Showcasing two contrasting private homes on its covers, the Fall/Winter 2022 issue of Vogue Living Arabia explores the two extreme design styles popular in the region: maximalism and minimalism.
“Since I first moved to the Gulf, I’ve been witnessing a change in the region’s decorative style,” writes Manuel Arnaut in this month’s editor’s letter. “I remember visiting the first private homes and being amazed by an aesthetic that was so far from mine. We are in a region that loves grandeur, and this naturally is reflected in how living spaces are designed. But there’s something that’s important to mention. Although there’s a flair for classic style furniture, marble, and rooms of very generous proportions, there is also a sense of warmth and hospitality. Carpets give a cozy touch, fabrics are always rich, and majlis’s are an invitation for long hours of endless discussions.”
This is evident in the London residence of His Excellency Sheikh Mohamed bin Fahed Al Thani, which features on one of our two covers. Decorated by renowned interior designer Timothy Corrigan for the Doha-based royal’s frequent trips to the British capital, the 1,115-square-meter property features seven floors with a roof terrace, and believe it or not, took less than 12 months for a total transformation. “We replicated the traditional multilevel Georgian townhouse layout, with grand rooms at the front and smaller rooms overlooking the garden at the back. This structure gives an intimate appeal to even the grandest houses,” reveals Corrigan in this issue. “The interior had been so stripped of its period details that, unlike the façade, it was no longer landmarked. The silver lining to this cloud was that we faced no restrictions on how we could proceed, and we were able to strip all seven floors down to the studs.”
On the other hand, the rise of minimalism is captured in the second cover for this edition, which features the Abu Dhabi residence of Emirati homeowner Nouf Al Hameli and her husband Ali Al Nasri. Realized by interior design studio The Niche Corner, the airy home exudes peacefulness with various shades of white, and different textures and shapes that have been tactfully layered. “The second I set foot in Nouf’s home, characterized by triple-height ceilings, and realized her desire to ‘maximize the minimal,’ I knew I could experiment with a variety of shapes in furniture and accessories,” says interior designer Neeshay Nouman, founder of The Niche Corner. “I personally gravitate towards minimalist spaces, but this project has taught me to further amplify minimalism, as paradoxical as it sounds, to bring the concept to life.”
The issue also offers an intimate look inside late Algerian-French designer Yves Saint Laurent’s private home in Marrakech via exquisite photographs. Flip through the pages to discover the masterful blend of arts and Moroccan crafts by interior designers from around the country, and the mesmerizing garden that surrounds it and which always inspired Saint Laurent. Another haven featured in this issue is one that belongs to fashion designer and editor Nicola Formichetti. Alongside working as a creative consultant with superstar Lady Gaga, the 45-year-old took on many key roles in the industry, before he felt the need to slow down in 2020, with his California home becoming the perfect refuge. This month, Formichetti opens the doors to his abode in the Hollywood Hills, which is surrounded by nature and playfully blends high and low.
As with every issue of the biannual Vogue Living Arabia, this edition is bursting with design ideas to embrace. A sanctuary for many, the bathroom finds a special place in this issue with the season’s hottest trends to dress your residence’s most intimate space. Other pages continue to inspire with interior design styles that bring one closer to nature, a number of ways to add the mood-boosting green marble to your home, sleek and sophisticated pieces meant to uplift any room, and much more.