With a fabulous shortlist of beautiful homes, we've teamed up with some of the region's most prestigious design professionals and tastemakers who will select the Home of the Year 2019 sponsored by 2XL Furniture and Home Decor.
Here are the judges:
Regional colour marketing and creative manager for Jotun Paints (Middle East, India & Africa)
As head of the creative department, Rana is the brain behind creating enchanting colour schemes and the discerning eye when it comes to forecasting and spotting trends for Jotun. With seasoned experience in advertising, marketing and product management, she has spearheaded product innovations while successfully launching new collections and colours across the Middle East, Africa and India.
A certified Colour Trainer by NCS, Sweden, and a key member of the Colour Marketing Group, Rana has conducted a number of colour-focused masterclasses for interior designers and architects across the region.
Her infectious passion for colour is reflected in the hues of her vibrant personality too. She has a thing for beautiful doors and walls and a longing for longitudes as she often travels the world to fill her shelves with hidden curios and stories.
General Manager of Style Library Middle East
Drawing on more than 14 years’ experience in the region selling high-end interior furnishing products, Jai established the Middle East office of Style Library in Dubai in 2013 and has successfully supported retailers, interior designers, architects and the hospitality sector across the MENA region ever since.
As the official home to six of the best British fabric and wallpaper brands – Zoffany, Harlequin, Sanderson, Morris& Co., Scion and Anthology – Jai has steered Style Library into becoming a one-stop destination for home inspiration.
Due to his involvement with some of the most prestigious hospitality, residential and commercial projects across the region, he is currently steering the company’s expansion into new markets, including those in South Africa and India.
He says one of the aspects of his job that he particularly enjoys is being able to use his experience and know-how to help customers select the perfect fabrics and wallpapers for their homes and professional projects.
Interior designer and partner of Stella + the Stars
Sameera is one half of the design duo behind one of the UAE’s most prominent home styling services, Stella + the Stars, and has over 15 years’ of experience in interior and product design.
Born in Sri-Lanka, the design maven moved to London in 2005 where she attended the Chelsea College of Arts and graduated with a degree in Interior Design and Spatial Awareness, before joining the team at the luxury lifestyle brand, Allegra Hicks. When she moved to Dubai in 2009, her two young daughters inspired her to launch her own bespoke furniture business, Wild Child Designz, specialising in contemporary children’s furniture, which became a hit through retailers like Level Kids and Mumzworld.
After several years of running her own business, Sameera was keen to extend her expertise to incorporate a wider interiors focus, joining Stella + the Stars in early 2018. Her eclectic design aesthetic has evolved from her experience that spans three continents and many diverse cultures, and she loves creating statement yet functional home interior schemes for the UAE’s globe-trotting residents.
Head of Marketing at 2XL Furniture & Home Décor
For nearly two decades, 2XL Furniture & Home Decor has continued to be a leader in the UAE’s luxury furnishing sector, offering a collection of traditional and contemporary homewares for customers across nine showrooms in four emirates. Since 2016, Amit has steered the strategic brand management and strong market positioning of 2XL Furniture & Home Decor while leading its enterprise-wide integrated brand and media strategy.
Drawing upon 12 years’ of experience, he’s been able to support the long-term vision and growth of the brand through innovative marketing campaigns, which has aided a number of prestigious industry accolades, including the InsideOut Readers’ Choice Awards 2017 and 2018.
His career portfolio includes luxury brands like BinHendi Enterprises and Pure Gold Jewellers plus lifestyle and beauty brands at Landmark Group.
CEO of Design Haus Medy
Medy is an award-winning interior designer, architect and businessman, founder of Design Haus Medy in Dubai and a member of the Corporate Advisory Board for the Departments of Architecture and Interior Design at the Canadian University of Dubai. After graduating in Hamburg with a degree in Architectural Engineering, Navani fined-tuned his academic knowledge with studio Aimo & Gesellschaft für Gestalltung, before founding CLSE Interior Architect Consultancy Dubai. Through the work of CLSE, Navani attracted a distinguished client base across the UAE and abroad, with projects in Los Angeles, Zimbabwe, Ghana and London.
In 2006, Medy founded the award-winning studio Design Haus Medy in Dubai, which now boasts an extensive portfolio of more than 230 commercial and residential projects. His mission has been to ‘create a more beautiful world, a life with passion, and a legacy that with determination and focus, our wildest dreams will be realised’.
He has become recognized for his bold and luxurious interiors imbued with arabesque accents, with an insatiable imagination and technical skill that is able to transfer design beyond its regional context. He describes his designs as his playground, successfully balancing creativity and functionality to create beautiful infrastructures and spaces.
And finally rounding up our judges' panel is our fearless leader, Mairead Walsh who is bringing her years of expertise to help crown one of the shortlisted homes as 2019's Home of the Year
The winner will be revealed in our May issue!
Find out more about last year's event