Design & Lifestyle Blog

26 Aug ’10

UPDKS : Post featured on “The Twitter Interiors Daily”

Filed under: UPDKS in the Media — Tags: , , — Sahar @ 10:57 am

The Blog is barely one week old and making the pages. Thank you  @MarkJohnsonFAIA.

The 10 Best of… Cigars

Filed under: The 10 Best of... — Tags: , — Sahar @ 12:43 am

” A good cigar is as great a comfort to a man as a good cry to a woman”

Edward G. Bulwer- Lytton

When mentioning life indulgences, cigars make it in the top 10 to most connoisseurs. Personally I am totally against smoking ,  a small bowl of chocolate chips and a large mug of peach falvored black tea would make me feel in heaven anytime. However the history and the details pertaining to cigars and their making never seizes to amaze me, its why I will be kicking off my ” 10 Best of…” section with the top 10 cigars.

Authors of ” The Cigar Connoisseur” have come up with a top ten list  starting with the worldwide most popular, Cohiba.

1- Cohiba

Origin: Cuba

Cohiba cigars were introduced in 1968 and became the symbol of Cuban cigars. It was marketed heavily in 1982. The initial sizes were the Lancero, the Corona Especiale, the Panetela, and in 1989 they added the Esplendido, Robusto, and Exquisito.

Cohíba was originally a private brand supplied exclusively to Fidel Castro and high-level officials in the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban Government.

2- Trinidad

Origin: Cuba

Trinidad was not marketed until 1998, but was already well known  to connoisseurs everywhere because of a variation of it available in 1969. Trinidad had been produced for Fidel Castro himself.

3- Arturo Fuente Opus X series

Origin:  Dominican Republic

The Fuente family has been making these cigars for 3 generations, the Opus X is conseidered one of their best among others.

4- Montecristo

Origin: Cuba

Montecristo started in 1935 named after the famous novel ” The Count of Montecristo”. It is known for the tangy taste, and superb aroma.

5- Sancho Panza

Origin: Cuba

This is a very poplar cigar in Spain thus the reason behind its name which is after the character in the famous Spanish novel Don Quixote. These are usually recommended to beginners or daytime cigar smokers.


25 Aug ’10

Fashion takes over Interiors | Armani & Missoni

Filed under: Designer Interiors — Tags: , , , — Sahar @ 12:33 am

In the past decade the rise of interest in designer fashion brands has had its dramatic impact on the furniture and interior design world.  Fashion houses are no longer exclusive to "certain" clients, but have stretched out through numerous marketing strategies and social media methods to a large niche of people ranging from those who can just afford to "stare" to  those who consider designer brands as their daily bread.



Giorgio Armani has been one of the pioneers, entering the furniture world almost 10 years ago with his Armani Casa line.  His minimalist style in fashion is reflected in the clean lines of his furniture and simple fabric patterns. He relies on the use of high quality and luxurious materials such as Ebony wood, mother of pearl, silk fabrics and the likes. His Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa of Dubai has caused an international stir. The hotel has 160 guestrooms and suites, 8 restaurants, retail and Spa areas spread out on 6 floors. This step is the paving way for a number of future hotels and resorts scheduled to open in Marrakesh and  Egypt, with future plans for New York, London, & Paris. Armani designed private homes as well in Saint Tropez, Moscow, Singapore, and London. The next Armani hotel will open in Milan in 2011. The price per night for a classic studio is 2000 AED and for signature suite 8000 AED.



To compliment his furniture line, Giorgio Armani created a kitchen line produced by Molteni’s Dada SpA under license and a home fabric line by Rubelli SpA which already does the fabric for his furniture.

Personally I can not mention Armani Casa and just overlook the Armani Dolci collection, well known and very well appreciated in Kuwait for their amazing chocolate, jams, and tea, a perfect gift for any occasion (wink , wink). Moreover their Armani Fiori collection is nothing but great taste in a simple presentation of floral arrangements and vases.


23 Aug ’10

Ground Zero Mosque to be the First LEED certified Mosque in the U.S.

Filed under: Architecture,Environment,LEED — Tags: , , , , — Sahar @ 11:19 pm


The “Ground Zero Mosque” and community center has been one of the hottest topics lately to the extent of taking over the devastating news of the floods in Pakistan. This is a clear indication of the rise of hate and fear that has conquered over many Americans in particular after the propaganda against Islamists in the past few years. Putting this topic out of political context , the latest news is that the project developers are planning to go green and achieve LEED certification. This is remarkable news in many ways. For those not familiar with the term LEED, it is "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design", according to Wikipedia it is " an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."

A report on the by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, indicates that the developers of Park51 , the Islamic cultural and community center, are serious about going green and achieving the LEED certification. An architectural bureau has not been assigned for the mission yet, but if they abide by what they promise, this will be the first LEED certified mosque in the U.S.


Pizza Anyone? | Restaurant Design

Filed under: Restaurants — Tags: , , , , , — Sahar @ 3:40 pm


The initial idea for this post was actually making the pizza itself, but it got me wondering about the fast growing and internationally welcomed concept of pizzerias. We can see well around us the growth pizza parlor concepts  many of them replicate the Italian authentic pizzerias.


A traditional pizzeria should have the wood-fired oven, its mere existence in the place gives the feeling of security, that the owners know what they are doing. A perfect example in Kuwait is Pizza Rustica located in Avenues. Not only is their food amazing, the feeling of the space is just right. The colors, the flashy display of the wood fired ovens is just perfect.



22 Aug ’10

Carrie’s Apartment in Sex & the City

Filed under: Furniture — Tags: , , , — Sahar @ 3:04 pm


Most people don’t take the time or effort to know what really is behind every great movie scene and what makes it authentic. The details that go into decorating such spaces is tremendous, one of the movies that was having most of the hype at the beginning of this summer was Sex and the City 2, and ofcourse many of us were waiting to see Carrie’s walk-in closet after marrying Big which is when she got her toy.

The designer behind that particular scene is Lydia Marks who made sure to include all details even to what magazines Carrie would read. The furniture of the apartment from the first movie weren’t saved, so she had to start from scratch.

The two vintage armchairs are from Bergdorf Goodman, The light fixture is of handblown glass globes laced with 14 carat gold available at Lindsey Adelman Studio for $15360, and the Dining table at Alan Moss Studios.

Most of the other pieces were rented or custom made.

Personally I just love her walk in closet ….


The World’s new Clock: The Mecca Royal Clock

Filed under: Architecture — Tags: , , — Sahar @ 11:45 am


For over a century Big Ben has been the symbol of world time, but now funded by the government, Saudis seek to divert the attention and set their own time.

It is an amazing idea since our local and arabic channels use Mecca time as the standard time, but why should they copy the West yet always taller and bigger? Shouldn’t the Arab and Islamic World have architectural icons instead of replicating the Big Ben and Empire state building? Even the engineers are Swiss and German.


The concept is already being realized with impressive specifications that in a way meet the aura of the place.

The complex housing the clock (601meters high) will be the world’s second tallest building after  Burj Khalifa, (828meters high)  the recently inaugurated skyscraper of Dubai. The clock is 40m in diameter and is made with 98 million pieces of glass mosaics, its faces are lit with 2 million LED’s.

Built by a government-controlled fund, the complex has seven huge towers . Six are between 42 and 48 stories, and in the middle is the clock tower, appearing nearly twice as tall as the others.

The entire complex will have 3,000 hotel rooms and apartments, a  shopping center and prayer and conference halls, and a  four-story astronomical observatory and Islamic museum all taking up around 1.5 million square meters  of floor space.

At the peak of the hajj the complex should accommodate around 65,000 people.

About 21,000 white and green coloured lights ,probably indicating the Saudi flag colors ,will flash to as far as 30 kilometers  five-times a day signaling prayer times.

Sources: Fox News, The Telegraph

21 Aug ’10

Concept Hit: Dinner in the Sky

Filed under: New Concepts — Tags: , , — Sahar @ 3:11 pm

Being a twitter junkie myself, i got introduced to the " Dinner in the Sky" idea a few months back and didn’t really get the idea of how the whole concept functions, until I visited Beirut 2 months ago and saw something that looks like a UFO hovering over Beirut Central District.

After asking around I realized what they were talking about. As Lebanese always are, seeking originality wherever the source and not fearing any massive reactions, the concept was brought to Lebanon by Alfred Asseily of La Table D’Alfred and Alf events which is in charge of Dinner in the Sky, Beirut edition.

The Lebanese TV channel MTV has taken this concept and created an entire progam out of it for the holy month of Ramadan. The program is hosted by Wissam Breidy who has a variety of guests daily for 30 days with a different country theme everyday reflected through sharing with the viewers the rituals and habits of the assigned country of the night. Their Chef goes as far as to prepare meals significant to that country.


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress

Pin It on Pinterest