Read our Interview

When did the project start and how did it come about?

The project was signed in December 2013 and design works, concepts and layouts commenced in February, according to the clients schedule.  2014. The Design works were completed by May as there were additions and variations put into place, so rescheduling was done accordingly and work commenced in May 2014. It started with a meeting with the client just before he was leaving for Christmas, and it was due to a referral by Real Estate Company here who recommended us to him.


What attracted you to the project?

We loved the contemporary architecture in the Emirates Hills Area, straight sleek lines and an open book to guide the client and his family into understanding what they really wanted the atmosphere to be in their new home and how they were going to use it with the increased space that they were going to have.

We decided it would be an interesting project, to be creative with and also a challenge to inform and inspire and fulfil this family’s idea of a dream home


Tell me a bit about the layout of the property.

The house is very open plan, so we had to consider the space planning to accommodate the various ages and interests and how they would interact with each other.  Some rooms are very light, whilst some of the bedrooms were darker particularly on the ground floor and the study   Glass, including an open glass lift, columns and some tall high windows, It is a 6 bedroom villa, which includes 4 bedrooms for the children 1 guest room on ground floor and master bedroom.  We divided the areas, whilst keeping the open layout of the main area into a tranquillity room, formal lounge, informal seating area that you can lounge back in, which was named the aquatic area, dining room with a main central wall feature and stunning table, a piece of art on its own.  Kitchen, breakfast area and informal family living space remained linked as an open space.  All areas opened onto garden areas


What was your inspiration for the interior decoration and style?

The architecture was a statement on its own so we followed suit with the interior.

The high ceilings and sense of space made of think of skies at night, fresh air, vast Blue Ocean seas, which took us to relaxation and then gardens and flowers and trees. Other influences were the fact the pool was so close to the lounge area you can literally step in and the client’s favourite colour being blue, he had a deep love for gardens and trees. Our thoughts then led us to dividing the areas, into earth, air and water elements, originally there was fire also in terms of a recessed contemporary fire, but this was eliminated from the final scheme So we had earth, air, and water as key elements to express create and feel and the platform from which we spiralled into creativity!


How long did any renovation and/or redecoration take place?

The concept and finalisation of the designs took a little time, as additions were made along the way by the Client, for example some key changes in all the bathrooms, and there was a lot of detailed preparation work involved as each items was primarily custom made to bespoke designs by ourselves.

Work commenced after all working drawings had been approved together with furniture and finishing schedules, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen work and civil work that was required. We submitted in one package to the client.  Design to completion took approximately ten months. from concept,  design development  approvals, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, civil works, installation and snagging.

Preparation is the key to for executing and installing the works.


What do you think makes this home unique?

Its unique as it doesn’t follow a set pattern or theme or one particular furniture company style or ethos. We have sourced widely for wall finishes, paint work and papers, artwork, furniture, lighting, rugs and created many bespoke key items. For example the alabaster lighting is from a small artisanal company just outside Paris

We created the specifications, and design and they constructed.  We based this on the planets in the sky, above the seemingly 3d ocean below, is infect resin flooring.  The 3d effect has been created by a highly skilled and creative artist who arrived from Italy especially for this one floor and after the briefing, designed and worked on the floor to his creative thought flows that day and subsequent days.

The dining room from Barb in Portugal and is custom made due to its size and the whole glass structure was manufactured here. We took a huge variety of materials and worked with them from bamboo, alabaster, marble, stone, acrylic, fibreglass, resins, antiqued paints, woods, metals, silver leaf finishes, steel and bronze. The entrance wall light was again designed by us and created specifically for this client in silver and white-coated metals leaves, carefully intertwined. The majority of the furniture was bespoke and custom made here in UAE alabaster. You will not find another home in the world with the same combinations.


How does the villa reflect your style?

All our properties are signature interiors personalised to the client’s lifestyle and requirements, so we don’t have a definitive style that is replicated,

What is apparent from a Da Fonseca Design home is high end luxury, a layered interesting textures and materials used as a backdrop providing visual interest to every view point.  Mixing, matching, layering, 3 d dimensional creative elements, and thoughtful well-put together colour coding.

Our starting point and footnote also rests on unique bespoke furniture interacting with other items and a big focus on lighting and different levels of mood that this can create.


Any styling tips?

Treat designing a home as creating a piece of art or getting  ready for a beautiful party.

Start with the background first and then build on this.  finishing with the accessorising.

Think of the whole scheme and do not relate to any one individual piece only, it’s the connection between each element that is important.

Never doubt your first instincts or choices . They are made for a reason…. Be bold, be brave, be fearless, even with a white calm interior….

Finally if you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur!!!


What is your favourite room?

We all love different rooms for different reason.

The favourite space is considered to be the aquatic area and tranquillity room combined.

The fish 3d and full of character float full of metal brilliance, gleaming in the sun  during the day and at night gently lit from behind. They are swimming in a shoal and heading out towards the pool. Their background contrasts with a pure white gloss marmarino wall in jusxtaposition with a hand finished metal and concrete rust wall. These colours work well with the cream marble floors and walnut wood , and the silver picking out the stainless steel in the furniture.  When sitting on the custom long sofa, you can look through the translucent alabaster console and further into the blue and green and silver floor, and to the other way the glittery blue swimming pool.


Describe the decoration in each room, with any key pieces/buys?

Study.  Custom desk, bookshelves, consoles using beautiful leather from Studio Art and polished veneers from Tabu, who specialise in an amazing array of finishes and colours.

The wallpaper has a total room panelled wall effect and again 3 d in its finish,  Heavily lined and padded, it has the appearance and feel of luxury distinguished office.

The leather for the curtains was specially imported and hung impeccably.


Ground Floor Guest

This room was dark and gloomy as in the front of the house, so we created a lively garden atmosphere using brighter colours and natural woods and fibres and brightly coloured flowers just for the ottoman and again picking out the colours in the artwork.

Bamboo wallpaper from Elitis Lights by Heathfield


Tranquillity Room

3d resin floor by Mino, Italy.  Alabaster lighting and and console by Atelier Paris

Custom furniture by Nikki B Signature Interiors and lounge relaxation chairs by Jessica Charles.  Sheer white curtains in beautiful light fabric that reflected light, but shaded from the sun


Formal Lounge

Blues and yellows, custom sofas, tables and custom acrylic consoles, rugs and lighting


Dining Room

Custom bespoke dining tables and chairs in glass brass and yellow and blue leathers from Ben Whistler and leather clad walls with stainless frame


Rugs all by Stepevi


Custom wall finishes by Tony Salloum painting


Botanical area we created by added planter box and finished with contemporary laminam tile finishes, and backed by full wall of mirror to reflect the garden opposite


Kitchen and flooring in monochromatic black and white, then we kept the whole room light bright and fresh apple greens and yellows to reflect the garden.


We opened up all the ground floor windows in the dining and lounges to be bi folding, and increased the height of the glass, thereby making these windows look a lot higher, whilst in actual fact they were sitting in the same size outer frame.

Master Bedroom

We custom designed the headboard, side tables, console tables, dressing table niches using leathers, onyx and metals, glossy woods and veneer from Taboo again in creams, beiges, whites and exotic blues.  All the onyx is backlit with led lighting.  Rugs were custom to match the detail on the curtains, and wall lights by Porta Romana

Dressing Rooms in glossy whites and walnut finishes and interior lighting and Centre Island console details.  Led under light and velvet lined trays



Custom acrylic counters by Mino   Tiling by Laminam Casa MIA Fixtures and fitting by Casa MIA


Children’s Bedrooms

A colour combination depending upon the teenager children’s thoughts and wishes.

Red and black being the eldest son, so a more serious approach, whilst the only daughter in the family wanted turquoises, so we added peaches and pink into the mix offset with white.  She has a art studio attached to the bedroom, which we designed in a curvy wave design incorporate lots of shelving for display of artwork, photos and cupboard storage for art tools.  Space for a hanging egg chair and art easel.

One son wanted an area for chilling out with his friends, so we made a sofa in the window niches including fridge for cold drinks underneath.

What are the eco-credentials of the property/decoration and why were these important to include?

We have used natural materials as well as man made, included greenery everywhere in the form of the botanical area, giant cactucs,  plants at the entrance on big plinths and plants on the balcony on 1st floor.

All lights are energy saving, led bulbs, and advanced technoly for finishes to create long lasting durability.

We installed shading for the terrace balconies in all areas to minimise the use of AC in the summer months



Custom made acrylic benches and consoles

We wanted to make a statement entrance and rather than the standard chandelier we custom made a wall light using metal and white leaves that are all conjoined to create an abstract shape and which is backlit.

On the opposite side there is a mirror the same size and height extending from the console height and top of bench height upto and through into the first floor.  The entire reflection of the light is seen, as if there are two wall lights, but with extra reflection and luminiosity

We brought in jade green lights from Koket to compliment the 3 d floor in the tranquillity room  and the console white and silver to compliment the light. Custom designed the floor way rug in pale blues to have cohesions to the powder blue/grey wall finishes, with walnut pedestals, translucent white glass plant holders and big luxurious green plants overflowing creating a warm welcome.


Products suppliers

Lighting Wallpapers and Paints

Lamps by Koket Portugal

Hallway Wall Light,  Art and Floritude France

Heathfield Lighting

Huda Lighting

Sigma Lighting

Wallpapers  ARTE   by Squisto Elitis

Wall paints  San Marco  Tony Salloum Painting




Curtain fabrics  Upholstery Fabrics and Leather

Zimmer and Rhodes,

Rubelli Sahco

Reuben International




Townsend Leathers


Studio Art

Ben Whistler

Other furniture

Roche Bobois

Ligne Rosset



Curtains and Blinds by Avenue

Bi Folding Doors  Origins


Any changes that you would like to make ?

Not changes but additions, which are all happening…The  entrance and initial point of visual rest was designed for a black glossy baby grand piano, sitting aside the giant floor lamp from Sigma, and black and white, grey and powder blue rug from Stepevi.  As yet this is waiting delivery.  The main front door needs to be changed and is under process now.  We have designed a completely new façade, inside and out from iroko wood, and using the colours of walnut and darker stain to match the exterior.  Funky lines set in stainless steel, and invisible handles, so even the outside entrance will become a talking  point