The concept of relocation and lifestyle management is not something new in the Sultanate. But it may come as a surprise to many especially the nationals who seldom face the dilemma of moving to a culturally different place.
Many business executives who made the decision to move to Muscat had always found it challenging to do the moving in or out themselves. What makes the experience even more frustrating is that the guiding laws and principles are totally different from the ones they have gotten accustomed to. With dozens of considerations, from which schools the kids should go to, to what areas are best and ideal for a family of four or five, the dilemma may sound easy but not when you are in hurry and don’t have the luxury of time.
With Oman’s population comprised nearly in half by expats, this business concept has found its niche and in fact, in recent years, has become a thriving industry.
Sununu Muscat, a relocation and lifestyle management company ran by Founder and Managing Director Clews Everard with the help of his son James and daughter-in-law Ellie had been making the transition into the Oman way of life easy for many of their clients. What they have been providing is a realist and practical advise ensuring a seamless experience for their clients and their families.
Other than providing relocation services, however, the Sununu Muscat team is also giving back to the community through their different home improvements and do-it-yourself-workshops.
As Clews explained, “Working on interior decoration and garden design projects, it was a natural progression to become affiliated with paint and colour expert, Annie Sloan.”
Annie Sloan is a popular international brand that has established a reputable name for its decorative paint helping people from around the world transform their homes. Sununu Muscat is the sole Stockist of Annie Sloan products in Oman.
We reached out to Clews and her team to get the latest trends on interior design. What we got was even better — a newer perspective about how to deal with aging furniture and space.
How would you describe your style, personally or as a team? Sununu Muscat aims to become the creative hub that promotes a melting pot of multi-culture. With the style of Cultural Fusion in mind, Sununu Muscat looks to combine design elements, drawing upon both ancient and modern Middle Eastern inspiration and merging it with classic and contemporary European styles. Our shop also has a particularly coastal feel to reflect our coastal lifestyle here in the capital.
Where do you draw inspiration from? How do you keep things fresh for you and your clients?
How broad is your imagination? Annie Sloan is someone who is a real person not just a brand. We draw inspiration from her, the wonderful light in Oman, the colours that surround us and of course the multi-cultural melting pot that adds a new and exciting twist to everyday life.
Regarding the series of home improvement events (as posted on Facebook) you had organised or are (still) organising, what were the reasons behind them and what’s your overall goal/objective?
Our main aim is to inspire people to pick up a paintbrush and get creative! Many people lack the confidence to paint or think they are not artistic. We are here to show them it’s a lot easier than they think and anyone can give it a go! By looking to upcycle and change objects that may have seemingly passed their sell-by-date is exciting and very rewarding. There is a great sense of achievement in making something look wonderful with your own skill as well as often preserving memories and of course it saves money too.
What has been people’s reception about your workshops?
We have a phenomenal response from all ages, gender, and nationality and are thrilled we have a solid Omani following for Annie Sloan.
Home or building exterior paints in Oman are usually very neutral. How important is a splash of colour inside the home? Do you cover colour psychology in your events?
Yes, we cover colour. Not necessary the psychology but how to put colours together and enhance personal style. We do say though Annie Sloan is happy paint, it is so forgiving and easy to use that you can get really lost in the moment so it is very therapeutic and the end result makes you feel happy.
What are the usual challenges you face as a lifestyle management company? How do you get over them?
Culturally, what we do is new and that requires time and patience to get individuals to try and experiment.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest home improvement/ design trends? From the dozens of global trends, how do you make a decision about which one would work in the Middle East particularly in Oman?
When you are in the industry and are interested in style and colour, you are always aware of what is happening. But as with all styles and trends, they go out of fashion very quickly so what we want to do is encourage people to develop their own style and really embrace what they love rather than what is a trend. We are all about encouraging people to tell their own story and giving them the confidence to be able to put together what they love in a beautiful way. We’ve all collected memories and items along the way but how do you put them together to look beautiful and tell your personal story? This is what we like to focus on.
For 2018, what do you think are the biggest trends in homes and home improvements? Which ones would you highly recommend to your clients and why?
We have seen a huge shift recently of people wanting to create brighter and lighter spaces in their homes. For a long time, dark or wooden pieces have dominated many interiors in Muscat and created darker spaces. We have seen first hand how painting a piece with a light neutrals or bright colours can completely lift and transform a space. We often get clients looking to revamp their old furniture and we teach them how to do it.
To see samples of their works and keep track of their latest updates, you can follow them on Instagram: @sununu_muscat.
YERU EBUEn & TITASH CHAKRABORTY