We caught up with Dania Shams from design firm Utopia Lifestyle, a company committed to a variety of design approaches in the worlds of architecture, interiors, urban design and landscaping.
Were you always interested in design?
Design has always been part of my life. I grew up in a household where mom was an interior designer, so our house was forever changing, and design fairs were a regular family outing.
What inspires you today?
The thing that inspires me the most when designing today is travel. The different cultures, including food colours and smells, resonate with me long after I’ve returned home, and I keep dipping back into that safe of memories for inspiration.
Where do you like to hang out in your spare time when you’re switching off and relaxing?
In my spare time, if there’s no beach around, I’m usually at the gym. I find a lot of solitude in being alone with my music, breaking a sweat.
Do you have any rules?
My only rule is to always try to do something different, and design as if I’m designing for Willy Wonka; the more magical the better.
Who are your favourite designers currently working in the industry?
My favorite designer currently is Francis Sultana. His interiors have a lot of breathing space, they have a lot of life and at the same time, they evoke a sense of calm.
From all of Anaiza’s nursery furniture pieces, which is your favourite and why?
My favorite piece from the Anaiza collection is the elephant cupboards (Jacinto).
What is the most exciting part about designing a nursery room?
The most exciting part of designing a nursery is that you can literally turn the room into a magical fairytale that, along with the excitement the parents have for a new room for a new family member, makes the entire experience that much more wonderous.
What is your favourite design shop/boutique in London or beyond?
In London, I’m coco for the Conran shop because you can literally find anything and everything you “need” yet never knew existed. But in general I’m a bigger fan of flea markets and street markets, I love the hunt behind the find.
What home trends do you predict for the coming months?
For home trends, I think the shades of grey are here to stay, although I think with it getting cooler out, the grey temperatures will get warmer.
What exciting new projects do you have on the horizon?
Right now the most exciting thing I have going on is my showroom and the opening of it in the autumn.