Our new ‘Open House’ series sees us meet the owners and designers of some of our most extraordinary houses ahead of their sale. Here, interior designer Kate Instone invites us in for a personal insight into a Signature villa she has recently designed on the Palm Jumeirah. View the sales listing here.
"If you're somebody looking for a house with Fendi furniture and Versace china, then this isn't the house for you."
Over the past year, Kate Instone, the Founder of Blush International - an internationally acclaimed interior design studio based both in Dubai and London, has worked with international real estate developer and financier Patrick Kreuzer on designing a Signature villa on the Palm.
Kate met Patrick through the buyer of one of his villas that Patrick had renovated before selling. At the time, it was one of the most expensive villas sold on the Palm. "We then decided to work together on this villa. We are both very particular about who we collaborate with, but we had a mutual love for design, quality and elegance. Together we created a very sophisticated and considered home which is both functional and beautifully designed."
"Luxury can be felt" - Kate said as we sat down at the stunning set dining table overlooking the water. "It's there in the textures and fabrics and little thought out elements carefully placed together."
Kate and Patrick decided to feature elements of Patrick's childhood growing up in Germany, and designed a sophisticated European style home, pronounced by the use of muted colours and lots of wooden tones against marble.
"We increased the height of the ceilings to add in more space and imported all the wooden elements, but got them handcrafted here locally in Dubai. We used highly skilled artisans and craftsmen who have the experience, virtuosity and sensitivity to interpret the designs. The bespoke pieces are hand-built in small workshops, employing traditional French & European techniques to make these elegant, yet functional pieces.
It took over a year from design to procurement to reach the finished home. The design process alone took 6 months. The layout of the home has been changed to completely open plan, with the formal living and dining room leading into the family kitchen with a relaxed seating area. The spatial planning of the villa allows seamless entertaining areas from indoors to outdoors during the cooler winter months."
The open-kitchen is Kate's favourite spot in the house. It has an open plan layout and leads to an informal living and dining room. The kitchen counter is crafted out of Brazilian marble and has imported high chairs to enjoy a quick tipple, to work or to just enjoy having a chat with the chef. The kitchen comes fully equipped with Miele appliances. "The attention to detail follows through to the first floor, where each bedroom has its own marble clad ensuite with accents of mother of pearl.
The dining table is made by a master furniture maker called 'Human' based in Dubai using the finest grade Ziricote veneer - a rare wood found in the depths of the Central American rainforests. A combination of traditional hand and modern woodworking tools are used in the piece’s construction where the ply carcass is laminated with the exterior layer of veneer. The piece is then hand finished with a hard wearing shellac and waxed to a lustrous sheen. This knowledge and craftsmanship is applied to every timber piece in the property, from the hand turned bases of the side tables to the interiors of the wardrobes."
"Another one of his spectacular pieces you will find is on the spacious first floor landing, where a single felled piece of 100 year of Sycamore has been made into a console, keeping the natural waney edge running up through the slab legs of the table. You can’t help but run your hand along the beautifully tactile piece." The entire upholstery of the home has been hand-made using French upholstery techniques by Cyril Furniture.
Cyril’s team of highly qualified craftsmen, fully trained in each technique, works to the strictest specifications under the supervision of French experts from the ‘Compagnons du Devoir’, to ensure that all their designs are finished to the highest standards. The furniture is made with a solid beech frame and fully upholstered to the highest standard. This is where the curtains, sofas, armchairs and exclusive furniture are produced, using hand crafting techniques carefully adapted to meet modern requirements. The curtains are sewn by hand, lined and quilted. The fabrics are of the highest quality with the Blush team carefully selecting the right texture and color for each item. "
"The accessories were equally important to ensure the luxury standard of the villa. The artwork was curated and produced by leading art consultancy, Ophelia Art and it reflects the natural ebb and flow of the Arabian sea which is a key draw to this beach fronted villa which has unrivaled views of Burj al Arab and the Marina skyline. The finishing touches were the hand selected accessories from Harrods, London includes the bed linen and towels, finalized with soft furnishing from the luxury brand Hermes ."
Images by Natelee Cocks, courtesy of Blush International & Jan Castillo of Luxhabitat Sotheby's International Realty.