You haven’t heard from me much in the last week as I have been so busy systematically exploring the furniture and design options here in Doha. As our new house is significantly bigger than our Tokyo one (and waaaay bigger than the New York apartment we came from before Tokyo) I actually need to purchase some furniture. When we arrived in Tokyo we had a five-year old and a little baby. Fast forward nine years and we are definitely ready for some teenage and big girl bedroom updates. Add in an additional coffee table and some kind of console to hold a giant TV as we now have a separate den too. But the biggest change is actually having a real dining room – a luxury that just never fit in for us before.

The problem here is that choices are limited. Not quite as limited as people have direly been predicting, but hard to find. Very few companies have websites and showrooms are scattered and hidden all over the city. I’m thinking that I am going to have to turn my research into some kind of Doha design & decor directory as there is simply no centralized information.

Our space is very square and I know I want a round or similarly shaped table as that allows us to use it comfortably when we are just the four of us. A couple of leaves would be ideal, stretching it to an oval for dinner parties and guests. Almost all the tables available here are large chunky solid rectangles, which is not at all what I have been planning. In terms of design I’ve had a few options floating around my head, the first gorgeously illustrated by the work of Spanish designer Isabel López-Quesada. I have always loved her work – she has such a way with blue and white porcelain – and for more images be sure to check her out her portfolio. Thanks to Michele over at My Notting Hill for posting on her this week.

So option one involves using traditional European shapes and breaking things up by varying the table and chairs, whether light tables and dark chairs or the opposite, dark table and light chairs. Fresh but timeless and for someone who it seems is spending the core of her adult life in rentals overseas, a bit of non-compromise classicism.

isabel lopez quesada dining room

If I can’t find the right table quickly, something inexpensive layered with a cloth could do in the interim, presuming of course that I had the right chairs.

Isabel lopez quesada dining room gray

I love the marble and could probably have something custom-made with a marble top as there are reams of marble fabricators here, but it doesn’t allow for expansion.

isabel lopez quesada real club

Not a dining room, but I love the play between the wood of the table and the paint finish on the chair.

isabel lopez quesada desk and chair

This is just plain old dreamy, but included for the small white chairs – I’d love those!

isabel lopez quesada blue white planters chairs

And for the future, which as always is unknown, it’s great to see a small traditional table being used with modern chairs in a kitchen. So pretty!

isabel lopez quesada french table kitchen gray

So I do have a few leads for this option. I really like a few of the tables over at Roche Bobois, particularly the Collanges table. In addition to the very contemporary furniture they make, they also have a beautifully finished line of French classics. There are few other places (if any) with this kind of quality here.

Roche Bubois Collanges table

Showroom photos from around the world demonstrate that colors and finishes are completely customizable.

collanges table

Collanges table roche bobois

But that’s about as far as I have gotten as I don’t want matching chairs. At home, I could scramble up a vintage set of chairs in a heartbeat and give them a little love and they’d be perfect. But no sign of the right kind of chairs here yet – I haven’t even seen a typical oval backed Louis repro. There are rumours of furniture makers and it is on my list to check them out, but I am not sure that this kind of fine furniture is what they are making. More on option 2 and my discoveries to come!