TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer

TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer
Interior design is an incredibly rewarding profession says Sima Malak. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 01 March 2019

TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer

TheFace: Sima Malak, Saudi interior designer

With meticulous attention to detail and thoughtful use of materials, I am known for my contemporary design aesthetic and for weaving in traditional architectural details that give my work a rare sense of permanence.

I have three decades of experience in interior designer and consider a project successful when I return to it after several years and find it as relevant as when first designed.

Interior design is an incredibly rewarding profession. It challenges you and drives you to create something enduring and timeless.

I was born and raised in Riyadh, and from a young age my creativity was evident, which is surprising given my parents worked in the medical field. Interestingly, it was their commitment to helping others that inspired me to pursue my own passion for art and design.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to study and work abroad. I was exposed to different cultures and influences that helped to expand my view of the world, allowing me to gain broad industry knowledge that influences my work to this day.

I returned to Saudi Arabia after receiving my BA and MA degrees in interior design from San Francisco State University, and it is now common to see female interior designers in Riyadh and other parts of the Middle East.

I have trained with some leading interior design and architecture firms in the US, and after returning to the Kingdom, I partnered with another Saudi female architect to launch and head our own firm before starting my own business in 1996.

My determination and work ethic won the respect of my peers and clients as I took on complex residential and commercial projects, transforming them into elegant living and working spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. 

With Riyadh as my base, I have completed projects in the US, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Egypt, Lebanon and Bahrain. 

I am proud to say that my firm, Sima Malak + Alssamoure Design Associates, won the prestigious IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Award in the Large Corporate Space category, as well as an honorable mention for the groundbreaking design of the Arcapita Mosque, in Bahrain Bay.

It is a testament to me and my team’s abilities that we have such a diverse clientele.

Although design is my primary passion, I am also an ardent animal lover and I volunteer to raise awareness about animals in need.

I encourage people, particularly the younger generation, to take responsibility for their pets. Working with relevant groups, we hope to start a rescue center that will provide neglected, abandoned animals with the care and attention they deserve. 

My mission is to support other professional women and help them excel in the field of design. I have met many talented, creative Saudi women throughout my career. If I can play even a small part in setting them up for success, I consider that an absolute privilege.

I have a duty to give back and pass on the knowledge I have gained to others, so we can collectively drive the industry forward.