Open House: A house full of light
Distinctively modern & beautiful, Rabih's home in Umm Suqeim radiates positivity
Words by Aneesha Rai in Portfolio · Mar 7th, 2023
In this edition of Open House, we take a tour of Rabih's stunning and modern Umm Suqeim villa. Designed in a U-shaped form to maximize light and create privacy, all the ground floor areas offer maximum views of the internal courtyard with a soothing lap pool. Built with several lounge areas that offer breakout spaces for large groups, the villa is perfect for entertaining and maximises privacy.
Rabih: When my wife and I started to develop the concept of the villa with Architect Hind Abu Ibrahim of Inspirations decor, we built the villa in such a way that it is 'open' in all ways to let in the light and for easy connectivity. We took almost three years for the design alone!
The most important thing we wanted in this house was positivity. We built it in such a way that the light shines through all day; we were very conscious of the orientation and circadian rhythms. The colours we used were inspired by the nature of the UAE - by using a lot of sandy tones with touches of blue through the furniture.
I'm a civil engineer by profession, and I've been in this business here since 1988. I've put in all my professional experience in building this home.
All the living rooms are open to the garden and are double-heighted, with skylights. The formal dining area, the family dining area, the kitchen, and the sitting areas are all connected and open so that the space is continuous throughout the villa, creating a feeling of lightness and calm. We used a type of Italian silver travertine throughout the home that is book-matched. The layers of travertine both in the interior and exterior of the home are all at the same level, creating a sense of harmony.
The flooring for the common areas is Italian Navona travertine and we used Italian parquet for the bedrooms. The toilets are from Duravit, with mixers from BagnoDesign and wash basins and cabinets from Antonio Lupi.
In terms of the furniture, we imported them from Hudson, Rugiano, Roberto Cavalli, Minotti, and Fendi. All of the furniture is designed with comfort and functionality in mind. The open and bright space highlights and compliments their beauty, no matter where you are looking from.
The main kitchen and breakfast bar is Scavolini with Miele appliances. My wife wanted three different kitchens for functionality and design; we added that as an additional facility. We also have storage and a laundry room downstairs.
The staircase is also a striking feature of the house - we built it in such a way that it looks like an external staircase from the outside. It is a steel staircase that is cladded with wood. The chandeliers act as a focal point in the second living area and are custom made with leather & brass by Patricia Garganti.
We have an internal elevator that takes us to all floors of the home. Another significant space is the entertainment room in the basement that is well lit because of the skylights. We have a home theatre system, its own bathroom and a billiards table. There are a total of eleven bathrooms in the villa.
We also made sure we made a connection through the greenery outdoors as well as with the elevation of the house. We used an aluminium system from Gutmann Germany with double-glass laminated jumbo panels by Technical Glass to ensure the best acoustic and solar performance.
We made the pool area in such a way that it is not only an entertainment area, but also an area where you can sit above the water while looking at the mesmerizing palm trees. We added a fireplace as well as smaller palm trees to create a feeling of an oasis. We made sure the outdoor furniture was durable enough to weather the harsh UAE summers.
We really aimed for perfection in this house and made sure that it's as beautiful indoors as it is outdoors while still maintaining functionality.