Inside XBD Collective/Bishop Design Residential's latest interior: a stunning family villa in Dubai's Emirates Hills

Ellen Søhoel's XBD Collective have been setting the standard of late with their residential work.

The latest addition to the firm's blossoming portfolio is this stunning family home in Dubai's beautiful Emirates Hills neighbourhood, which seamlessly blends a comfortable living space for a family-of-four with a home that is made for entertaining guests.

So how did the firm - formerly known as Bishop Design Residential - manage it? We asked Ellen herself to talk us through it...

It all starts with a brief...

Our clients were an Indian couple with two sons in their twenties. The design brief was nostalgically touching: after living in Dubai for years, the family missed the feel and tradition of their own culture and heritage. So with that in mind, they requested that we consider Indian touches - whilst keeping all areas light and open using a cream palette.

The design brief demanded a contemporary, timeless and elegant take on the traditional Indian design style and the spaces throughout the villa were to have a serene feel with a light touch of ethnic tradition. All the while. the home had to accommodate all family members, particularly a more ‘edgy’ touch to the sons’ rooms, but also for the family to be able to entertain a large number of guests.

What we came up with...

All items and features in this villa were custom designed to achieve the desired look. We found innovative ways of using various paint finishes on carved MDF and specialist lighting techniques as feature wall claddings all framed in champagne metal strips.

Symmetry, subtle design elements and unique detailing is in clear focus throughout. This begins at the foyer, which expands through into a back-lit onyx stone podium and a feature lighting installation resting on grey mirror panels. The elevated platform is illuminated at night to emulate the mood one would encounter in an Indian temple.

The Entertainment Area boasts an elegant onyx bar which illuminates its surroundings and is accompanied by bespoke studded bar chairs. The centrepiece in the formal living space is the five-meter crystal chandelier, which flows from the void in the first floor ceiling to the rounded seating. The ethnic patterned wall cladding framed in champagne metal adds more to the unique design mix.

For the formal dining area of the home, we installed a four-metre long dining table which features a white agate stone slab accompanied by bespoke dining chairs designed to mirror that of the bar stools. Two hanging chandeliers tie the design together alongside the feature bench seat.

The family room offers a different design direction entirely. The glass dining table and accompanying Perspex chairs gives the room a more contemporary feel. We sought serenity in the main design direction of the master bedroom. 

'Edgy' was the instruction for the grown-up sons’ rooms. So we used masculine wooden features, concrete paint for the main decor, complimenting the rooms with a few designer pieces from Tom Dixon and Andrew Martin.

How this met the client's demands...

We stayed loyal to the brief by keeping a general flow of sophistication throughout the home, using just the right blend of modern contemporary light elegance and more traditional ethnic design. The whole villa gives a serene feeling. Decorative pendants cast a twinkling motif onto the walls, highlighting the delicate oriental patterns, which create an exhilarating first impression and the desired touch of luxury.

To design a number of different design styles simultaneously always adds to the challenges and this project certainly tested our capability and knowledge of a wide range of design styles. To keep the spaces ‘open and light’, all the while accommodating as much seating as possible, only added to the challenges.



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