This home in Dubai blurs indoor and outdoor spaces to create a minimal and modern design

Alamira Noor Bani Hashem and Styled Habitat led the design for the interiors of the Dubai home

“I am not a designer by profession, but I have designed all the spaces that I’ve lived in throughout the years,” begins Anthony Youhana, a Canadian engineer who is also passionate about photography. With Lebanese-Iraqi ancestry, Youhana has lived in Dubai for the past 33 years. “This project was the largest by far and this is why I worked with two A-list designers in the United Arab Emirates to bring to life the concept I wanted to shape and enrich with their ideas.” 

Alamira Noor Bani Hashem and Styled Habitat, led by Rabah Saeid, were those top creative minds. Hand in hand with Youhana, they transformed this 465-square metre apartment with three bedrooms into a minimal, modern space that reflects the homeowner’s personality and maximises the use of natural materials. 

The project also had to be in harmony with the Seventh Heaven master project, the high-end residential development in Al Barari where the home is located. 

Occupying a quiet corner of the building and with a third of it surrounded by terraces and lush landscaping that goes from Mediterranean to more tropical vegetation, the apartment gives the feeling of living in a detached villa. Thanks to its high ceilings and large windows, it is flooded with natural light. “One of the biggest challenges consisted in imagining how the exterior areas would match the landscape, and how to use vegetation and materials that would endure the harsh summer outdoor conditions,” remembers Youhana, who envisioned a hybrid space that would be a fusion of indoor and outdoor living. The apartment also needed to be a place that could be shared with friends and family, since he loves entertaining. 

“My home has a great vibe,” says Youhana. “You can stay in a space for hours without feeling the need to leave it. It is bright and easy on the eyes. There is always music in every zone. It starts with classical music in the morning and moves progressively to more lounge-y sounds, which rhymes well with the night mode and mood of the space. The lighting is also an important enabler.”

In every corner, Youhana installed intelligent audio systems by Bose and Sonos, and took months to curate the perfect pieces. “The main lounge sofa set by Living Divani was an important part of the minimal design of the home,” he says. “It was first chosen with the right colour and material, then the rest of the room followed.”

Furniture and lighting by Moroso, BoConcept, Alivar, Davide Groppi, DCW éditions and Flos – among others – dialogue with art and accessories by Iginio Iurilli, Hermès Home, Christofle, Fornasetti and Nada Debs. 

“I dislike clutter, even in my personal fashion style and selection,” says Youhana. “I love colours that do not get too affected by trends. I also like to accentuate with valuable objects to give the whole a great sense of taste. In fashion, I always invest in high-quality shoes that would look great even after years of use. I follow the same when it comes to choosing sofas, carpets, music systems and electronics.” Earthy tones of concrete, beige and brown combine with limestone on the chimney, travertine in the dining and main bedroom, cherry wood in the furniture, as well as leather and nubuck in a Zen and luxurious atmosphere. 

During weekdays, Youhana particularly enjoys his study/TV room with perfect sound in the evenings. On the weekends, he usually spends time with his guests on the large terrace and bar, especially from October to June.   “I am happy when I work from home, even if that is for hours,” says Youhana. “Time flies by and I never get bored. I also feel extremely proud when visitors share great opinions about the space, decoration, landscape and vibe. I feel energised and fulfilled here.”  

Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh

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