Warm weather again..

It seems such a short time ago that I was writing about the cool weather  and its already starting to warm up again….it’s only May and already 37 degrees C during the day!! I am devastated…I do hope this does not mean a long hot summer….it will be my 16th and I am already over it!

Pots being prepared for painting
Pots being prepared for painting


all images via adesigndiary
                    all images via adesigndiary

My three projects are finally winding up with just a few touch-ups to be completed before I can pull the teams off site and invoice all the clients…now the hard work starts…getting paid! It is usually quite a process with the most incredible amount of paperwork involved in order to reach the point where a cheque is issued and I can deposit it into my bank account. Before we leave site I require an approval from the consultant or architect (they have to sign off on the work we have done) I then submit that to the main contractor who will issue me with a certificate of completion (to confirm that we have indeed completed the work). All of this then accompanies my invoice along with an O and M manual (which basically instructs the hotel/owner of the villa how to maintain the decorative finish we have just applied to the walls) and a guarantee which is usually for as period of three to five years.


Once all of these bits of paper have been submitted, I then have to wait a minimum of 30 days and sometimes longer to finally get my money!

Is it worth it you ask? I am not that sure any more….I try and execute two or three really large projects a year and intersperse them with smaller projects which can be completed really quickly and also pay quickly and this usually keeps our cash flow healthy. We become unstuck when we have back to back large projects and they all delay payment!!

At the moment I am doing a large designer pot project for a luxury hotel in Downtown Dubai. These pots are unique in that they are made of fiberglass and then we apply a painted finish to the finished atricle. I will be visiting the site within the next couple of weeks to take photos of the end result which will be great I am sure.

image via adesigndiary
                               all images via adesigndiary

My next big project is about 600 designer pots for a huge residential project in Saudi Arabia…the best part of it is that I can actually do all of the pots in our warehouse and simply have them all delivered. We will have to produce about 50 per month in order to meet our deadline so I am going to be hard at work for the next 8-9 months!

Back to work Bustle…

Image via adesigndiary
Image via adesigndiary(what summer in the desert looks like)

The summer is almost over..I can feel it in the temperatures which are by no means cool, but definitely not the insane heat we had been experiencing a month ago. The traffic has picked up again as people have returned from their vacations and schools started again this week and finally,everyone’s schedules are getting back to normal again! The chaos on the roads yesterday morning with all the back to school traffic  was beyond belief!!

image via  adesigndiary (samples being prepared)
image via adesigndiary (samples being prepared)

For me all of this bustle means a marked uptake in the level of business and suddenly we have three projects (all urgent of course!) on our books….this summer has been unusually quiet while we have been waiting  for approvals and orders for projects but it certainly has kicked up a gear now!!

We are currently working on samples for a hotel project which features custom designed plant pots with stenciled designs…

I am also refurbishing some existing work at one of the luxury hotels in Dubai…its going to be a fun but challenging job which I will share more about in a later post!

Just yesterday I received an inquiry  to do some decorative plaster work on the exterior of a building which is being built for a well known coffee chain…that should be pretty tough for my painters particularly as we are going to have to do all of the work on site and in the heat! Thank goodness the weather is improving day by day…I am submitting samples for this and another project based in Saudi on Monday next week…all in all I would say that my plate is full..in a really good way!! I am very grateful for this as a few years back I was not sure that my business would ever be back on track again when the whole industry crashed.

image via adesigndiary
image via adesigndiary

With all the incredible mega-projects being announced, Dubai appears to be booming again and even villas are in very short supply.I heard a report on the radio yesterday which said that if the population continues to grow at the current rate, Dubai will require another 30 000 villas within the next 5 years. That is scary….but for someone in my line of work, this is certainly the place to be!

I’ve gone Missing…again….

I realised this morning that it is almost a month since I last posted… where does the time go?

I have had a busy few weeks with our Mum visiting from the UK, a little 4 day get away to the East coast of the UAE, and work on projects in Dubai which has taken up a lot of time!

I wanted to show you a quick look at what I have been doing…



This is an apartment I have been working on for about a year..it is slowly coming together and I hope to be able to show some more photos now that we are almost finished!

may 2013 089



New work…

I am busy working on an exciting new project-a ladies nail spa/salon in the Dubai Gold and Diamond Souk.My client is opening a ladies salon, specializing in manicures and pedicures but also offering massages and facials.

In Dubai ,male and female salons are completely separate, and most ladies salons have to be completely private -some even have separate entrances at the back of the store for ladies to enter, should they not wish to be seen from the road or storefront.The interior of the salon is usually also blocked from view by vinyl decals on the windows, thus offering total privacy from the outside.This is the cultural norm as ladies generally are screened from public view in most areas of the city… most cars even have tinting on windows to screen the occupants from view…it’s interesting to see and I have become used to this way of life and now  embrace it , and I  love the idea that once inside a spa or salon, I am enclosed in a cocoon of privacy!

My client has asked me to design a concept which is fresh and serene and we have chosen predominately white and chartreuse with touches of black as we have  had to utilise the existing floor which is black marble. The contractors have started the fit out and I am currently putting together the accessories we will need to create the look she wants.

She wanted three treatment rooms for massage and facials ,plus manicure and pedicure stations and the biggest challenge was to avoid any actual construction ie; we were not allowed to alter the general shape of the store and we had to use the existing lighting and air conditioning structure …..all this has proved to be interesting as most projects like this usually begin with a “clean slate”or an empty shell.

I will post images as soon as we have something to look at…..I think it will be a lot of fun!