A MODERN MARVEL
In this apartment in Marina Arcade in Dubai, simplicity and sophistication coexist with functionality, colour and craft. Designed by Roar (formerly called Pallavi Dean Interiors), the space is a celebration of fuss-free, contemporary design.
When I was asked to create a show apartment with irresistible emotional appeal for the new Marina Arcade development in Dubai Marina, I designed it for Lara. She’s 36, married, and had just had her first child. Lara is a high achiever who is climbing the corporate ladder in a big media company, but she’s juggling that with being a hands-on mum. Lara loves high-design, high-fashion and high-society parties—but she and her husband are also acutely aware of the practicalities of family life. That’s the thing with show homes—they’ve got to be multi-functional, because people need wildly different things depending on their mood. A cosy retreat after a tough day at work; an Instagram-worthy party space; clever storage for suitcases and the ironing board; a place to do a couple of hours work after the kids have gone to bed.
So, for this home, inspiration was sought from a broad and eclectic crossover of design references and styles. This approach gave a wonderful depth, richness to spaces. So for this apartment, we didn’t just follow the principles of residential design—we were inspired by hotel design (the overall concept), museum design (the corridor), café design (the kitchen), school design (children’s bedroom) and office design (the intelligent use of zoning—albeit on a micro scale—in the layout of the living cum dining area).
Dubai Marina has always been a great location, with the enviable lifestyle opportunities and amenities of the Marina and JBR on one side, and Dubai’s media and tech business hub on the other. Going beyond the purely cosmetic, we instigated structural changes, knocking down walls to create new rooms and tweaking the floor plan. Specifically, the original plan had no room for a housekeeper—a musthave for many Dubai families. We have used colour to create a sense of continuity throughout the home. The colour palette takes its cue from the reception lobby—a muted, neutral base palette—with a blue accent colour inspired by Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahaj’s Galloping Horse painting in the reception lobby. A second accent colour, mustard, was added as a beautiful complement.
COLOUR AND MATERIAL PALETTE
We have used a lot of mirrors and reflective surfaces to give a sense of the apartment being flooded with natural light, and to make it appear larger that it is. In the master bathroom we carried the wall covering onto the ceiling to create a sense of intimacy, a technique typically used in luxury hospitality design. In the master bedroom, oversized flowers and emerald, jewelled tones create a luxurious yet relaxed vibe. For the dining abstract graphics of
ART OF LIVING The formal living room (above); study area in the children’s room (below)