objects and colours will be added. Neutrals are unobtrusive hues that create a base by blending in and allowing for the addition of more bold colours without visually crowding the area. Try adding some natural textures and materials such as woodgrain, granite, or marble finishes to evoke feelings of wellness. This is will encourage the mind to make healthier behavioural choices.
Natural textures and materials also allude to nature, thereby calming and improving our mood.
2. Reduce Visual Clutter
You can’t possibly have a clear mind when it’s clouded with visual clutter. Reducing the clutter will help you to think freely and leave room for a positive outlook that will in turn encourage a healthier outlook on life – including what you put into your body. Studies have shown that clutter in your home can encourage you to overeat or choose unhealthy options.
This is why it’s imperative to rid the kitchen of unnecessary clutter! Simply having a clear space can also reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. You can do this by having a clear countertop that’s free of items that do not get used daily and keeping the area clean and tidy. Try to also introduce effective storage solutions for foodstuff and kitchen tools so that they can be efficiently stored, but also be within easy access when needed.
A cluttered kitchen will clutter the mind, leading to unhealthy habits.
A clutter-free kitchen with lots of storage behind a cupboard door encourages a free and open mind.
Organised storage will keep the kitchen tidy and allow for healthy options to be at hand.
3. Use Smart Appliances
The stress that comes with not having enough time to get everything done is a common modern-day complaint unfortunately – and kitchen appliances with SMART functions can help us to alleviate some of this stress. Programmable ovens and smaller appliances such as air fryers, slow cookers, multi-functional microwaves, and multi-cookers (such as Thermomix or The June Oven) are great assets in creating a healthy, efficient kitchen. A lot of appliances are now not only programmable, but also wifi-enabled when used with linked apps, allowing for healthy meals to be prepped and cooked automatically.
4. Adopt Healthy Habits
While not everyone can access SMART appliances or make big changes like painting their kitchen walls, everyone can adopt healthy habits to help them on their way to wellness! Simple things like having fruits and vegetables that are within eyeshot for a quick snack will promote healthy eating.
Furthermore, try to prep meals ahead of time so most of the hard work is done before the home gets busy. You could also try growing your own herbs in your kitchen. The AeroGarden, an in-home garden system, makes this easy with LED light technology. The smell and sight of fresh herbs will encourage feelings of wellness and motivate healthier eating habits.
More and more property owners are opting for wood flooring for their space – and understandably so. It’s timeless, easy to maintain, and exceptionally long-lasting. Moreover, the classic and versatile appeal that wood offers suits just about any design theme there is. On the hunt for the perfect flooring for your home or office? Here’s our edit of the top wood-flooring companies that will turn your design visions into reality.
Established in 2006 by Pauline Madani, Nordic Homeworx continues to deliver exceptionally engineered natural wood-flooring products and luxury vinyl tiles for both residential and commercial projects. This renowned Dubai-based company represents and supplies Kährs, one of the world’s biggest and oldest flooring brands originating in Sweden. As specialists in providing the highest quality flooring and installation services in the region, Nordic Homeworx puts emphasis on providing excellent care for its clients through the entire process, starting from conception to after-sales in the ensuing years. As for some of the most notable projects under its belt? The Expo 2020 Sweden Pavilion, IKEA Festival Plaza, and The Mosque of Light (amongst others).
Debuting under the name Build Arch Building Materials Trading, the brand has accomplished a full rebrand as Casamia with the goal of offering an improved concept for its growing clientele. To cater to its key clients, the company launched a concept store to showcase its store, brands, and products via a bespoke and immersive experience. The company’s wooden flooring projects in Dubai fall under a broad range of sectors such as residential, commercial, and hospitality.
Woodfloors Middle East is the MENA region’s ultimate one-stop shop for the finest selection of flooring, furnishing, and interior decoration products. This award-winning company prides itself in its consistent record of providing state-of-the-art products and unparalleled services to its customers through an extensive brand catalogue that includes Hakwood, Boen, VerMeister, and more.
Woodfloors Middle East, A3 Al Ghurair Warehouse, Al Quoz 3, 04 338 6678, [email protected]
Founded in 2009, Floorworld has made its name as one of the largest suppliers of wood flooring in the Middle East. Together with its talented team, the brand gained market recognition by following its chief vision in resolutely providing quality products and excellent services for its clientele. Its extensive list of completed projects include residential locations, government establishments (such as the Dubai Police building), and businesses under the hospitality industry (such as Rixos The Palm Hotel & Suites).
Floors And Walls is a British-owned business that specialises in a wide range of flooring and decorative wall paint products. Starting as Blinds & Curtains back in 2013, the company has since expanded to bring forth a whole new division that focuses on floor and wall selections. It has over ten teams of expertly trained individuals who provide outstanding services to their residential and commercial clientele. It’s no surprise, then, that some of its most significant projects includes work for Tecom Group, Damac, and Address Hotels + Resorts.
Floors And Walls, Shop 8, Street 6, Alsayegh Building, Oud Metha, 04 234 9314, [email protected]