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Rethink Interiors panel discussion at Dubai Design District explores the future of luxury design in post-COVID work-life spaces.

A panel of speakers led by Founder Intelier, Marina Mrdjen, explored the latest trends in luxury design and why original luxury products are the only way forward.

Dubai Design District (d3) continues leading the conversation on elevated design, as witnessed at its recent panel discussion. The district’s contemporary Colab Design Studio hosted an insightful expert-led discussion investigating the shifting landscape of luxury in home design and interior decoration in a post-COVID world.


The event was moderated by Founder and Strategic Director of Intelier, Marina Mrdjen, who tackled the question: “How to bring Luxury, Design and Style to your home?”. She was joined by panellists Omar Nakkash, Design Director of NAKKASH Design Studio, Mona Alameddine Zaiter, Business Director Middle East at Christopher Guy, and Salim Khoury, Regional Business Manager Middle East at Vitra.

The event covered a range of illuminating topics, starting with the top trends shaping luxury homes. Speakers discussed how strict lockdown measures during the pandemic forced individuals to re-evaluate their definition of luxury. Said Khoury, “People always tend to think of luxury as one element that’s very high material: marble backsplash; wonderful pieces of furniture. But I think nowadays, it encompasses a lot more. It encompasses comfort. It encompasses personal reflection in a space.”

In a striking change of tradition, the experts shared how their corporate customers were increasingly interested in making professional workspaces feel cosier and more personalised. The inevitable return to business offices has inspired management to inject elements of home into the work environment, encouraging discoveries made during work-from-home to become a part of corporate design. Such design requests demonstrate how employers are more interested in making their staff feel comfortable and productive at once.


pink interior with sofa, coffee table and chandelier rotated left


The audience had the opportunity to hear the three panellists defend the movement ‘buy less, buy luxury’. Khoury explained that original luxury design promises a history of careful consideration, creativity and durability that is not guaranteed in duplicated pieces. “When we talk about an original product, we are talking about a product that has never been seen before; has been thought of and meticulously elaborated on by a designer until it took a specific shape, a certain aesthetic, a certain material, and solved a solution that the market had a gap of.”

Addressing customer concerns of financial constraints, the speakers insisted that budget transparency with designers and consultants from the get-go allows for a more accommodating design process.  “Sometimes we can really ask the customer, ‘What solution do you want to get from this product?’. When the client shares the gap that was missing or the gap they are trying to solve, we can have a solution that can be higher or lower than his or her budget. This is where the conversation starts and where the solution is provided.”

Dubai Design District continues to play a pivotal role spearheading the conversation of thought-provoking and functional design across the region. The recent Rethink Interiors panel discussions hosted at Collab Design Studio demonstrates the future-mindedness of d3’s creative community and fosters a valuable space to sustain the exchange of insightful information constant and engaging.


About Dubai Design District

Dubai Design District (d3) is a global creative ecosystem dedicated to design, fashion, architecture, art and retail. In line with Dubai’s position as the leading business destination for the region and beyond, d3 is created as the first-of-its-kind creative ecosystem that enables people and businesses to grow and co-create, whilst simultaneously providing a strong platform for creativity. Strategically located in the heart of Dubai, d3 is one of the city’s lifestyle and business destinations that challenges thousands of people to rethink the regular.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the industry and a business-friendly framework, the community offers creative talent the tools to drive innovation that permeates through various areas of Dubai’s economy, further reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

d3 is a cutting-edge retail destination with over 40 retailers offering a variety of multi-brand boutiques, fashion brands, art galleries and showrooms. In addition, d3 is home to leading companies and talent including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers. The Design Quarter, the central component in the development of d3, features world-class offices, studios, showrooms and retail spaces spread across the district.


Some of the region’s most popular and sought-after events take place in d3 and attract international artists and audiences to cultural exhibitions and gatherings such as Dubai Design Week and Sole DXB. The destination also regularly hosts a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages.

d3 is also home to the cutting-edge business incubator – in5 – that aims to support the fashion and design industries by offering students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures. This ecosystem is further supported by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, the region’s only university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation.

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