Syrian designer Nabih Afara is a well-known figure in the interior design industry, where imagination and creativity are essential.
Afara, an engineer who had a passion for interior design and hoped to one day turn ordinary spaces into works of art, rose to prominence as one of the world’s most well-known interior designers. He founded the “Art Deco Design” company, which won numerous accolades, including the best Luxury interior design studio award in 2022.
Afara discusses his professional path and his goal of becoming globally recognised in the interior design industry in this interview, which showcases his enthusiasm and inventiveness.
Interviewed by: Fatima Omrani
Who is designer Nabih Afara, in your own words?
Nabih Afara, a Syrian interior designer, is passionate about the industry, has a fresh perspective, and aspires to make a significant contribution.
His work over the course of more than a decade in the Gulf market has given him extensive experience in communicating with clients, satisfying their needs, and bringing their project visions to life in a creative and seamless way.
Success and greatness come in small steps. Tell us about the academic work you’ve done.
After receiving my bachelor’s degree and relocating to Saudi Arabia—more especially, Riyadh—in 2012, my professional career really got underway.
I first gained a lot of real-world experience as a trainee in an engineering office that specialised in interior design, earning a meagre wage. Then, in 2014, I began working for one of the leading companies in the field, which gave me the opportunity to network and meet people who shared my sense of style. It also served as a real-world decorating and interior design training ground for designer Nabih Afara.
Additionally, I was eager to take part in a variety of specialised courses and international courses in interior and furniture design in Italy, China, and the Emirates in order to gain insight into the calibre and inventiveness of this field and to cultivate a diverse cultural background that would aid in the development of my own design philosophy and unique means of communicating it to the general public.
Successful people frequently have an extensive professional history. Which career milestones have you found most significant?
I made the decision to leave the company in 2018 and launch my own business, “Art Deco Design,” as the first step towards actually breaking into the workforce and making a name for myself.
I began with a one-person team that included the designer, the seller, the supervisor, the executor, and the accountant. By 2023, it had grown to include four branches across various countries and over 150 employees.
“My ambition has no bounds except worldwide success,” you declare in your introduction. Are you pleased with the work you have done so far today?
Although I’m happy with my accomplishments, I’m constantly pushing myself to do better.
I enjoy the fact that the path of professional development is always full of successes and challenges at the same time.
My audience, which has grown significantly, even outside the nations in which I offer my services, brings me the greatest joy and complete satisfaction.
I live my life with this positive, regenerative energy, and I work to make interior design accessible to a global audience.
The best luxury interior design studio for 2022 was awarded to the “Art Deco” company under your management. Give us more details about this noteworthy move.
Our remarkable accomplishment, which saw us emerge as Saudi Arabia’s top luxury interior design office in 2022, was the product of unceasing work from the time of our establishment until the results were revealed. The “Art Deco Design” team’s commitment to quality and value is demonstrated by the high calibre of each project it presents, which embodies their vision and dedication. In order to show support and encouragement for their efforts, persistence, and faith in their continued success, the client touches it on the ground.
Interior design excellence necessitates certain qualities in a successful engineer. How did you manage to make an impact in this field?
The most crucial traits for an engineer to succeed in this field, in my opinion, are creativity and artistic thinking; the capacity to translate a client’s vision into designs that seamlessly blend form and function; and the ability to interact with clients effectively and comprehend their needs in order to establish the trust necessary for the project’s success.
The most significant quality of designer Nabih Afara’s work was his constant honesty, both with the client and throughout the project.
You are a Syrian citizen residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Did you have any trouble establishing your value, given Riyadh’s prominence in the upscale interior design industry?
It was not too difficult for me to establish my value in the interior design industry. The route to success for many people here, including designer Nabih Afara, is through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh and its people, my second large family, were the warm embrace of my early years.
What future goals does designer Nabih Afara have in mind?
My goal, which I am pursuing, is to create unique projects in every capital city on the planet, leaving a lasting impression that my kids will love to discuss in the future.
What guidance would you offer to trailblazers hoping to succeed and make a significant impact in the interior design industry?
To provide them with the chance to start their journey towards success and learning amidst the surroundings of blank walls, I advise entrepreneurs to accurately understand and analyse both the project and the client at the same time.