Sharaz and Amber Hussain share their renovated Meadows home with their three children – Eisa, 12; Amaya, eight; and Imani, six.
The Hussains’ move to Dubai brought them from London, where space is confined, which is why they wanted to open out their six-bedroom, five-bathroom villa as much as possible.
“The villa was eight years old but very dark with standard fittings. It wasn’t to our taste,” says Mr Hussain.
To create the open-plan feel, they removed arches and squared off and removed columns where they could.
“We were restricted by the developer from ripping out interior walls and ceilings, so one open living space downstairs was not doable. We put in a glass stairway, large and light tiles, and spotlights. Single-panel sheets of glass replaced windows.”
The couple also redesigned the layout upstairs.
“Standard houses here tend to have an en suite with every bedroom, but so small,” says Mr Hussain. “We now have a “Jack and Jill” – two bedrooms share a bathroom through two doors. We put in washbasins for the children that were slightly lower than standard, and an open living space and games area in the majlis.”
They also redesigned the garden, which was heavily landscaped with lots of shrubbery, to accommodate their three young children.
“We wanted lots of playground space. We landscaped, put in artificial grass and, for aesthetics and safety, moved the swimming pool to the very back of the garden.
“One of the things that caught us by surprise here is that bespoke is probably no different to buying off the shelf, price-wise. We wanted the huge coffee table in the day room to be exactly the same colour as the kitchen units, so we just had one made and dipped it in the same paint. The front door adds a lot to the home – we initially had double doors and we now have a bespoke front door that we designed and could never normally have.”
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