Casa Sahara by Niche Corner
“When my clients moved to the UAE, they were in search of their new forever home – an abode that would grant them serenity and peace,” remembers Neeshay Nouman, founder of the UAE-based design studio The Niche Corner, and the mastermind behind this impeccably layered home in Dubai with warm, but all-white interiors.
Layering the look with warm wood, cream linen and a plethora of textural finishes, Dubai designer Neeshay Nouman has delivered something quite rare: a minimal home that still feels cosy.
The couple – IT professionals in their mid-30s – immediately clicked with the designer, thanks to their shared love for minimalism, the philosophy that has guided every step of this project. They set their sights on a two-level, 3,196-square-foot home with big potential located in Dubai’s upscale community of Arabian Ranches. Under Nouman’s watchful eye, the house was fully renovated to fit the homeowners’ lifestyle and needs.
Among the key changes were the full-scale extensions of the living and dining spaces, a new layout for the kitchen to allow for open-plan living and the reorganization of the primary ensuite. Plus, there were some light-touch uplifts: a renovated power room, updating the lighting and replacing the flooring was just what this villa needed to bring it into 2023. There were a few challenges along the way, too: the separation of a Jack and Jill combined bathroom into two separate ensuites was an uphill battle alongside the landscaping and hardscaping that was so vital in bringing new life to the outdoors.
“The property came with its fair share of mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering issues that were thankfully were resolved, and the final result were two beautiful, tranquil spaces,” remembers Nouman.
The idea was to create a transitional and timeless home with subtle European references throughout and just a few artworks dotted around the rooms to layer the look. Based on a shared love for neutrals, the all-white interiors palette was combined with warm wood touches – to add comfort and coziness – and clean beiges were added to the mix to offer light and dark accents without taking away from the crisp, airy look. Large format greige flooring tiles create a seamless envelop that connects the interiors spaces with the outdoors.
“We also wanted to draw in external elements, so greenery played an important role,” says the designer. With her team, she sourced a spectacular 70-year-old olive tree from Morocco, which acts as the focal point of the living room’s large arched window in a manner akin toi a picture frame framing a painting. “The olive tree had to be airlifted and placed in with a crane, towering from above the home!”
“Given the minimal nature of this home in Dubai, we went heavy on texture and fabrics, weaving in linens, tweeds and light cotton,” says Nouman. “There is texture even on the kitchen hood and the TV unit.”
Creating a consistent visual language, several pieces of furniture are bespoke, including the entryway table in solid oak, the coffee table in walnut veneer and the pillar stands in the living room. The dining table in a cream limestone almost blends into the room, training the spotlight firmly on the cane-backed dining chairs.
“The end result is calming cohesion, with classic white walls, contrasting with a purely walnut wood kitchen, antique brass touches and black framed windows,” says Nouman. “The aim was to create a lovable but livable space. My clients have an affinity for the finer things in life; they value subtly and with simplicity. They wanted fewer but more effective elements; they wanted to come home and you know, feel at home. We delivered by not complicating the palette and staying true to our shared vision for this minimal but chic Dubai home.”