Design & Architecture

Design House: Heliya Design Studio's District One Villa

Heliya Design Studio - District One villa x LUXHABITAT

Founder Heliya Alavi of Heliya Design Studio opens the doors to a vibrant, art-filled villa in District One

Words by Sarah Gamboni in Design & Architecture · Jun 12th, 2023

A stunning private art collection takes centre stage in this District One villa in Mohammed Bin Rashid City. Here, interior architect and designer Heliya Alavi, founder of Heliya Design Studio, has created a welcoming family sanctuary that effortlessly balances vivid pops of colour with soothing neutral tones and organic textures.

Heliya: This beautiful five-bedroom villa in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, District One, is home to a delightful family of four: Maryam, Omer, their two incredible twin boys, and their cherished pets - two dogs and two cats. I had the pleasure of working with them in 2020, when I helped design certain spaces in their Al Barari villa. When the time came for the family to embark on a new chapter in a different home, they reached out to me again. This time, I had the privilege of guiding them through the entire design process of their new villa in District One.

We took great care when selecting the furniture throughout the house to ensure it showcased the art pieces. The lounge area boasts a striking round marble table from The Line Concept and two stunning stools from Casa Lusso Furniture, adding an element of refinement. This carefully curated space features full-height windows that invite abundant natural light, allowing the breathtaking outside view to become an integral part of the interior ambience. The strategic placement of the console table accentuates the spatial flow, providing a visually engaging focal point. It's a space where the family can unwind and savour the harmonious interplay of light, nature, and design. To me, this room embodies a seamless fusion of beauty and functionality, offering an idyllic setting for relaxation and contemplation.


With their hectic but home-oriented lifestyle, Maryam and Omer wanted to create a place that felt like an inner-city sanctuary; a welcoming space that was as luxurious as it was comforting. Rooted in her Pakistani family background, Maryam holds a deep appreciation for the significance of familial bonds and cherished moments spent with loved ones. Understanding the importance of creating a nurturing environment that fosters togetherness, we set out to design a home where family and friends could gather and thrive, crafting spaces that facilitated quality time while ensuring the happiness of each household member. The living spaces cultivate an atmosphere of joy, warmth and contentment, where memories can be forged and treasured.

Nestled within one of Dubai's most breathtaking communities, this exquisite villa is beautifully immersed in its stunning surroundings. Adorned with lush trees and vibrant flowers, the captivating garden and pool area serve as a testament to the family’s deep connection with the natural world. Harnessing this bond, our design concept seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces, effortlessly bringing the beauty of nature inside to create a harmonious and tranquil ambiance.

Living room

Passionate art enthusiasts, Maryam and Omer wanted to showcase their stunning art collection throughout the villa. The art became an integral part of the overall design scheme, enhancing the beauty and allure of the villa's modern interiors. Together we created a captivating visual symphony by infusing the furniture and overall style of the villa with a beautiful balance of colours and textures that worked perfectly with their remarkable artworks.

Throughout the design process, Maryam meticulously curated additional artworks to complement their existing collection and strategically incorporated them into the interior. One standout piece that holds great significance for me is the magnificent artwork displayed above the console table. This exceptional creation by a talented Pakistani artist was thoughtfully framed in Dubai, further accentuating its visual impact and capturing attention.

Personally, I’m drawn towards modern design with a contemporary twist. I firmly believe that incorporating colour has a psychological impact, proven to generate positive energy and enhance mood. In this project, collaborating with a client who has such a deep appreciation for colour allowed for even greater creative freedom in exploring a vibrant yet refined palette throughout the residence.

Entry pouf

In the master bedroom, we drew inspiration from the leafy garden views to create a serene retreat for Maryam and Omer. A deep green feature wall, plants, beautiful artwork, and natural materials create an organic aesthetic, with ample natural light and thoughtful window treatments that artfully frame the outdoor scenery.


The overarching goal was to create a harmonious and sophisticated atmosphere that would delight the eye and evoke a sense of pleasure. To achieve this, we made a conscious decision to use a more neutral colour scheme in the textiles and window treatments, providing a soothing backdrop that allowed the artworks to take centre stage. Natural textures and materials, such as wood and marble, were thoughtfully incorporated to bring organic elements into the overall design.

Bedroom detail
Master bed
Family room

While dynamic colour combinations are a signature of this villa’s bold aesthetic, in certain areas such as the first-floor family room I opted for a more restrained approach, favouring neutral shades over vibrant hues to create a soothing atmosphere. To optimise functionality and style, we custom-designed a TV unit to ensure a perfect fit within this more practical space. This bespoke creation, alongside the L-shaped sofa from The Loom Collection and a customised coffee table, create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere for the family to gather and relax.

Having now collaborated on two projects together, the bond between myself and Maryam is stronger than ever, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to her and her family’s sense of fulfillment and wellbeing through the design of their homes. It was such a rewarding experience to witness their joy as they embraced their new villa, cherishing the moments spent with loved ones and feeling a true sense of belonging. I’m delighted that I played a part in creating a space where they can genuinely feel at home.

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