A traditional Majlis…..

Another exciting project I am working on is a private majlis for a family in the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah. Sharjah is a smaller Emirate than Dubai and is a lot more traditional in some ways-the buildings and houses are certainly more traditional and much more like what Dubai used to look like about 10 years ago, with only a few high rise buildings dotted along the coastline….

The majlis is a very traditional room in the  household, which is typically a gathering place for a group of people to get together. They are usually very large rooms, and in wealthy homes they are decorated in a formal way with lots of large sofas and chairs , plush carpets and very glamorous chandeliers….The majlis will often be separate from the main house, thus allowing the family total privacy,  yet providing a comfortable spot for the gentlemen to gather without disturbing the female members of the household.I have even  worked on houses in Dubai which have a  ladies majlis and a separate  majlis for the men! The women and men do not tend to socialise together very much, although that tradition does seem to be changing, particularly with the younger generation.

My client’s majlis is a building set away from the main house, in lush gardens, with the added luxury of a dining room. I  will be painting Italian frescoes on the two flat ceilings of the majlis and dining room,  and the domed ceiling of the large entrance or lobby. The client has requested an Italian style so I am currently doing drawings or mock-ups to show the client what my plan is, and to help me work out a strategy for when we are actually on site doing the painting. I am fortunate enough to have help and I don’t have to actually do all of the painting myself ! It is  still a lot of work and I have had additional work added on to our scope in the form of an antique patina ,which has to be applied to all of the woodwork in the rooms-this means that all the wood panels, door and window frames and all the actual doors must have a glaze applied to them to “age “them …the client feels that the painted finish ,which has just been done, looks too “fresh”and does not fit in with the aged Italian feel they want.

The other big challenge is that we only have about 6 weeks to do the actual work so I am going to be very pushed for time which is really not how I like to work, because it makes quality control very difficult to monitor.

As soon as my drawings have been completed I will post a sneak peek……

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