What design element would bring the wow factor into my home?
A visit to the London Design Museum highlights the fact that design permeates every aspect of our daily lives: from humble kitchen appliances to glamorous furniture and decorative items. Makers and ceramicists are celebrated as the new artists (Gagosian highlighted exquisite Edmund de Waal ceramics at Frieze Art Fair two years ago), and design fairs are packed. The world has woken up to the exciting potential of design, in light of new technologies that enable extraordinary end-products – deceptive resin finishes, remarkable faux concrete, stunning wood patina, and much more.
Martin Eisler And Carlo Hauner, a pair of armchairs, Sotheby’s estimate: Dhs19,250-Dhs28,880, prices approximate. Getty Images
The arts and crafts movement, and Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements, provide beautiful vintage items that regularly come up at auction: Sotheby’s holds design sales in London, Paris and New York throughout the year. Names such as Tiffany Studios, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ron Arad or even Zaha Hadid send hearts aflutter, so coveted are their works. And there is no limit to categories in which we find new must-haves: textiles, ceramics, glass, contemporary objects, furniture, beds… In short, anything to furnish a house with.
Fulvio Bianconi Rare Sirena vase, Sotheby’s estimate: Dhs144,397-Dhs240,662, prices approximate. Getty Images
With stunning new concepts coming from Japanese, Korean and Nordic designers, and with so much on offer, how do we find our way? The key is to educate oneself, so visit London’s V&A, go to design fairs and attend auctions in the hope of finding that one special piece. But remember when buying, as with all art, you should be captivated by it.
How do I improve my smile and make my teeth look their best?
A smile is the most important of all facial expressions. We see our poker face in the mirror so it’s easy to ignore minor imperfections and yellowing. But as any Hollywood A-lister can tell you, pearly whites are a priority, right after good hair. So how to acquire a dazzling set? I’m a believer in working from the inside out. A good diet, avoiding soft drinks, sweets and sugars that encourage bacteria, is vital. Who can manage brushing after every meal? Not I. But everyone can manage mornings and bedtime.
Penélope Cruz’s perfect smile, Getty Images
Flossing keeps interstitial spaces clean and helps maintain gum health, which is paramount since swollen gums are both ugly and bad for teeth. If you are one of those unlucky people with bad teeth regardless of heroic efforts, despair not. For dullness, a vast range of whitening toothpaste promising immediate results are available, and regular hygienist visits can pay off handsomely. A friend swears by after-brushing with Eucryl, the smokers’ dental powder. Another swears by whitening kits. My own trials with laser-whitening procedures have been underwhelming, possibly because I am terrified of post-laser sensitivity and insist on a mild treatment. But I’ve seen good results in others, particularly in reducing dullness.
Apa White Duo by Apa Beauty, Dhs750, prices approximate. Getty Images.
Veneers are the final frontier and a drastic measure to fix badly crooked or deeply stained teeth when all else fails. Since it means shaving your own teeth down to a fraction, it’s not to be undertaken lightly, and it’s costly. If you love your dark chocolate and coffee, be prepared that your teeth will need extra TLC. But rest assured that every minute of it will be worthwhile.
From the October Issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia