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Why contemporary may be Dubai’s star interior style

  • July 9, 2022

Ever had that feeling that a certain kind of style was ‘too much’ – too cold and minimal, too bright or bold, too ruffled and that you wanted something in-between, something more balanced? In the design world, contemporary style formed a sort of answer to that issue.

How? Originating in the 1970s, Contemporary has also been called a ‘style chameleon’ – because it actually draws inspiration from various interior styles prominent from the decade onwards, but with a fundamental base. That base is a sleek, sculptural and clean look with an emphasis on open spaces, and a subtle sophistication.

However, the rest was flexible, and changed with the times. The variety of styles it can take inspiration from includes Modern – stark lines of concrete, glass and steel; Mid-Century Modern – minimal, sleek geometric furniture of moulded plastic, steel and glass originating in the 1950s; Art Deco – early 1900s decorative arts movement including streamlined, geometric and embellished designs; Futurism – think the clear-cut bold curves and non-patterned sculptural furniture inside a movie space hotel; Deconstructivism – shapes that are a bit dislodged from each other; Bohemian – a rustic, snug style.

Earlier, people used to very clearly identify what Indian architecture looked like or what the British architectural style looked like or Parisian, the Nordic style, or the Japanese style here. Now, we’re having a very Dubai style, and it’s becoming much more defined. One of the definitions is contemporary.

– Rincey Philip, founder of Rincey Philip interiors, Dubai-based interior decorating firm

Moreover, it is not a static style – it constantly changes and evolves, thus remaining ‘contemporary’. This means the contemporary 2000 style is vintage in comparison to Contemporary version 2022. In short, it is the ‘now’ of interiors.

Rincey Philip, founder of Rincey Philip interiors, Dubai-based interior

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