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25 September 2018Last updated
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Samar Habayeb’s villa in Jumeirah 1

Samar Habayeb, CEO of interiors company Silsal Design House, fills her beautiful villa in Jumeirah 1 with carefully curated art and quality materials in a fresh, minimalist style

Tabitha Barda
27 Dec 2015 | 12:00 am
  • The new coffee table is a recent creation from her company Silsal Design House.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 1 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 2 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 3 of 10
  • The tripod tables are scattered around the house.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 4 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 5 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 6 of 10
  • The dining table is minimalist, pure and elegant.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 7 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 8 of 10
  • Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 9 of 10
  • “This beautiful painting by Danielle O’Connor Akiyama is one of two that we bought in London.”

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM Image 10 of 10

I have been interested in interior design for as long as i can remember. It is definitely something that’s innate and part of my personality. I enjoy it and it is so effortless and easy.


When we got married, my husband and I were living on the 55th floor of a skyscraper in DIFC. I loved the building, but after we had our daughter we needed direct access to a garden and a larger area to live in, so we moved to our villa around two years ago. Although both my husband and I have the same style, it took us around six months to find something we were both happy with. Once we found this new development in Jumeirah 1, it was a no-brainer.


We were so eager to feel settled, we literally had the paintings, curtains and wall hangings up on day one of moving in. It was a crazy round-the-clock process, but definitely worth it. However, nothing is static at our home; I keep redecorating and moving things around, be it a painting, home decor or even couches. I try to keep things as flexible as possible as I like to ‘refresh’ our look every now and then. I only redecorate on days when I am really in the mood to do so because it is a fun and exciting experience that I don’t like compromising on.


All of the spaces in our home are open, versatile, elegant, and minimalist. The living room and dining room feel as one and they are equally accessible to both our friends and our daughter’s friends. This pretty much sums up my style – casual but elegant.

Our interior design follows our own trends rather than what is ‘in’. I am inspired by this quote from Coco Chanel: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”


The living room is my favourite place during the day; it’s full of flowers and greenery, it is where I interact with my family and friends and it overlooks the garden, which is full of trees. My bedroom, on the other hand, is much less lively but definitely serves its purpose at night. Zen, relaxing and extremely minimalist, which helps me unwind and just breathe.

My favourite features in our home are the two paintings by Danielle O’Connor Akiyama. I just love them and they instil a feeling of liveliness and joy in me. My husband and I were strolling along the roads of Mayfair in London when we came across a gallery that was about to have an opening for Danielle’s work. We were there for two hours trying to decide between his favourite and my favourite. We eventually settled on both as we couldn’t make up our minds. We have them hung side by side and they almost seem to narrate a story to us and to all our visitors.

I use an endless number of websites and magazines to give me interiors inspiration. Pintrest, Instagram, Architectural Digest, Harpers Bazaar Interiors, the interiors blog Design Milk, online magazine Dezeen… the list goes on and on!

Almost 80 per cent of my interiors purchases are from my store, Silsal Design House, which is based in Dubai Design District and also sells online. Otherwise the paintings – which are a big part of our home – are from all over the world. I can never have enough paintings and finding a painting that both my husband and I equally love is always a challenge. If there was one thing I would like but haven’t yet got it would be that – more paintings!

Tabitha Barda

By Tabitha Barda

Deputy Editor