x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Of water features, sofa covers and statement wallpaper

House doctor Soft furnishing solutions, oriental-design wallpaper and garden pebble varieties are among the design issues discussed by the doctor this time round.

Firstly, the best pebbles for a water feature should be polished so as not to attract algae or scratch the tiles. I would try The Stone Gallery in Al Quoz and Dubai Garden Centre. Otherwise look online, especially Décor Petal's website (@email:www.decorpebble.com.au) as they have a large selection of Indonesian, Himalayan, Indian, Balinese granites and quartzstone, among others.

As a matter of fact, I got my own loose covers done recently and the company is run by Mr Sujit (050 770 5492). He will come around to your home and give you an estimate. His team will then clean the covers in under an hour, depending on the size of the sofa(s). It takes about 24 hours to dry out but the service is effective and efficient.

Fabulous results can be achieved if you edit a room well, and the basis for Japanese style is based on a sense of calmness and symmetry. So, firstly, remove anything extraneous you may have in order to create the maximum effect. That may also mean furniture as well as accessories. Stick to a monochromatic colour scheme and think in terms of linear arrangements. For example, a line of black bowls up the middle of a long table or a three- dimensional artwork can look stunning. So does a large dish of floating candles on a low level coffee table. Add an overscaled item such as a vase of bamboo as a focus point and the result is a Zen like atmosphere. It's another instance of the less is more principle. The One also stocks many Japanese and oriental accessories, so I'd look there for inspiration as well as in Bois et Chiffons at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

Congratulations on taking the plunge - decorative wallpapering is really on trend these days. However, don't even think of wallpapering without the following basics: a pasting table, bucket and paste brush, stepladder, scissors, scalpel, seam roller, paperhanging brush, spirit level and pencil. It's really not a job for amateurs; even if you have a small wall, matching seams and patterns can be difficult. I'd enquire at Ace or from the retailer if they can recommend a professional team. Just make sure you clear the space and give them plenty of room to manoeuvre.

If you have any household queries, email @email:housedoctor@thenational.ae