Thirza opens the doors to her home that evokes calm and soothes the soul
Words by Aneesha Rai in Portfolio · Dec 7th, 2022
When you enter Thirza's home in Arabian Ranches, a wave of calm washes all over you, with its light, bright, and airy space, stunning flooring and tasteful textures. She worked closely in collaboration with interior designer & furniture craftsman Piet-Jan Van Den Kommer, Nikki Bisiker of Nikki Bisiker Interiors, and Artist Roberto Raad of Wall Master to design the home. If there was a synonym for 'home is where the heart is,' this is where our hearts would be. For this edition of 'Open House', read all about Thirza's culmination of her vision and the inputs from the various designers that helped contribute to it.
Thirza: I was happy to find this home seven years ago, because of its unique type in combination with its slightly hidden and private location, even though it is within walking distance to the Golf Club House as well to the Town Centre. We gradually began to make changes to the house over the years - our last renovation was this summer in order to achieve this effect. We switched out the marble for wooden floors and opened up the space, and renovated the kitchen and bathrooms. The library and laundry room are all new. We used the highest quality materials to achieve the goal of a warm, contemporary, and modern home.
Piet-Jan: The wish of the family was to bring the charm from pure materials and comfort from their house in the Netherlands to Dubai. We designed the house keeping in mind the living requirements of the family. If we had to define the home, we would call it an oasis of livable luxury, comfort, and style. Our designs are characterized by the use of pure materials and their ease of use, which have been processed into a tailor-made creative, and surprising design that matches the personality of our clientele. We keep it subtle, timeless, and yet up-to-date - with the use of the different combinations between aged oak, leather, marble, concrete, and steel. A color palette in shades of beige and light oak accents throughout the house. This creates harmony and connection between the different spaces. The art walls, ceilings, and other wooden accents also bring warmth to the house and are beautiful eye-catchers. At the same time, the acoustic wall in the living room accentuates the beautiful height of this space.
We wanted the interiors not to be too elaborate and not cram twenty materials into it. We keep it subtle, timeless, and yet up-to-date - with the use of the different combinations between aged oak, leather, marble, concrete, and steel. A color palette in shades of beige and light oak accents throughout the house. This creates harmony and connection between the different spaces. The see-through fireplace connects to the dining room, which has a sofa with a leather seat and plush cushions that provide a cosy and inviting appearance. The leather walls, ceilings and other wooden accents also bring warmth to the house and are beautiful eye-catchers. At the same time, the leather wall accentuates the beautiful height of this space.
Nikki: The architectural nature of the house and corner location and views instinctively lent themselves to creating a serene open, airy aesthetic to the house. Whilst the Spanish style nature of the house is in a more traditional style, we wanted to create a more modern contemporary feel and aspect. Thirza's brief was to be a practical yet fully styled family home. The occupants were on a busy schedule with children, dogs, and lots of entertaining friends and family. As the owners were northern European, the wish was for natural woods, and neutral colours, so our purpose was to lend definition to this casual relaxed feel. We added classic strong black highlights in certain areas offsetting the whites and creams and beige tones and so the colour palette was born as a design springboard combined with the functional practicalities, thereby ticking all boxes.
Nikki: We worked firstly on allowing more natural light into the space by opening up windows and doors using rectangle, triple vertical, and horizontal forms. We also introduced curved symmetrical arched windows at the entrance which continued the original Spanish theme but in unexpected areas, creating an extended welcoming porch but also allowing light into the new family room and also acting as a looking glass into the olive tree courtyard. The front door was exchanged for a custom design using black metal, and glass, with an increased height and width; again bringing light into the entrance with privacy; not an issue due to this area being secluded. The detail of the front door was replicated on the internal doors on the ground floor. Our favourite area is the entrance hallway allowing lighting in from all sides, apart from the one wall which is mirror clad. Black hanging lights, wood floors, glass wood, concrete. A winning combination.
All the floors were fitted with wooden herringbone soft tawny browns to give a warm,cosy, and natural feel to look at and to walk on but combined with grey concrete to give a change of texture and to define areas. We also included a practical workable feature in the dining area and children’s room.
Lighting also played a very important part that we used to define areas, highlight artwork, and focus on cabinetry, books, the library, dining area, and kitchen. We added soft ambient lighting for the evening and task lighting for the children’s room workspace. Hanging lights in the hallway added a decorative feature also.
We created custom cabinetry on the ground floor throughout which gives a more luxurious look to any home, is space-saving, and provides full storage solutions that were required by the family. It also provides an haute couture, tailored feel. Furniture was kept casual, comfortable, yet elegant; practical for children, adults, and dogs!
Roberto: I mainly worked on the flooring to achieve a plaster micro cement effect. The living room double-height wall was finished in a sandy metallic effect so the sculptures project out of the wall more, but at the same time keep the same harmony with the rest of the space. I also created a wall niche in a special natural oxidized, original gold leaf from scratch.
Thirza: Most of the furniture in the ground floor areas is from Roche Bobois, combined with the custom-made furniture from Piet-Jan van den Kommer. The lights come from different designers, partly purchased from Huda Lighting.
Piet Jan: The wooden designer kitchen is brand new and designed entirely according to the wishes and needs of Thirza. When designing a kitchen, it is important that the routing between the various functions is correct. For example, in this kitchen, we have created a bar area on the island, with a drinks niche behind it. Cooking is done on the other side and the hob, fridge, and sink are all within easy reach. Everything for maximum culinary enjoyment.
Thirza: The ground floor kitchen, lounge room and dining area on the ground flour form my favourite space in the house.