“Over the last year, C’est ici has been pretty much focused on finding talent, new, existing, local, international, and everything in between. The beauty of our business is that we act a little bit like interiors scouts. We often highlight their potential in our designs and give them the importance that they deserved. Well, our Palo Alto project is a carefully curated list of designers complemented by a beautiful collection of art owned by our client.
After 12 months of designing this beautiful villa in the midst of Al Sufouh, we are delighted to start showcasing our design journey with you. Our reveals will be exactly as this project, space by space, and with the same importance as we gave every corner.
The renovated residence features a carefully curated list of designer furniture that is balanced by the owners’ extensive art collection which, in itself, adds vibrancy to the large, three-storey villa that includes a main hall, four master bedrooms and bathrooms, dressing rooms, a lounge area, family room, living room, kitchen, family sitting area, play area, a dining room and lounge.
“During the design process, we were set on creating elegant and sophisticated spaces with unique and unusual elements that give it an avant-garde feel. Our clients own an incredible art collection so our main goal was for the interiors to enhance and complement the beauty of each piece,” Durou explains. “We wanted the spaces to embrace the feeling of being in a modern art gallery so we took inspiration from the look and feel of Atelier Brancusi at the Pompidou Centre to achieve this.
“Design and art are so personal and so is beauty. The things that get collected over time express our most intimate memories and that is something we wanted to reflect in our design.”
Other influences such as a modern-Scandinavian sensibility offer warm touches to space, contrasted with nods to Greek history that is accentuated in the décor. Nevertheless, the interiors remain true to a refined and contemporary aesthetic featuring clean-lines with natural and organic materiality.
Geometric and linear shapes are offset by bulky and monochromatic objects, an eclectic composition which gave rise to the furniture selection including the likes of Patrica Urquiola in collaboration with Cassina, armchairs by Carl Hansen and bespoke pieces by Line Concept. The informal dining area features a charcoal black Clay dining table paired with a masterpiece light by Vibia. These designer pieces are contrasted with hidden gems that have been sourced the world over.
“We emphasized the clash of cultures in the décor, from lighting to furniture. This was an essential approach for this home where we mixed Cycladic and neoclassical influences with contemporary and modern design pieces. Along with a neutral but textural palette in the upholstery and wood tones to the plaster wall finishes, it became our template.”
The most outstanding architectural elements of the project are its double-height ceilings and windows in the formal living and dining rooms, allowing natural light to fill the space.
Vital elements that complement the architectural features of the modern villa are the clean lines, a minimal approach to open spaces, and the use of natural materials, with a show-stopping staircase at the entrance.
In the living room, a statement sofa was sourced from La Cividina, offset by the whimsical spaghetti chairs made in Sherpa – one of the most trending textiles of the year. Massproductions supplied the armchairs that have been contrasted by a black marble table, while the elegant, sculptural objects from Faina are showcased across the room, created by a multidisciplinary design studio in Kiev, Ukraine by designer Victoria Yukusha.
The Palo Alto aesthetic comes alive most prominently in the outdoor lounge area, where the designers layered white-on-white elements with touches of wood and terracotta accent pieces, dotted with furniture pieces by the likes of Paolo Lenti, MDF Italia, Tribu, Sand, and Vondom. This bright, minimal, and cosy atmosphere allows for a perfectly relaxing space within an overall sophisticated environment.
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PUBLICITY AT IDENTITY MAGAZINE ISSUE 202 / OCTOBER 2020