With panoramic views reaching out over Dubai’s skyline, this newly constructed skyscraper has a 15,000 square-foot penthouse. Fine & Country Interior Design firm Studio Kamini were able to flex their design prowess when they created the interiors.
Defining the client brief
Used to designing properties that are Listed or over a hundred years old, the skyscraper was a new challenge for Studio Kamini. “The main challenge was to take this shell and inject some soul into what was, at that moment, nothing more than four walls and a great view,” explains Kamini Ezralow, Director of Studio Kamini. They started by researching the history of skyscrapers which led them to New York in the 1920’s and the Art Deco movement, an era of architecture also favoured by the clients. This turned out to be the perfect synthesis between the understated elegance of the era and timeless design which was to play such a significant role in the design of the home.
Incorporating the design style
The Art Deco era was synonymous with the glamour and exuberance of the 1920s and 30s in Paris and New York, and incorporating this spirit into the property was a challenge. The most striking design motif is the floor to ceiling mirror which engulfs the main wall in the drawing room. They used a bespoke technique called Verre Eglomisé - a method of gilding, etching and painting the backs of mirrors which dates back to the 18th Century where each design is completely unique. This wall depicts art deco elements in a subtle yet effective way through both the mirror design and the triple-height architrave around the entrance.
Working with space
The property is large in scale, with several double-height ceilings, which proved challenging. “With any space that has double height ceilings, it is vital to make the experience of using the room intimate and welcoming,” explains Kamini.
To achieve this, Studio Kamini created intimate entertaining and living zones within the huge space so that one family member can sit quietly with a book in one corner whilst another might entertain guests further down the room. The furniture throughout was a mixture of some bespoke pieces designed for the client by the firm, and some unique pieces sourced from specialist dealers around the world – all fitting with the art deco styles of the day.
No penthouse would be complete without the multiple special features that one would expect to see in a home of this caliber. The first was a bespoke solution to wine storage which fulfilled a function whilst also looking the part. The wine wall was a completely unique design showcasing a graphic interpretation of the Dubai skyline on the front and housing two temperature controlled zones inside – one for red wine and one for white wine and champagne. It also had an integrated bar on one side and further storage for fine china and glassware on the other.
The home also features a cinema room and a spa, both designed architecturally with an aim to soften and contrast the straight lines of the apartment and create some variety. “We created a specialist sound proofed media pod with curved walls to house the cinema room, custom designing the curved sofa to ensure the proportions were right,” says Kamini. The spa also featured curved walls to enhance a feeling of softness and fluidity; ideal for ultimate relaxation.
The master suite
Designing a master bedroom to impress is always top of the list for clients. This one features a custom-designed Art Deco bed which houses a TV at its base. The silk wallpaper within the room is just as impressive, with a one-of-a-kind design and colourway. It boasts individually embroidered butterflies and Falcons sprinkled throughout the design.
Kamini has noted that the owners of particular high-end properties showcase contemporary artworks and interior style throughout the home. Her clients often have private collections which they want to be incorporated into the final design. For this project, Studio Kamini sourced a lot of the artwork and sculptures for their clients using their contacts worldwide. This included commissioning two kinetic mobiles from British artist Daniel Chadwick for the main hallway. The mobiles break up and generate some movement within the huge double height space, while creating a point of interest to look up at.
Designing a project abroad presented an interesting logistical challenge for London-based Studio Kamini, but their prior experience in international projects was invaluable. With a project manager on site daily and the rest of the team visiting at least twice a month, it is clear that this was a true labour of love for the firm. With the extremely talented Kamini Ezralow at the helm, it’s no surprise that the finished design is both beautifully conceived and immaculately executed - in true and timeless Art Deco form.
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