The Designer's Hall

Run by two Saudi sisters, interior design firm The Designer’s Hall is creating elegant and sophisticated spaces around the Middle East

“When WE started out as freelancers eight years ago, there were a lack of professional interior designers from Saudi Arabia,” says May Alhammadi, the founder and Creative Director of interior design firm The Designer’s Hall. Her sister and co-founder Noha agrees. “We knew there was a hole in the market for something different, which went beyond classic designs, and that we could reach the young population by pushing pioneering designs that were more versatile than what the marketplace had to offer,” she says. “Being in the right place at the right time had a profound effect on us.”

May was a student of fine arts while Noha studied interior design. They started experimenting on their family’s home before friends began to recommend that they take up interior design commissions professionally. “The difference between design and style is quality,” says Noha. They are now committed to creating bespoke, imaginative designs for their range of customers.

Their clients include many wealthy individuals, but they enjoy working with a wide selection of people. “We like the challenge of creating something unique on a budget as it pushes our creativity further,” says May. “The super rich shouldn’t have a monopoly on living in the home of their dreams. We want to create the perfect space that reflects the client’s needs and bring them to life.”

The sisters recently worked with a customer who wanted to create a nail spa in downtown Riyadh, requesting a unique luxury design that mixed the feminine and the industrial. “She wanted the spa to be outdoors yet dust free, which is difficult in Riyadh!” says Noha. “But there’s nothing out of bounds for us. We convinced her to relocate the spa from the second floor to the roof, turn it into a garden and isolate it with glass walls. Our goal is to exceed our client’s expectations, even if they are surreal or psychedelic.”

When they started The Designer’s Hall five years ago, it operated out of a tiny room with just three members of staff. It currently employs six and is looking to expand even further. May and Noha have their sights set firmly on creating a brand that people trust, with creativity at the core. “These qualities are evident in our exceptional attention to detail and the pursuit of perfection,” says Noha. “Our distinctive touches are what make our designs unique.”

Central to this vision is opening a Design Centre that connects designers with textile and furniture brands across the world, which will in turn empower Saudi designers and give them a place where they can stock up on materials under one roof. “This will create a perfect design community where all designers and brands can meet and be updated with what’s new in the interior design world,” says May. “As well as creating a Saudi furniture brand, which combines simple lines with a classic twist, we hope our line will be known internationally.”

A soft furnishing line will launch this year, to be distributed in selected stores. But the sisters are looking ahead, drawing from the kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 plans. “The economy needs to diversify beyond oil, partly by expanding goods and consumer products,” says Noha. “We want to be part of that vision.”