Sam Armstrong utilised calm and neutral tones for this sumptuous villa
Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · Oct 2nd, 2023
For this edition of 'Design House', we delve into the remarkable transformation of an Arabian Ranches home by Sam Armstrong, the founder of Zephyr Interiors. The brief - a contemporary minimalist haven that retained an open, inviting atmosphere for entertaining. The 'less is more' philosophy took center stage, ruling out vibrant colors and emphasizing free-standing furniture; and Sam executed this vision flawlessly. We explore the changes that transpired, from a dated, colorful interior to a serene, all-white oasis.
Sam: The owners of this home dreamt of a contemporary minimalist interior that would maintain a spacious feel for entertaining. The villa’s expansive garden with newly renovated sunken outdoor dining space and pool were to remain a feature so a ‘less is more’ approach was the overarching request. Colour was off the cards and they preferred free-standing furniture over built-in units or tv walls. My goal was to deliver a sleek space that would wow their guests whilst remaining practical enough for their growing family and two dogs.
This villa was reminiscent of many untouched units in the community – displaying very old-fashioned yellow, red, and brown interiors; it was crying out for a full renovation and the clients were happy to oblige.
We established a calm and neutral colour & material palette to complement, rather than compete, with the outdoor environment. The entire home was gutted internally and the request for ‘all white’ walls was adhered to. Grey micro-cement flooring was installed downstairs and really set the tone for the airy, minimalist feel. Light sheers were added to the windows to layer the space without creating a heavy feel and window/door frames were sprayed white to enhance the light feeling throughout. Dramatic accents of sleek black metal and leather helped to create contrast and matte black switches and sockets were chosen to complement these.
The kitchen and stairwell were particular areas of note in terms of the most dramatic design changes, alongside the bathrooms throughout the property. In the master bedroom, we demolished the existing built-in wardrobes and brought the wall forward into the space to allow for a larger master bathroom and a new walk-in wardrobe. Soft lighting options were paramount for entertaining and relaxing, so this was considered across all spaces.
Wooden floors adorn the upper level to add an element of warmth in the bedrooms and throughout the property there are thoughtful nods to the practicalities of daily life with children and pets - washable sofa covers & wipeable paint being just a few.
The Master bedroom in this home is my favourite space – it was a space that felt pulled together without trying too hard. It's cosy whilst still in keeping with the home’s minimalist aesthetic. The Custom no.9 bed in the master suite is a highlight within that space – the matte black metal four-poster frame kept it grounded in the home’s minimalist vibe whilst still creating a statement and bringing in an element of warmth via the wood and cane headboard.
Retaining current furniture pieces and working them in to a new scheme can often pose a challenge if a client has a specific design style in mind. With a little more thought and planning, we were able to retain most of the client’s preferred items.
The living room sees a blend of local brands like Marina Home alongside international brands like Roche Bobois. We've also used pieces/fittings from Crate & Barrel, By Crea, and Quokker.