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D.Tales, Dubai

16 June 2015

Swedish expat Lars Narfeldt and his interiors store, D:tales, show how to add a touch of Scandinavian cool to your home by way of the desert.

In what is seemingly an unlikely path for a design aficionado, Swedish native Lars Narfeldt was a UN peacekeeper in war zones across Africa and Afghanistan before settling in Dubai to pursue his dream of bringing Scandinavian design to the Middle East. His concept store, D:tales, Precinct Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, is now a magnet for admirers of minimalism and beautiful design.

“D:Tales had been an idea of mine since as long as I can remember,” says Narfeldt. “So when we settled in Dubai and I couldn’t find the designer pieces I wanted, that was when I decided to finally get the shop off the ground.”

D:tales focuses primarily on Scandinavian design, with complimentary pieces from likeminded international designers. Among the sofas from Arne Jacobsen and lights from Verner Panton, you will find tables by Fadi Sarieddine and products from Samer Al Ameen, Rabih Ghanem, as well as the Palm series by UAE designer Khaled Shafar.

“Besides the obvious facts that I am Scandinavian and this is the style I like... there are two quotes that sum up Scandinavian design for me,” explains Lars. “Don’t make something unless it’s both necessary and useful, but if it is both necessary and useful don’t hesitate to make it beautiful” is the first, along with the rather cryptic, “Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.”

D:tales is designed as a typical Scandinavian concept store, with concrete flooring, open, exsposed ceilings and wall cladding that is made of the beveled zinc sheets used for rooftops in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen.

“Many of our customers says that it feels like stepping out of Dubai and into a shop in Stockholm, which is exactly what we were aiming for,” says Lars.

“A concept store in Dubai is a bit of a new thing and some of our customers initially had a hard time understanding what they get; a furniture store selling bicycles, designer clothes, watches, wallpaper and even books. But after the initial surprise wears off most customers welcome the new initiative and keep coming back for more surprises and inspiration.”

D:tales also offers customers a hands-on journey through contemporary design history, stocking many classics that have remain unchanged more than 50 years after first being produced.

“Take the String Shelf as an example,” says Lars. “Originally made by Swedish architect Nisse Strinning in 1949, it is still in production in its original set up. More or less everything in the store has a story, a history, which is the reason for our name D:tales – because every design has a story to tell.

“I think that once you know the history behind the product, it will become more valuable to you as a customer, and you’ll also be sure to take better care of it.”

design-tales.com

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