Determination, reinforced by an endless
pool of creative energy, meets functional design with Pieces by Farah. The emotional designs,
visually organic, yet functional at heart, raise the age old saying of ‘less is
more’; as interior designer and business owner Farah Al-Humaidhi premiered into
the furniture design arena with bespoke designs and understated confidence, she
makes her debut with inimitable elegance. Meeting the face behind this exciting
brand truly revitalizes the creative mind, as Farah Al-Humaidhi’s design space
is energizing yet soothing. As we settled in her little haven she calls her
office, filled with design prototypes and rushed production managers, we were
amazed at how such a young woman managed between operating her core design and
construction firm, and Pieces by Farah.
When envisioning Pieces By
Farah, Al-Humaidhi wished to create a functional mix of pieces
that allowed the client to customize each piece to their own taste using a
variety of color and textural palettes. One might beg to differ with her
surprising strategy, as most furniture designers utilize a one-design approach
to commercially make an entrance into the market, yet Al-Humaidhi’s admiration
and great devotion to detail proves otherwise. After completing her bachelor’s
degree in interior art from the American University of Sharjah, she bravely
ventured into the market and launched her design and construction firm, giving
way for a breadth of experience in understanding her customers and what the
market requires. She states, “Although I've always worked on my own in terms of
managing an interior design and construction firm since 2004, Pieces by
Farah, alone, was scary as this reflects my
own personal opinion and work rather than working on briefed projects and
customers’ tastes.” Al-Humaidhi believes that starting her own furniture line
is much more daunting than managing a full-fledged business, a decision she
viewed as quite a natural progression upon graduation, she adds, “When I
graduated in 2004, the business conditions in Kuwait were easier, as the
economy was thriving, construction was booming, therefore my line of work was
in demand and customers came frequently and willingly. Interior design is a
line of work, which is considered a luxury service requested by many clients,
and was wildly demanded at the time. Based on my existing family’s business in
property construction, I had solid grounds to start and build my portfolio. I
didn’t feel like it was a decision I had to make, it was rather made by nature.
Whereas Pieces by Farah was a decision I solely
had to make from start to finish.”
“Unveiling one’s true
vision is difficult,” Al-Humaidhi believes, as she went on to describe that her
journey with Pieces by Farah started by simply sketching out her ideas over a long
period of time, “In the back of my head, I always wanted to produce my own
line, my mini gallery, a creative outlet for my design reflections which people
could equally enjoy as much as I do.” True to her determination, she embarked
on this long journey using the smallest of steps, only to arrive as an artist,
designer, innovator, and business owner. She humbly comments, “Hey, I was
really scared, and the first step was the hardest. I always talked about it but
never had the guts to actually do it. I was very scared, from people's
reactions, and the depression that could result from rejection. I didn’t want my
pursuit to accomplish my vision to affect my personal life or my other line of
Considering all things
said and done, the feedback to Pieces By Farah was, and continues, to grow sensationally. We wished to
spend more time in her premises to find out about a well-kept secret recipe for
success, and she laughingly states, “It’s not magic, you put a plan for
yourself, and baby steps to follow. At one point last year, I noticed I had
accumulated a wealth of sketches viable to create a premier collection; I went
on to participate with those at an exhibition last year. That alone was based
on a plan I had for myself; transforming these sketches into reality was a
In order for her to arrive
at a final debut collection, Al-Humaidhi and her team of expert production
assistants had to stretch their imagination and design skills to new levels.
Each and every piece was fine-tuned, whereby she would execute at least four
prototypes for every design. When examining the Floating Piece, a table featuring hardened lace and sleek wooden edges,
Al-Humaidhi’s design might look simplistic, yet the design was technically one
of the most challenging ideas she had to work with. Hardening fabric is
extremely difficult. The end result, however, with Pieces By
Farah, is outstanding. Feminine, yet functional, edgy treated
fabric makes for vases, serving plates, lamp shades, bowls, or even stand alone
display pieces that are stirringly unique. She states, “I wanted feminine,
light, yet functional; if it's a vase made out of fabric, it needs to be hard,
yet flexible and waterproof. Once we were able to fine-tune that technique, the
possibilities were endless.” Al-Humaidhi proudly glances at the red lace vase
sitting atop her office desk, and continues, “Once we start fine-tuning the
process, I am there to monitor the work every step of the way to ensure that
the design element remains intact while functionality, budgeting goals, as well
as the timeliness of each piece's production remains feasible.”
A student of design and
architecture, the training of prioritizing functionality is ingrained in
Al-Humaidhi’s mind with every piece she designs. She adds, "Every line has
a purpose, this tool of understanding functionality makes for a piece a
customer would like to own.” The Floating Piece, for instance, is very dear to her heart, yet including
functionality was equally integral in attaining the desired femininity she
wished to portray through its design. Every piece is new, functional,
innovative, and dear to the visionary’s heart, “The first time I thought of
using fabric and realized my goal with it, the lamp shades and vases followed.
The Interlocked Piece, for instance, was a
product of many customers voicing their desire to have a coffee table that is
visual yet functional. We always see coffee tables that are huge in size, with
accompanying nesting pieces. With one piece that is made up of smaller
compartments, the Interlocked Piece opens up into sleek nesting pieces.” These are all but
only some of the stories Al-Humaidhi has when
describing her work, and she believes that the Floating Piece
represents her the most, she adds, “The combination of the
hard wood with the sensual femininity of the treated fabric, that juxtaposition
of emotions, toughness and gentleness, is me. Like me, this is an emotionally
charged piece, which reflects my attachment to work in general. My business is
my home and my family, I’m attached to everything that happens here.”
Looking for inspiration
varies from one artist to the other, and Al-Humaidhi stresses that role models
and inspiration vary with the development of any given person according to
their personal growth. At a younger age, she was a student of many schools of
design, admiring the beauty and individual styles of the works of many.
Nowadays, she looks for budding, new designers who design for the sake of
creating art rather than chasing after commercial prospects. “Unknown designers
are mostly passionately driven. The change of your preference is a reflection
of growth. As designers, we are continuously changing in terms of preference. I
am purely inspired by the passion behind any kind of design.” This is purely
reflected in her collection of different pieces, Al-Humaidhi is neither modern
nor simply classical, yet her work is rather a combination of different
emotions through the employment of contrasting materials, evoking contrasting
Balancing between the
creative efforts brought forward by Pieces By Farah, and the interior art and construction services,
Al-Humaidhi claims is a product of time management and nurturing a team to work
together efficiently. Since the start of her business, she believes that
without having that work ethic, Pieces By Farah wouldn’t have materialized as a valued, viable addition to
her existing company. Utilizing her business sense, she has organized her time
so that Pieces By Farah does not interfere with
the other services offered at her firm, Al-Humaidhi states, “My collection is
seasonal in every sense of the word. Launching two collections every year, I’m
able to split my time overseeing each order in terms of its execution,
following up with the customer, and ensuring its appropriate delivery. At the
same time, this allows me to focus on my company. Whenever I’m free, I design
items and leave them on the side, while working on new ideas with my carpenter.
I ensure that I am never in a hurry, so that I allow my designs to take their
course, fine-tuning and perfecting a final piece.”
What does Al-Humaidhi
envision for Pieces by Farah? She replies, “To be honest, I never imagined I would
garner this kind of praise for my debut collection. I'm enjoying this phase so
much; it was like a dry patch of land, then it became nourished. Before Pieces By
Farah, running my business felt heavy on my heart. Yet when I
started this new journey, I felt like I had a purpose once again.” Referring to
the stringent market conditions presented by the recent economic crisis,
Al-Humaidhi sought refuge in her creations, taking those ‘baby steps’ one at a
time. Perhaps, Al-Humaidhi’s work would be showcased internationally; she
recounts a recent visit to the renowned Maison D’Objet in Paris. “I went to see
the possibility of what I can do. Perhaps people will get to know the name and
get used to the brand. In Kuwait, my office is my show room for now. In
essence, I want to stay true to ‘Pieces By Farah’, and my customers will always be able to order online.
Who knows, maybe we’ll resell at certain boutiques, concept stores, furniture
What is your
idea of perfect happiness?
Knowing everything happens for a reason, a good one, and
when we accept that truly, we can have perfect happiness because nothing can
cause sadness anymore.
What is your
Heights and insects.
What is the
trait you most deplore in yourself?
My temper when I lose it, and my mood swings.
What is the
trait you most deplore in others?
person do you most admire?
What is your
SHOES and traveling!
or phrases do you most overuse?
I’m the happiest when I’m fishing. The serenity I get in
the middle of the sea is incomparable…I need it sometimes to just get things
straight in my head.
would you most like to have?
I want to have a beautiful singing voice! Or, at least,
sing without being shushed.
you consider your greatest achievement?
My career! My companies are my babies… and my latest Pieces By
you most like to live?
I would want to live on an island… and run a