Business & Entrepreneurship

Q Life

Award-winning Qatari interior designers

September 2021

Kaltham Al Kuwari and Aisha Al Mohannadi

Kaltham Al Kuwari and Aisha Al Mohannadi founded their interior design company ‘Design House Interiors’ in April 2018, following their graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University with Magna Cum Laude honours in Interior Design.

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Within one year of opening, the DHI team completed over 30 design projects and tripled in size; “we were astonished at the amount of success and publicity DHI acquired. We credit this to our unique design approach and hard work.”

Reflecting on what motivated them to found their own company, Aisha notes that she has always held a passion for interior design, noting that “it fascinates me how spaces can affect people’s behaviour.”

Kaltham, meanwhile, enrolled at VCU with the intention of majoring in fashion; “once I gave interior design a chance, I realised that this was the path I wanted to follow.”

“What inspires both of us is the challenge of creating a space that is both functional and aesthetic. We loved seeing how the research aspect of our project came to life when we apply our ideas to a space. We always thought it would happen within five to ten years after graduating. Instead, we managed to open DHI in a year!”

“One piece of advice that has touched us was when a speaker mentioned that some of the founders of the most successful companies began their business in their twenties. Not for the reason that they wanted to start young, but because they felt they had a purpose to serve.”

Kaltham and Aisha take an accessible and evidence-based approach to their designs and services, offering their expertise across design, supervision, furniture, accessories, and private consultations. The pair describe their signature style as “high-end, contemporary interiors”.

“Understanding our client’s vision is always the first and most important step. We follow this by exploring the floor plan and space, and once we understand the primary and secondary zones within the space, we research aesthetics that could match it. First comes function, then aesthetics.”

“We truly love design, and we knew we could use our skills and knowledge for a purpose. We realised that there was a gap in the market for design solutions by Qatari designers. Most interior design works are outsourced, and being Qatari designers, we know the local market’s needs. We understand how each space would be used and the needs of the people in this region. This is why we believed it was imperative to launch our own studio.”

Throughout their journey, Kaltham and Aisha have accomplished many achievements. From many successful clients to awards of acknowledgement. “One of them would be our first residential project, where we watched a design come to life for the first time. Seeing how pleased our clients were motivated us to push to new heights!”

The pair continue to be motivated by the glowing feedback they receive from clients, and were awarded an International Property award for ‘Qatar’s best residential interior’ earlier this year.

Kaltham and Aisha offer their advice to aspiring designers; “follow your passion, work hard and stay consistent. Make sure to keep up to date with the market and industry, and always do your research! It’s a challenging field, but with experience, you will grow and learn.”