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Design Diary: Be Insta inspired

Live in style as Pratyush Sarup takes us into the world of interior design


Instagram is not just about duck face, champagne flutes and the It shoe. There are some serious design inspiration to be found, if only you can look beyond @kimkardashian.

Anyone who knows me knows I have separation anxiety if my smartphone is not within my reach. It’s not so much a need to be in touch (though emails are rarely ignored), I have a dependence on my Instagram feed. I find it amusing, hilarious and infinitely inspiring. Instagram is a wealth of discovery too. From the latest in design trends, to the newest products and hippest designers du jour, if you follow the right people, you too can find your inspiration. This is my edit of regional influencers I can’t do without.



The upcoming edition of Design Days Dubai will be the last to be informed by Cyril Zammit’s discerning eye. As Fair Director, he nurtured the fair, and indeed the regional design community — design lovers and professional alike — for the past five years. As Zammit sets his sight on new ventures in the region, I have no doubt his wider role will yet be in the benefit of our creative class. While his platform might change, his Instagram feed continues to reveal the most exciting designers, artists and trivia that you would find only if you dared to venture off the beaten track. That and some fun side notes into the life of a global ambassador of design.



175 posts (and counting) dedicated to the artistry of bouquet making. Since their first post in the July of 2015, Dubai based avant grade floral artists Volet have inundated my feed with the most romantic and nostalgic of floral arrangements. Located in the Al Wadi Building on Shaikh Zayed Road, this brainchild of Julia Volet and Tobias Gibreel has quietly started a movement of sorts, educating us on the most beautiful flowers from across the globe and refining our tastes when it comes to ‘How would you like your bouquet?’ Exuberant, relaxed and effortless, their posts are sure to inspire the florists in us.



With more than 36.6k followers, Linda Dekkers is arguably, one of the most influential interiors stylist in the region. As Instagram exploded in the region 2 years ago, so did Linda’s influence. The Dutch native’s distinct slant towards a minimal, Scandinavia aesthetic lent her a unique voice in the Middle East. Dekkers successfully parleyed her digital influence into lucrative endorsement deals and projects with new-gen European design brands looking for a relatable regional ambassador. Her carefully curated posts are a mix of her projects, what inspires her and snippets of family life. “Relatability is key to social media success,” she told me. “It is important that followers see you live the life you are promoting.”



Kathryn Hawkes is a self-described e-design enthusiast. The incurable decorator has accrued a loyal following thanks to her crisp take on interiors. Minimal and carefully styled, her posts are a reflection of the serial organiser in her. All accessories are thoughtfully selected and presented in a decluttered manner. Mostly in white, with a hint of pale blues and greys, her posts celebrate the beauty of foliage, often flexing their decorative muscle thorough measured use as accessories or even tabletop and festive decorations. On her blog, Hawkes presents detailed case studies and features on the tricks of her trade, often offering that gentle nudge to DIY. Staple to her feed are mood boards. Painstakingly laid out, they present an entire gamut of inspiration in one neat post.



From their Al Serkal outpost, the good people behind Inked, founders Kenza and Patrick Jarjour, and chef Hadrien Villedieu have created Dubai’s most exclusive food movement. Inked is best described as a food innovation led bespoke event venue where pop-up dinners, food masterclasses and team-building come together around a stunningly styled communal table. Bound by their mutual love, and indeed, training in hospitality and food, the trio serve one stunning looking dish after another, all while working with classical cooking references and not so traditional decor ideas. Their Instagram feed is a food bloggers delight. You might not be able to cook like Chef Villedieu, but if you spend enough time studying their posts, you sure can aspire to style your dinners better.