“I think your space is everything. First you have your body, which is you, then you have where your body is most of the time,” says Alaa Balkhy.
You might know the Saudi multi-hyphenate for her fashion sense. After all, her foray into the public eye began with her brand Fyunka, and evolved to include Alaa Bint Hashim, a design studio she launched in 2019, and a podcast called Minnana. But she’s not talking about any of them today. Alaa is opening up about her love for interiors, something you might have picked up on if you avidly watch her IG stories like we do.
“It’s where you sleep, where you can be yourself, and where you have control; of who comes into your space, the atmosphere, the temperature,” she explains why designing her space was so important to her—and why it should be important to everyone else.
“It’s your space. And people get to experience it with you. It’s not like clothes. People can’t wear your clothes, but with interiors, people can sit and experience your sofa, or your dining table,” she continues.
And Balkhy isn’t alone in placing value on interiors. There’s a parallel to be drawn between Balkhy and Italian retailer YOOX, whose pages you’ve probably scrolled through in search of luxury garments. But like Alaa, the Milan-based platform places just as much emphasis on fashion as it does design and art.
From collectible design pieces and art curated by Iranian creative mind Nina Yashar, to new-age design items from the likes of Jonathan Adler and Memphis Milano—you won’t be short of options at YOOX when it comes to putting your interior together. And if we’ve learned anything thus far, few things are as important as the space you live in.
Whether it’s her Jeddah apartment or her New York loft, both of which Balkhy shares snippets of with her thousands of followers, pays peculiar attention to their every corner. From the art on the walls, books sat on her coffee table to the spice rack hidden in a kitchen cabinet, everything at Alaa’s is carefully curated. Of course, it didn’t all happen overnight.
“I think things need to be built slowly to tell a story. I appreciate people that don’t rush into decorating their home and build it as they go,” she tells us.
And like her career, Blakhy’s spaces are constantly evolving. “I enjoy redecorating a lot,” she admits. It’s actually what she spent her past weekend doing. And chances are, it won’t be the last weekend spent doing just that.
“It’s one of those things that for a long time we felt like it wasn’t accessible. Interior design was a luxury,” she says. “But now with everything that we have, you can do it with your own taste and mood board. It really changes the vibe, even if it’s just changing the color of your sheets, or adding a candle, or moving where your floor lamp is. It all changes the mood of your space.”
As she put it, taking care of your space is actually pretty simple. And she’s here to help us all do just that. Teaming up with YOOX, Balkhy picked out some of her favourite pieces for you to keep an eye on.
MISSONI HOME, Chair