Tag Archives: living room

Furnish your house like a Pro!

Tips and tricks from someone who’s been there and done that.

As the Arab saying goes, “Ask the experienced rather than the learned”. Well, guess what? We happen to know someone who combines both learning and experience, and we did the asking for you as well!

Introducing Nivin Ashraf; a furniture and product designer, and a wife who has accurately picked each piece herself, for every corner of her home. We asked her for general furniture advice to give to girls going through the process of furnishing their homes, and here are some tips she gave;

Where to start

  • Always start looking for a dining room first. If you decide on a customized one, it is going to take the most out of all the furniture to get manufactured, especially if it’s classic.

Colors and Identity


  • Generally, try not to have an all-modern home; it screams “No Identity”. Add your personal touch around the house through stylish statement pieces. There should be at least ONE attractive piece of furniture in every room! It could be the bed in your bedroom, an iconic arm chair in the living room, a unique coffee table, or even dining chairs.
  • If you like colors, that’s cool; but be sure your house doesn’t end up looking like a rainbow or a child’s room. Express your love for colors in home accessories, cushions, or paintings. But stick to solid colors in the main furniture pieces like sofas. Think of it as a fun way to change colors every two years or so; replace the purple cushions with blue or orange ones for example. It wouldn’t be that easy if the sofa itself was red to begin with :)

Keep your eyes open ladies

  • Never buy from a furniture shop that you’ve never heard of, always always ask someone who has tried it before. Editor’s note: Always consult the reviews on Trustious ;)
  • For sofas, especially in living room; never buy the super soft kind, go for hard or medium because they do soften in a while. If you buy them soft to begin with, they flatten into a very thin no-support sheet.


  • For the Seat cushions, ask what material is used on the inside. A big NO to the “all-fiber” ones. The alternative would be foam (safeng) or a mixture of both. You can have full fiber in the throw cushions where you don’t apply much pressure.
  • When you hear the word MDF, be very alert. Try to avoid it in the main furniture pieces. Here’s why; MDF is processed wood made up of all leftover wood particles glued together. It gives you a very strong wooden board that’s super heavy! But, since it’s made of tiny particles; when you add knobs or drawer rails, the movement and pulling in and out will end up causing the nails to move around inside the wood and these glued particles to fall apart, leaving you with a big -unfixable- hole! It’s fine for flat surfaces like table tops, or in the kitchen but in parts where there are no attached knobs.

Shop-specific advice:

  • If you want durable furniture pieces like the ones in your parents’ house that lived as long as you; do not look for those in IKEA. They do have amazing accessories and lighting pieces but the actual furniture you can buy for your summer house or the kids’ room (which you’ll change in a few years anyway), not for your everyday use.
  • Did you know that Oriental Weavers can customize any rug you want, literally ANY design you can think of, any print, any color, any design, and all for the same cost?

Now, we know for a fact that Nivin has a unique taste in things, so we asked her about the shops she thinks are nice, distinctive and not “mainstream”. Here are her favorites;

Classic furniture: Fayek, Fayek Maison de Charme, SM Gallery and Omar (Zamalek)

Modern furniture: Eklego, Karavan Serai, Mit Rehan, &Cairo

Lighting: Lightology, Reflection, Rashdan Light shop, Spiridon & Maha El Ghabrawy (sold at Eklego).

Fabrics: Damask, Texmar, Moderna Kabbani, Omash, Tanis

Nivin says that shops for Home Accessories and Lighting are endless and it’s okay to buy from any shop anywhere as long as the pieces look good and intact and you like them. However, be patient with buying because the variety is huge and the prices as well. You don’t want to buy a piece and then find another one that you like more and is much cheaper!

Her final words are; do listen to your mum’s advice, she’s probably right about most things! But do think about and love every piece you buy, because you will live with it…probably forever!

Brought to you by Trustious.

Images are taken off Pinterest and are the editor’s choice