Simply White - St. Martins
Welcome to the design reveal of this airy, sun-filled home that truly captured the beach coastal-inspired relaxed atmosphere, blending both the indoor and outdoor spaces. This beautiful and serene home, was a challenging and fulfilling process with a dreamy outcome that took three months to complete. Our lovely client has a discerning eye for fashion and interiors making this project an artful curation of carefully chosen new pieces that seamlessly integrate with their old and beautiful furnishings.
Our sourcing included several international selections focusing on Scandinavian, Greek and Nordic influences to achieve a luxurious, functional yet breezy ambience enriched with touches of oak, travertine, reclaimed wood and soft linens.
Let us start this year with one of our most awaited project, St. Martin! From flat walls with floor to ceiling windows to an impossibly chic royal blue statement sofa to a mix of all-white canvas and textures, here are all the makings of this blissfully peaceful sanctuary.
Interior sculpting a beach house in the middle of Umm Suqeim. Our ingredients were focused on the love for all things white and neutral with the most unexpected touches from oldest to newest.From Greece to some interesting places around the world, we manage to procure the right interiors cocktail for a place called home. Have a glimpse at every corner of this gem.
Concept and Inspiration
Very few of us have the luxury of starting with a symmetrical canvas in our homes and as far as the eye can see- nothing but the outdoors. In this villa, the best starting point was the proportioned open plan layout and generous window openings throughout one side of the built elevation. It was important to the homeowner that the space should provide a friendly and welcoming feel in which to receive family friends. Hence, we decided on giving a clean and minimalist aesthetic, spiced with cozy and lively touches.
Our client’s vision for their home was to create a beach house-inspired aesthetic that suited the functionality and lifestyle of a family-oriented living. To achieve this brief, we focused on a combination of catalog goods, inexpensive and vintage finds that matched the client’s personal style- a collected, layered and unique look.
The large plan was stripped back and adapted leaving the windows untreated and uncovered to always keep the space open to the views beyond, the blues of the pool and sky, the sandy and green garden – colours that seep into the indoor spaces where the view and the light are enhanced.
A room should arrive at a point where adding or subtracting anything would ruin the overall design. We crafted a mix of materials, textures, silhouettes and forms where the living, dining and lounge spaces feel perfectly lived in yet uncluttered.
As part of our initial design plan, we divided the open-plan space into zones for the different activities that happen in this ground floor level. Since none of these zones were split or contained by a door or shared walls, the furniture arrangement played a large part in marking and creating those zones to allow enough space between pieces to create flow within and between each zone.
You will notice that each of these zones feature a statement piece that draws the eye due to its distinct colour, shape or scale. With a simplistic and functional approach, there is a serenity that can be found where the selected pieces become the main feature.
Our focal piece of the T.V area is none other than the sofa by Roche Bobois in a spectacular royal blue. Almost changed to white, but the client was determined to keep our splash of rare royal touch. In an all-white dominated canvas, this one item adds interest against the calm of symmetry and pairing. While we initially considered reupholstering this old gem in a more subdued fabric to maintain a monochromatic palette, we do not regret this brilliant splash of blue that adds the vibrancy and depth in this space.
A perfectly complementing piece for this is the custom designed low floor-standing T.V unit in natural travertine and a white painted finish. This bespoke creation by Line Concept mirrors the length of the sofa and creates balance to this space with its simple composition of clean lines and a statement curved cabinet. The touch of travertine brings areas of visual warmth amongst the cool neutrals. The coffee table, also by the Line Concept is an organic silhouette that echoes the bumps of the sofa with its curves and the colour of the painted T.V unit, thus binding the entire look together.
With plenty exposed windows, we ditched overhead ceiling lights altogether and opted for simple spotlights instead and a pendant light by Normann Copenhagen. This bell lamp has a simple yet distinct appearance with its white shell and industrial cord. The side tables, rug and poufs were also kept plain and light to stay as a backdrop and let the bigger pieces take the center stage.
1. Profile Sofa- Roche Bobois
2. Oak T.V Unit- The Line Concept
3. White Cube Cushions- Bespoke
4. Bell Pendant Lamp- Normann Copenhagen
5. Organic Coffee Table- The Line Concept
Further to the left of the T.V Lounge comes the living area where the sofa and seating arrangement is flipped to face the panoramic outdoor views of the garden and pool. Comfort was the key factor here and we wanted to incorporate a large sofa that is known for its modern and relaxed frame. This modular cloud sofa was sourced from The Loom Collection and styled with various neutral colored fluffy cushions for extra comfort and coziness.
A console made of reclaimed wood sits along the back of the couch and a unique coffee table, also custom designed by The Line Concept settles on a light beige rug flown from Australia. The coffee table designed with four cylindrical legs and thin glass frame adds a lightness to the overall design. The weaved outdoor-style lounge chairs sourced from Greece are a sleek addition that add warmth with the use of natural materials.
We loved the client’s black frame chairs that add a good contrast to the white and oak scheme and styled the profile bench from Roche Bobois behind with a great collection of fashion books and chic accessories from Fornasetti.
The stunning living room presents an ideal area in which to gather guests. Despite an underlying vibe of modern minimalism, the lively furniture selection evokes a cosy and friendly atmosphere that is full of life.
The bespoke console from Wood Culture was another good contrast to the living area and added a hardness and edgy look to the soft scheme. Styling this was a massive challenge- we always edit, edit and then edit some more! To achieve the right sense of negative space ad asymmetry, we played with different combinations of the vases and dried leaves until we found the contrast in an arrangement that seems like they shouldn’t make sense together but somehow do. We are always drawn to pots, stems and branches that are sculptural in form and texture.
1. Lounge Chair- Ebarza
2. Glass Coffee Table- The Line Concept
3. Birds of Paradise Plant- Bloomr
4. White Ceramic Vase- West Elm
5. Artisan Vase- Pottery Barn
6. Terracotta Vase- Tribe Dubai
7. Reclaimed Wood Console- Wood Culture
8. Feather Cloud Sofa- The Loom Collection
9. Profile Bench- Roche Bobois
The L-shaped ground floor area ends with the dining and bar tucked in the corner overlooking the pool deck. Reusing the acrylic ghost table and bar stools from Kartell here was straightforward since the lack of color and sleekness makes it easy to integrate in any setting. The area looks more open due to this look and we went for clean and timeless wood dining chairs to continue with our natural palette. The large ceramic vase by Marie Michielssen sourced from the Bowery Company evokes the textures of white beachy coves and is styled with a bunch of short pampas stems.
The unique and irregular pendant lamps above the bespoke bar counter were designed in Paris and made from felt and a textile cable-Our favorite piece of this space and our client’s too! We decided to go for uneven heights and different rough shapes to break the repetition and symmetry of the stools and chairs.
To create some drama and more light to this space, adding an oversized item was a good option. We chose a piece that also exaggerates the vertical plane- our favorite floor standing arched mirror by Custom No. 9. Over-scaling works well against a backdrop of proportion and it is s the contrast in this large piece against other smaller, similarly scaled objects that creates the impact.
The bar counter was another bespoke addition where the ribbed detailing added some textural and tactile detail against the versatile crystal-clear bar stools.
1. Alia Arch Mirror- Custom No 9
2. Felted Hang Lamp- Couleur Locale
3. Oak Dining Chair- Wood Culture
4. Paper Mache Vase- Bowery Company
5. Birds of Paradise Plant- Bloomr
Dressing the Space
As with every other aspect of our designs, accessories and styling contributes to the whole scheme. Where you place these in a room will impact on the overall symmetry, balance, juxtaposition and sense of scale. It’s the mix of inexpensive, vintage and investment pieces that make a home feel real- our staple brands for all the decorative accessories were stores like The Bowery Company, Tribe Dubai, Zara Home and Pottery Barn. Books and other prized possessions possess the ability to convey a lived-in sense of authenticity that gives a grounded reality to a space, making it look more like a home and less like a showroom.
Watch our Q & A with our loveliest Dana Mahlas
We hope you like this blog post!
Keep tuned to our next Reveal.
C'est ici Team
Written by: Zarfeen Hameed
Photography : Taru Goyal