Hameed Hani: The Details Make The Designs

We all want a home that reflects our personalities, a place that has our own particular stamp. And that’s exactly what 5 Millimetres (5MM), a London-based but globally minded high-end residential interiors design consultancy, strives to achieve. 

Scrutinising the smallest details and focusing on precision workmanship, 5MM specialises in bespoke projects, from concept development and spatial layout to finishes, bespoke furniture design and interior styling to on-site project and contractor management. What’s more, its signature is to round out its commissions with a bespoke joinery piece that doubles as functional and a work of art.

Hameed Hani, the consultancy’s Founder and Designer, is an architect with a passion for design. His inspirations include architecture, antique magazine covers from the art deco period, exotic cultures and detail-loving fashion icons Elie Saab and Alexander McQueen. As well as his flair for unique design, an enhanced understanding of space and an ability to manipulate construction details, the young Iraqi has an affinity for and intuitive understanding of Middle Eastern sensibilities.

What’s behind the name 5MM? Is it something to do with your focus on the smallest details?
That’s exactly right; 5MM is all about accuracy and attention to detail. We realise our designs to the smallest detail. Our design aesthetic is driven by the proverb ‘the devil is in the details’ and we always thrive to complete our projects to perfection. 

Tell us about some of your latest projects.
We recently finished a project in Marylebone, London, for a Middle Eastern client. The scheme was mixed bronze, camel and burgundy tones to create an elegant, chic look. This project is also home to one of my favourite pieces, a bespoke TV unit made from hand-textured bronze that I designed myself.

The framework is wood and the finish is melted bronze, hand finished to create the texture marks and then polished to give it that shiny metallic look. It hosts all the AV equipment that feeds the entire flat. It gives the feel of a fireplace, yet it is not a fireplace. It is simply stunning and I take a lot of pride in this piece. We’re also currently working on designing a high-end photography gallery in London and some residential projects in Central London.

What does the consultancy pride itself on the most?
We pride ourselves on creating spaces that evoke emotions and feelings. We achieve this through building close relations with our clients in order to create the perfect space that reflect their qualities combined with our luxury design aesthetic.

You were born and raised in Baghdad. How has this affected your design principles?
Baghdad is a special city. My favourite part of the city, which has probably influenced my work the most, is the amount of eye-grabbing monuments, statues and architectural buildings. Regardless of whether they were successful or not, you look at monuments such as The Victory Arch, The Monument of the Unknown Soldier, Mustansiriya School (to name a few) and you think wow, architects, designers and even the people were not scared of building such statement pieces that reflect their emotions and feelings. I think this reflects my work in terms of creating bespoke joinery pieces that would be considered ‘art’ rather than a display unit or a purely functional ‘TV unit’.

What attracts you the most to the Middle Eastern eye for design, detail and colour?
Middle Eastern clients like to play with volume and are not scared of going big or using bold colours. I find it rather exciting when a client wants to go big. My client has just gone and bought herself a fabulous life-size horse statue and wants me to incorporate it into our scheme, that’s an example of how fun Middle Eastern clients can be to work with. At the same time, their taste is always balanced with more delicate details such as fine trims, accessories and soft furnishings.

So which 5MM values do you believe your Arabian customers identify with?
They respond well to our attention to detail and delivering a complete project that reflects high-end living style. Our understanding of the culture and Middle Eastern values creates a strong bond between the client and ourselves as we get to truly understand the requirements of a space that reflects Arab culture and qualities. 

Can you give us some décor tips for entertaining?
I think the most important décor tip for throwing a party is lighting. You want to achieve the perfect mood lighting. Dim your lights and utilise tea light candles and table lamps to create a moody ambiance. There is no such thing as too many candles!

Flowers are very important as well. I like to have flowers in each room where the guests might end up socialising. It adds a soft touch to the atmosphere and an element of luxury without being pretentious.

What about setting the table for a dinner party?
Presentation is key. Set pieces are a great way to add a touch of glamour and character to your table. Whether it is a crystal ice bucket, antiqued silver cutlery or Versace cups, always try to invest in show stopping dinner table pieces.

The table setting has to reflect the theme of your party. This can be done through the use of colour, tablecloths, plates etc. Don’t forget that as much as the table setting is important, the food has to carry it through!

Which décor disasters should we avoid at all costs when entertaining?
Bad lighting, an unbalanced sound system, so make sure you have appropriate speakers for your background music, non-matching tableware and bad hosting. It is the host’s duty to make the guests comfortable.

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