Style and sophistication in Doha home
Style and sophistication in Doha home
A family home in the heart of Doha exudes a timeless elegance
By Charlotte Butterfield, Editor, InsideOut
Image Credit: Darren Chung for GNM
The warm terracotta and gold scheme in the women’s majlis is inspired by the homeowners’ love of Morocco.
One would imagine it’s exceedingly rare for people to use their time spent in airports to glean design inspiration for their homes, but for this Qatari businessman, designer Katharine Pooley’s VIP suites at Heathrow Terminal 5 appealed so much, he commissioned her to design his new home in Doha. Katharine takesInsideOut on a tour of this recently completed villa, pointing out all the decorative finishes, bespoke furniture and unique lighting installations in what she describes as “an interior designer’s dream project”.
Katharine’s clients, a couple with three young children, asked her to design an impressive yet comfortable residence where they could entertain. Central to the vision for their home was the creation of different areas designed to appeal to men and women to relax in, each with their own clear identities.
The theme for the women’s majlis was inspired by a love of Morocco and Katharine explains how she interpreted this. “Whilst travelling in Morocco, I found there were two distinct styles – one very white and fresh with startling blues and the other a very warm palette of terracotta and orange. As this was intended to be a place for relaxation and there was little natural light in the room, we decided to take the latter route and go for warmth and cosiness.”
“We wanted to use tactile materials, but still keep it luxurious – so we used beautiful delicately patterned fabrics that were rich in colour and texture, yet still comfortable against the skin. The bespoke ironmongery throughout the house is brass, which will age and develop a beautiful patina over time. We continued this finish in the hand-carved lighting fixtures and the hanging ottoman to provide consistency and fluidity between the spaces,” says Katharine.
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To accessorise the space, she selected a stunning deep blue set of Hermès tableware with a Moroccan design balancing the umber palette. This particular blue is frequently seen in Marrakech interiors and the introduction of terracotta echoes the colours and contrasts found in the Doha landscape.
The masculine retreat across the hallway is an ideal place for the men to relax, complete with snooker table, jukebox and bar. “The entertainment room was designed to be the client’s dream space to enjoy time with friends,” says Katharine. “We wanted the room to be more masculine, hence the darker colours with splashes of red. The fitted joinery was all designed and handcrafted in England with shagreen to match the bespoke billiards table. It’s a large space, and in order for it to be multifunctional we devised a furniture layout that could be easily adapted.”
Doha is rapidly carving a reputation for itself as the next Middle Eastern destination, and the clients were very keen to use innovative finishes and techniques in their home that were considered on-trend globally – “an interior designer’s dream!” remarks Katharine. “This gave us a fantastic opportunity to commission one of the world’s top decorative arts studios in Canada and we incorporated some exceptional finishes such as verre églomisé and bas-relief ornamentation into our designs.” These techniques are on display in the formal living room, where elegant dragon motifs snake up the side of the sofas. “We wanted to incorporate the client’s love of Chinese culture into the design somehow and felt that embroidery offered the perfect opportunity to do this using some exceptionally fine beading techniques.”
Ascending the grand staircase takes you to the bedrooms. The couple’s three children are young, ranging from two to eight years old, but Katharine wanted to create rooms that would be suitable as they grow over time. The results are three rooms each reflecting the children’s tastes and preferences, from football-monogrammed wallpaper in the son’s room to a feminine array of patterns and Hannah Montana pink in the client’s daughter’s room. The toddler’s room has a soothing palette of powder blue and soft pistachio green. In the master bedroom, long expanses of wall dictated the design to a degree as Katharine knew she needed to create a focus in the room. She achieved this with a large gold leather headboard that complements the soft silk wallpaper and delicately embroidered curtains beautifully. The dressing area just off the bathroom has been fitted with bespoke joinery made from rosewood to match the TV surround in the bedroom and the vanity units and shelving in the en-suite bathroom.
Almost every item in the house was designed and crafted especially for it by suppliers located predominantly in the UK, with a few particular items made in Canada, the US, France and Italy. With so many unique luxurious touches scattered throughout the villa, when asked to pinpoint her favourite part of the design, Katharine smiles and says, “I love the Swarovski crystal chandelier in the entrance hall and all the fabulous joinery, but I especially love the beautifully intricate front doors, which are the first hint at the splendour that will be found inside when they slowly swing open.”
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