Scandanavian Style in Dubai
A Distinct Scandinavian Style
The natural beauty of modern Scandinavian style speaks the international language of captivating design. With its powerful and timeless appeal, the Whispering Pines villa designed by Zen Interiors captures the lush spirit of Dubai and the rich golfing green of Jumeriah Golf Estates.
Bathed in light and a gentle, thoughtful palette, this holiday home boasts the amenities and cosmopolitan cache of new construction – and stands apart because of contemporary interiors that touch the hearts of its Finnish owners.
The Project Brief
“This project was quite a special one for us; being Danish I was delighted when the client expressed a penchant for modern Scandinavian design, so it allowed me to indulge my love of some of the Danish design greats. Particular favourites of mine are Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen and Louis Poulsen – all of whom feature in this house,” explains the founder and General Manager of Zen Interiors, Merete Broen.
But she considers all of their projects special – as do internationally acclaimed judges. Her firm has just won two prestigious awards: the Best Interior Design for an Apartment in Dubai (for Le Rêve Tower in Dubai Marina); and Best Interior Design for an Apartment in Arabia, at the International Property Awards. The honours illustrate the company’s ability to harness the beauty of surroundings with the chic, international style their Dubai clients desire.
Broen explains: “Dubai is a melting pot of different nationalities, with each area of the city having different styles, and developments that stand side by side, each with their unique identity and design flavour. This makes it quite difficult to define a specific look and feel that is inherently ‘Dubai’. But one thing that is common within all our projects is an unswerving commitment to quality, and this is something that is starting to define Dubai in general – designs that push the envelope of innovation and aren’t limited to a narrow set of design rules or styles. It is quite common to find designs that are ‘fusions’ of a number of different styles – and in this project Scandinavian design meets contemporary minimalism.”
The 500-square metre residence and 800-square metre outdoor space made this project ideal in many ways for its Finnish clients’ love and understanding of Scandinavian design and its embrace of the ‘natural’.
Zen Interiors had an initial meeting with the clients to discuss their tastes and preferences and once the trust factor was there the full go-ahead was given. The concept design was followed by the detailed design stage, which incorporated a very in-depth spec book, drawings, mood boards, drawings for the custom furniture and kitchen. Designing the bespoke furniture was a fairly involved process and included making a complete breakfast
area with custom seating, a TV unit to house Bang & Olufsen technology, a cabinet for the entrance, a wall unit in the living room, TV unit in the family room and custom-designed patio.
The high ceilings and open concept layout give the villa the illusion of being larger than its one-floor, three-bedroom (plus maid’s quarters) layout. The chic yet warm furnishings were selected from retailers such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, high-end companies such as Ligne Roset and local favourites such as Flamant. Scandinavian touches are visible in pieces from Louis Poulsen, Bo Concept, Bang and Olufsen and the Eero Saarinen round side table from Knoll, as well as all the handcrafted custom furnishings designed to reflect the
inimitable Northern European aesthetic.
Creating a synergy with nature played a huge role in the clients’ décor and furniture selection. All the materials both inside and out use natural fibres. They’ve used natural oak and driftwood for the furniture and linen finishes for the curtains, beds and lounge chairs; natural leather for the sofas in the TV room; and natural fibres for the rugs.
Together, these materials not only look great, but also add another dimension by emitting a really warm natural smell when you walk into the rooms. It’s a very earthy Scandinavian look: everything is white or light beige with the exception of a few elements and furniture pieces that add splashes of welcoming colour.
The expansive feeling of the space is the result of an expert blending of indoor and outdoor space, which includes
contemporary furnishings that complement the sights and sounds of the golfing green.
The feeling of light and openness pervade every room – the clients wanted to create a synergy between inside and outside, which they feel they have achieved through the use of natural materials, light-coloured décor and the pared-back, clutter-free minimalist feel. The outdoor area boasts a wealth of greenery – which in itself is unusual for Dubai – and despite the occasional call from the golfers, there’s almost nothing to interrupt the instantly soothing sound of water from the swimming pool and the birdsong.
And with two awards under their belt and a jet-setting clientele whose taste is as diverse as the region, we think Broen’s vision of Scandinavian style is here to stay.
This article was provided by Indentity Magazine Dubai.