This residence in Katameya Heights, Cairo, Egypt was designed by Mohamed Fares of Alchemy Design Studio who sought to transform its architecture in tandem with the interior design to create a harmonious and unique home. Fares began by altering the visual vocabulary of the exterior by embellishing the basic design with several details. The external color palette was enhanced using a natural, mood-elevating, grey tone; slate tiles were used to clad aspects of the façade to complement new contemporary window dressings. He shifted away from using the prevalent exterior brick pattern to one that focuses on wooden strips, providing linear visual appeal. The result was a home that stands out from its surrounding homes while keeping in harmony with its surroundings.
Stepping inside the home exposes the full extent of Fares’ intent to create a unique living space: the interior architecture was overhauled and restructured to suit the clients’ dreams of a better home by integrating together the different shared living spaces while maintaining privacy. He used an overarching minimalistic and poetic design approach that is evident in the details.
Immediately the interior staircase grabs attention as a powerful statement of purpose, eschewing the standard stairwell with a beautiful structure that appears to effortlessly lift the inhabitants from one level to the next. The staircase chandelier makes a bold statement of creativity whose influence can be felt throughout the interior. This focus on an often overlooked feature of a home was not without its challenges: builders had to negotiate around the beautiful chandelier during the project which challenged their ability to work efficiently especially when moving between floors. However, nothing worth having is won without challenges, and the result is truly magnificent.
Fares’ philosophy of creating beautiful and simple backdrops that allow the inhabitants the freedom of expression continues into the basement. The textured tile floor and neutral color palette lets the eclectic and colorful furninshings stand out. The back book wall seems as if it was transported from a library, with the higher shelves reachable by a ladder on a rail. This striking design element grabs attention, but once again, serves to focus attention to the personal effects and items on display within its sections.
The interior harmony spills out to the backyard through a glass partition, allowing attractive views of the interior from the linear pool that borders the house. Inhabitants soaking in its waters are afforded the calm and serenity from the Zen stepping stones and rich wooden pergola. Also outside we’ll find furnitures signed by Paola lenti and Gervasoni.
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