As one of the first to bring Scandinavian furniture and accessories to the UAE, Christiane Nasr founded The Bowery Company in 2014. This year, she has moved the flagship to a new multi-disciplinary 5,000 sqft space in Al Quoz that will serve as a hub for the region’s design talent with workspace offerings for the design-minded community, and a coffee shop. We speak to her about her plans for the future.
Q. What made you decide to move into a new space?
Christiane: At the start, The Bowery Company offered more home accessories sourced from Scandinavian countries. Across the years our profile expanded and we started to stock larger items of furniture, such as sofas, armchairs and sideboards. The need to be able to showcase all our (larger) pieces became quite high. A new & bigger space was the most logical next step. We love that we can now offer our customers & designers the opportunity to come see items prior to purchasing them. We are also launching a design hub which is a multi-disciplinary space where interior designers work and network, as well as a coffee shop to be announced early next year.
Q: What's your view and thoughts on the pace at which the design culture in Dubai is developing?
Christiane: The design culture in Dubai is developing at a fast pace, it is drawing increasing international attention. In the past 5 years, I have personally noticed a considerable amount of attention being drawn to Dubai from the global design scene; and at my company’s level, more and more brands are approaching us and asking us to represent them in the region and help them to ramp up their presence in the Middle East.
Q: Please suggest the perfect The Bowery Company product as a housewarming present for our readers.
Christiane: Many items that we stock are suitable as housewarming gifts, however an easy go to that is always well received is our Ferm Living Ripple Glass Collection. Each piece of this beautiful collection is handmade/mouthblown which only adds to their uniqueness. Ranging from champagne saucers to short glasses to even a carafe, all sets are available in clear or smoked colour. The Ripple Glass Collection is loved as a single set but customers often expand to include the whole collection.
Q: What is your favorite coffee table book?
Christiane: I love Gaia from Guy Laliberte for Assouline, it features pictures from earth taken from the ISS, deserts resemble contemporary abstract paintings, cities look like mini-mountain ranges and I named my daughter Gaia so it holds a special place in my heart. I love also Ibiza Bohemia by Assouline as I have never been there and I am planning my next holidays there!
5. Tell us about your favourite designers/ architects - whose work do you admire?
Christiane: I love Kelly Wreastler she is an all-time favorite; she has revolutionized modern design. I also love Mies van der Rohe behind the Seagram building in New York, with his approach of adding geometry to minimalism. Frank Gehry also definitely makes my top three - he is undoubtedly one of the most avant-garde architects in the world with his use of unusual and bold shapes - he is also behind the highly awaited Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi.