DUBAI: Before the coronavirus pandemic hit early last spring, it used to be that our homes were a place where we spent only a portion of our lives. Much of the day was spent at the workplace, commuting, and indulging in our favorite outdoor activities and past-times such as going to the gym, out for dinner or watching a movie at the cinema.

Now, much of the world is working, socializing and exercising from our homes. So it makes sense that as we had to adjust the way we live, we are also adjusting the spaces we live in. To assist those looking to spruce up their living space, UAE-based Neeshay Nouman launched her very own interior designer company, The Niche Corner.

A former professor at the American University in Dubai, Nouman decided to switch career paths last year and pursue what she has always wanted to do.

For Nouman, her interest in interior design is “genetic,” she joked with Arab News.

“My mother and grandmother have always been very much into having a presentable home and I think I picked that up from them,” she explained. “We’ve moved around so much, so everywhere I go, I try and make that place as livable as possible, even though it might not be my permanent home. It just gives me this thrill to put together a design and make it come to life,” she added.

Before launching her own company, Nouman would dabble in interior design personally, helping out her family and friends. “But then I decided that I don’t want to waste anymore time,” she revealed. “If you know you’re good at something you should really pursue it, you should go with your gut feeling.”

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And that’s exactly what she did. Since launching The Niche Corner, the Abu Dhabi-based interior designer who hails from Sydney has gone on to work on a number of local projects, using her expertise to transform the homes of a number of clients looking to revamp their living spaces during lockdown.

Below, Nouman shares her expert tips for creating your dream home.

Invest in mirrors

“Irrespective of how modern or traditional your home is, one should look at investing in mirrors. It doesn’t even have to be a big investment, but mirrors on different walls add so much depth to your room and automatically elevate any space.”

Buy plants

“Faux or real plants are really important for any living space because they add this freshness that has the ability to instantly perk up the space. A burst of greenery can brighten your mood instantly.”

Lighting is key

“Great lighting doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to invest in huge, fancy chandeliers. Good lighting could be something as simple as earthy, fresh-scented candles on the coffee table or changing a lightbulb in the living room. The right lighting has the ability to totally change the mood and transform an entire room into something much softer or warmer.”

Don’t forget rugs

“If you don’t have a rug, get one. Nowadays, you’ve got so many options. You don’t have to spend thousands either. A lot of times, rugs can complete the living space.

Shop pre-loved 

“For those looking to save a few bucks, getting pre-loved furniture is quite trendy right now. There are a few good Facebook pages that people use to upload and sell their pre-used, high quality furniture. You can always paint it or have it sanded. You could give it a completely new look at a fraction of the price.”

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