x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Designer Living: Light and space in Bassam Tamimi's London flat

Natural light and minimum clutter are priorities for a home, says the Iraqi designer, who furnishes homes throughout the UAE and Middle East.

Natural light is one of the most important design elements in his home, Tamimi says. Courtesy of Bassam Tamimi
Natural light is one of the most important design elements in his home, Tamimi says. Courtesy of Bassam Tamimi

Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

I have lived in Kensington, central London, for 11 years. It is a beautiful and green part of the city.

What made you choose the property?

A few factors, but most importantly, the location and natural light the flat receives. All the rooms have a westerly exposure. I also like the lift that has a typical 1930s character.

The street is tree-lined and fronted with gates that close at night, rendering it peaceful. In fact, it is one of the few streets in London with such gates. Along the opposite side of the street is a picturesque row of houses with white stucco facades, and Holland Park is a short stroll away.

What does your home say about you?

My home is extremely comfortable. I have reconfigured it to suit my lifestyle, which favours order and minimum clutter.

Is there anything you would change about it, or anything you wish you had done differently?

I would like to incorporate an ultra-modern galley kitchen into my flat, with glass walls and sliding doors to allow the passage of natural light.

What is the key to creating a happy home?

I think a home must always be truly representative of the person or people living there. As a designer, I spend a great amount of time with each client so that I understand their priorities, and incorporate their personalities into their homes.

Which items would no home of yours be without?

I tend to prioritise natural light and ample space.

Where do you like to shop for pieces for your home?

Much of my furniture is my own design, which is available to order, or custom pieces I commissioned in the same way that I commission pieces for the projects I work on. I also purchase unique pieces I find in antique shops.

Do you incorporate elements of your work into your home, or do you like to keep your domestic environment separate?

There will always be many elements of my work in my home because the two are very much entwined.

Are there any particular projects or products which you are especially proud of?

Each project triggers a very unique and enriching experience, and leaves me with fond memories.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on residential projects in London as well as in the Middle East and the UAE. I've also launched a new venture in which I source residential properties in various prestigious locations in London and furnish them for Middle Eastern buyers and investors.

What inspires your work?

I always find inspiration in books, fashion and film.

Who are your favourite designers?

I admire many contemporary designers, and I draw inspiration from iconic designers who are no longer with us like Jean-Michel Frank and Gio Ponti.

How would you describe your interior style?

My style draws inspiration from various cultures and time periods, and has a contemporary edge.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

I have been to many wonderful places in my life, but I would enjoy living in Rome for a while to absorb the history and surroundings.

How do you like to relax?

I like to spend time with family and friends.

What is the best way to simply and instantly update a room?

Accessories, cushions, throws, rugs and art can instantly update a room.