The designer talks about taking the leap into the world of interior design
Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · Dec 1st, 2023
Leaving behind a 14-year career in HR, Mehreen Baldoni decided to follow her passion for design after being asked by friends to assist with renovations over the years. After receiving her diploma, she started on her interior design journey in Dubai. Catering to clients in prestigious areas such as Palm Jumeirah and Emirates Hills, Mehreen has established herself as a prominent interior designer in the city. Read on to learn about her distinctive in-house style and delve into some of her most noteworthy projects.
Mehreen: Before changing my career to interior design, I had been working in HR within the banking and financial services for almost 14 years. I spent a lot of time thinking about whether I go the corporate route again or pursue my lifelong passion within the creative field.
I had helped my friends with a few renovations over the years and loved doing that. I enrolled in “The Designer’s Studio” Diploma program to study interior design to understand all the technical aspects of the role. This was the beginning of my interior design journey, and I haven't looked back ever since.
Whilst studying at The Designer’s Studio, I was already being approached by my colleagues and design teachers to work with them on their existing projects. They trusted my aesthetic and design approach through the work they had seen I could deliver. I was also fortunate enough to have friends who trusted my capabilities and referred me to a client who was looking for interior design advice for her new villa. This became my very first and very own individual project in Dubai. I felt it was right to start this project under my brand, which is when I established Mehreen Baldoni Interiors.
My aesthetic sense and inspiration is driven by my love for heritage, art, architecture, and nature. I love working with modern-day design and adding character and charm through classic interiors which have inspired and shaped interior design over the last centuries. I am a huge fan of mixing and layering metals, fabrics, and various elements to create rich and luxurious environments far from the ordinary and unique to my clients. Our work ethos is to create functionality, balance, and sustainability. We also aim to try and repurpose our client’s existing pieces of furniture by restyling to create a new look and a timeless interior.
We recently completed a villa on the Palm for a wonderful couple who love Italian design and wanted their home to reflect that. This was a fun project for me as my husband is Italian and I have spent a lot of time in Italy and worked on some great projects there. I have developed a strong network of trusted suppliers in Italy who came through for this project and were able to supply top-quality materials and furnishings for the project. My clients couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Another project that’s a personal favourite was in The Meadows where our client, a single mum, was looking for a fresh start after a testing time in her personal life. She had worked very hard and was finally buying her very first home for her two children and herself. She wanted her home to reflect her journey. She had a lot of furniture and belongings that were important to her and that she wanted to hold on to. The project was all about repurposing and creating sustainable pieces whilst giving her house a completely new look. It was an exciting opportunity and a challenge for us. After we completed the project, she told me that each time she walks in, she couldn't help but fall in love with her home over, and over again. There is no bigger compliment from a client than for them to tell you they love your work and their home for it.
Some of my favourite Dubai-based designers are: Restore - a furniture restoration studio run by Sabah whose sole purpose is bringing old, cherished pieces of furniture back to life beautifully. This works hand in hand with our work ethos of trying to repurpose and recreate already owned pieces and giving them a brand-new look; Tam Design Studio - a studio focuses on creating unique statement pieces for residential & commercial projects. Her passion for design and quality shows in her work. When I’m working with Tam, I know that she will provide me with the very top-quality materials and craftsmanship for the bespoke pieces of furniture I am looking to design for my projects. The third is Da Fonseca Design - Nikki Bisiker Da Fonseca runs this design studio. I love that she uses different techniques, mixes the old and the new, works with colours/patterns, and most importantly never compromises on quality. Everything looks exactly how it is supposed to be, and there is always a sense of luxury.
Editor's note: All images are courtesy Mehreen Baldoni Interiors. Some parts of the interview have been edited for clarity.