Designer Rania Hamed: Every project I undertake has its own unique concept

Rania Hamed, the Egyptian interior design architect, with award-winning projects, is the descendant of a family that worked in textile and fashion design, the field she first entered, before deciding to join the world of interior architecture , which contributed to the Dubai real estate market designs that give importance to context and reflect in-depth research. “I grew up in a house full of antiques and old furniture. I always valued and looked after these “antiques”, Rania says to “my lady”, focusing on her childhood, and how it influenced the paths she later took while talking about her company, and the role of interior design in improving the way we live.

Designed by Rania Hamed

When I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Interior Architecture, I was married and the mother of two young sons

You started your career in the world of fashion marketing; Tell us more about this phase of your life, knowing that your family has always made textiles?

I grew up in a family where brands like: Alaïa, Thierry Mugler and Lanvin were household names. My grandparents worked in the textile and fashion industry, and they dressed King Farouk, Umm Kulthum, Omar Sharif and other celebrities in Egypt. and the Arab world. At the age of six, the places to go out and play were Kerdasa (located in the northwest of Giza Governorate, and it has been linked to the textile and clothing industry for decades) and Khan al-Khalili, where I used to make textiles visited , leather and metal factories with my mother, as my family had its own brand that produced clothes, accessories and shoes. As a child I often witnessed many hours of discussions about textures, materials, proportions and designs. As I grew older, I became more interested in the background of fashion and the ingredients responsible for bringing it to life. So, I studied Marketing, majoring in Fashion Merchandise Marketing, at Parsons School of Design, New York. Then I set up my own business in Cairo where at the time I did visual merchandising for most of the big fashion houses in Egypt.

How did this stage affect your life, your work in the field of interior design later?

This period of my life enriched my background in textures and proportions and made me more sensitive to color, which I believe is the key to the world of interior design. I also learned the importance of details, even the invisible ones, that can make or break a design, on the contrary.

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Design is a talent

(Photo courtesy of designer Rania Hamed. Photo: Keon Van Damme)

You studied interior design, at an advanced stage in your life. Is there a reason that prompted you to do this?

I think design is a talent; Any true designer can design any product, if he is driven by passion. In my practical career, my interest in design was not only limited to the field of fashion, as I grew up in a house full of antiques and old pieces of furniture. I appreciated this “antique” and tend to it. You could say it’s hereditary, more than a love for certain things. When I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Interior Architecture (my second university degree), I was married and the mother of two young sons. I knew how hard it was going to be, but in all honesty I had wonderful support from my husband and two children. It wasn’t easy spending all those evenings designing and drawing, and then making time for my family in the mornings.

Besides colors and textures, in what areas do the worlds of fashion and interior design converge?

The processes of fashion design and interior decoration are very similar, although in interior architecture there is a stronger interest in the balance between the different functions, proportions and contexts, while taking into account the elements of the built environment.

Current and future housing needs

(Photo courtesy of designer Rania Hamed. Photo: Keon Van Damme)

Among your projects, interior designs for apartments located within residential towers; Is it true what some designers say that the attractiveness of tower buildings is not reflected in the interior of the apartments in them?

We rethink the traditional interior layout of the place; In other words, the revitalization of space through new proposals that meet current and future housing needs. For example: the plans include how the user moves in the architectural space, asking simple questions about where to put his keys, hang his gym bag and store towels and sheets, in addition to giving great importance to the quality of light and the flow of materials with seamless details, walls and multifunctional furniture. There is also a focus on common spaces to make it look like a large living area shared by the residents, in a way that every inhabitant of the tower has a place to go when he leaves his apartment, whether for work, leisure, entertainment or a coffee.

You have moved between several cities, is there a particular place in which you find inspiration?

A designer’s creativity is influenced by everything around him. Design begins with a brief brief, with a problem requiring a solution that requires exploration and research.

How would you describe your design style?

The designer’s style depends on his discoveries and creations.. However, I don’t think I do the same thing throughout my career. I see style as an approach that is all about finishes, details and textures. The “minimalist” approach, far from affectation, for the interior spaces, with implementation according to different methods. Today’s interior design fuses the new with the old, the complex with the simple, with great attention to detail. Finishes, details and textures are out of the past, taking on a more modern look.

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Social media

(Photo courtesy of designer Rania Hamed. Photo: Keon Van Damme)

How do you see the world of interior design today?

The past decade has seen a huge leap in the field of interior design and fashion, fueled by people’s travel and social media. More people began to realize the need to design elegant homes, and fashionable clothes that fit their needs and desires. Through the influence of social media on events, people have come to the idea that design is not exclusive to big brands, on the other hand there are new artists who offer unusual options and styles.

What are your company’s current and future projects?

I am currently working with the team on various residential projects in Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Bay Island and Nareel Island in Abu Dhabi. Just to conclude, we believe that each project will win awards for its design concept, approach and uniqueness. In addition, we are finalizing several restaurants and a concept store in the area of ​​design for the increasingly ‘demanding’ F&B businesses and retail sectors. It should be noted that the company takes into account that the retail sector is not what it used to be and that the outlets must express a strong design concept. Thus, each project we undertake represents a unique concept, a different approach, and of course a comprehensive understanding of design, business plan, site and clients.

(Photo courtesy of designer Rania Hamed. Photo: Keon Van Damme)

My grandparents worked in the textile and fashion industry, and they dressed King Farouk, Umm Kulthum, Omar Sharif and other celebrities in Egypt and the Arab world.

Wholesale prices

Photography: Keon Van Damme

The VSHD company, founded by interior architect Rania Hamed, has been honored with a number of international awards… About the company, designer Rania Hamed tells “Madam” that it has “contributed many projects to the beautiful floor of Dubai. (Burj Residence, Jumeirah Residence, The Palm Residence, Al-Wasl Home), with modern aspirations, following the same trend in terms of the general appearance of the emirate and how it appears to people? And she adds, “More importantly , through VSHD I played a fundamental role in developing local brands and making them internationally recognized, through the concept of strong design and quality.” And the multiplicity of some projects, in this context, such as: The Warehouse Gym , winner of many international design awards, with press coverage from international magazines. and Zaaz, the Moroccan spa, in the heart of Jumeirah, which has gained international recognition for its updated Moroccan style. and Or igins in the Dubai International Financial Centre, offering a completely new approach to cafes in Dubai, similar to those in cities such as New York and London. And the Origami Sushi Restaurant in the Dubai Mall, whose design language is inspired by Japanese culture, especially its acceptance of imperfections and respect for the water cycle in the ecosystem. The Japanese design approach is able to find beauty in simplicity, nature, originality, and even imperfections.
The designer continues, saying, “It was only natural, and as a result of Dubai’s transformation into an international brand, that VSHD was chosen by an international client to design the family’s home at the Four Seasons mansion in Orlando, Florida design.”
Awards for VSHD projects include: Dezeen Design, Frame and IIDA, all of which focus on work of originality and excellence in the field of interior design and interior architecture of an international standard. According to the designer, the company continues to educate the community about the importance of design and its functionality, and how the latter can improve the way we live, not necessarily in an extravagant way, but in a quieter and more practical way of life.

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