“This is the fourth country we’ve lived in and we rebuild and renovate everywhere we go,” Alain Goetz tells InsideOut from the living room of his home on the Palm. “When we bought the house we were planning to redecorate and make some minor changes, but over time it evolved to a complete overhaul,” he continues, laughing.
The Goetz family – Alain, his wife Sandra and their two sons – enlisted Julie Doran of Elemento Design to help them realise their vision. “Alain and Sandra wanted a calm house with a luxurious hotel-like feeling, but they still wanted it to feel like a home,” says Julie. Alain adds, “We were looking to have a mix between a European style, where we come from, and an Arabic style, where we live.” And so the process, which took more than a year, began.
The home’s interior exudes a quiet, almost spa-like serenity, which is enhanced by Julie’s use of design elements like mother of pearl details in furniture and wallpaper, crystal chandeliers, leather flooring and wallcoverings in the guest bathroom, custom-made mashrabiya, bespoke furniture and, of course, its seaside location. From every room in the house there is an incredible view of the Dubai Marina skyline and JBR in the distance, while opulent yachts are moored at the marina opposite their stretch of beach.
The bright open-concept living area comprises a formal living room and a casual TV lounge. The oblong space has been cleverly divided, with the latter occupying the area directly behind the home’s main entrance, while the sitting room is on a slightly sunken level just beyond. The areas are stylishly marked by a mashrabiya, designed by Julie. “I looked at hundreds of styles and created a modern, updated version.” It’s a striking design detail that repeats itself throughout the home.
From the elevated TV lounge the formal living room is accessed by a set of two stairs that double as bookshelves, but there is also a gentle ramp that leads to the space. The home was designed to be fully accessible for Alain and Sandra’s eldest son, who has a physical disability. Even the extensive outdoor patio features small ramps that look like design elements as opposed to functional necessities. The home is also fitted with a sleek glass lift.
The wallpaper on the staircase leading to the first floor is dotted with mother of pearl – “an incredibly luxurious and exquisite detail,” says Julie. At the top of the stairs is a round sitting-room-style hall, which leads to the bedrooms. The otherwise-neutral palette is accented with rich purple textiles and bordered by Julie’s mashrabiya design. In an interesting twist on the ordinary, three of the four bedrooms are adjoining. “The family requested this because they thought it added flow and created a sense of seamless, easy living,” explains Julie.
One of the sons’ rooms has its own lounge, study and en suite bathroom – a massive space that feels almost like its own self-contained apartment. “There’s a lot you can do with one big room,” says Julie. “But the challenge is deciding how to tie the space together.” She incorporated a curved design element that extends all the way from the bed to the end of the lounge, along the entire length of ceiling. The panel adds a slightly futuristic vibe to the room and helps to visually unify the massive space. The room also features ‘magic’ glass walls between the sleeping area, bathroom and the lounge and study that frost and clear depending on whether the lights are on, making the room either one large space (when the glass is clear) or three separate areas (when it is frosted).
But the crown jewel of the home is, without doubt, the master suite. The room opens into a spa-like bathroom with dark wood furniture and wardrobes, a champagne colour scheme, bevelled glass and various textural elements like mother-of-pearl details and the mashrabiya that exists in the rest of the home. Most breathtaking, however, is the view from the sleeping area, surrounded by a bay of windows that look out to sea.
“We love living in Dubai and we never tire of the views,” says Alain. “We can see the parachute jumpers from Skydive Dubai, all the yachts, the boat show – it’s really a special place and a truly unique location. Where else in the world does this exist? We are lucky to be part of it.”
This house is currently on the market exclusively with Edwards & Towers. Please contact Richard Pemberton 050 376 5192 for more information
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Constructing the layout for a single living space that needs to incorporate both formal and casual areas can be a challenge, and Julie agrees this was the most difficult part of the design process, but it can be overcome. “Symmetry was the most important component in the living room. To achieve that formal feel – especially beside a more informal space – I created symmetry between the two chairs, the placement of the sofa and put the lamps in pairs… It allowed me to use similar style elements in both spaces, while clearly defining one as formal and the other, informal. It also helps if the two areas are on different levels, or if you incorporate a design element like a mashrabiya to mark the spaces.”
Constructing the layout for a single living space that needs to incorporate both a formal and casual space can be a challenge and Julie says this was the most difficult part of the design process, but it can be overcome. “Symmetry was the most important component in the formal living room. To achieve that formal feel – especially beside a more informal space – I created symmetry between the two chairs, the placement of the sofa, put the lamps in pairs… It allowed me to use similar style elements in both spaces, while clearly defining one as formal and the other, informal. It also helps if the two areas are on different levels, or if you incorporate a design element like mashrabiya to mark the spaces.”