Eleven years ago, Rahul and Natasha Singh were sitting in their newly purchased house, watching enviously as the villa being built behind theirs gradually took shape. ‘We loved the different style and layout of that house rather than the one we’d just bought, so we very quickly decided to sell up and move about 10 metres!’ laughs Natasha.
‘At that time, Arabian Ranches was just being built, and it seemed like an oasis in the desert back then. We loved the community, with its wide avenues and friendly feel,’ she says.
After moving to Dubai from Delhi in 2001 for Rahul’s job as a pilot, the family initially lived in company accommodation in Garhoud, so the lush greenery and suburban feel of the Ranches was an appealing antidote to the busy city life they were used to. Fast-forward to the present day, and the family are still just as content with where they live.
The nature of Natasha’s work as a real estate consultant for Househunters, specialising in Arabian Ranches, means that she spends her days visiting other houses within the community. ‘This is both a blessing and a nightmare,’ she admits, smiling. ‘I always come back with ideas on how we can change or adapt our own house. It means I always have a project on the go!’
Their home originally had a central fireplace separating the living and dining room, which the couple decided to remove to open out the space. They also extended the dining room a couple of metres into the patio area. ‘We have two sets of three pillars in the living and dining room that are structural so couldn’t be moved,’ Natasha explains. ‘But actually, they now add to the character of the space.’
The kitchen has also been the subject of an extensive makeover, with the original brown cabinetry discarded to make way for a sleek contemporary kitchen from Häcker. Silestone countertops complement the high-gloss white and matte grey cabinets, while a central island creates a strong and practical focal point. ‘Both our girls love cooking, and this room has become a place where we all gravitate to eat or hang out together. The changes have not only altered the look of the room, but also how we use it.’
The same can definitely be said for the garden. Once a forlorn patch of sand, it has been transformed into a multifunctional space by keen gardener Rahul. A blue-tiled infinity pool can be glimpsed from almost every room, while covered dining and seating areas provide perfect spots for entertaining – something the family like to do regularly. ‘We love spending time outside, and are very outdoor-oriented – whether it’s riding our bikes around the neighbourhood, or simply flinging open the doors and windows and enjoying the birdsong,’ adds Natasha.