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21 Aug 2014 Last updated
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Penthouse on the Palm

Indian art and designer furniture converge in this sophisticated family home

By Charlotte Butterfield
Added 00:00 | June 15, 2013
  • The princess room for the nine-year-old daughter of the owners of this penthouse in Dubai.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 1 of 6
  • Fendi furnishings and a funky mirrored coffee table create a clean contemporary living area that exudes elegance.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 2 of 6
  • This five-bedroom penthouse on the Palm features a family-friendly layout.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 3 of 6
  • The Ligne Roset diamante-edged chairs in the formal dining room complement the boldly patterned, regal-looking wallpaper.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 4 of 6
  • The owners' native India subtly influences the accessories in the home, particularly in their choice of vibrant art.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 5 of 6
  • Each bedroom boasts a spacious walk-in wardrobe.

    Source:Grace Paras/ANM Image 6 of 6

From the first moment Hema and Rahul Kaul stepped into this five-bedroom penthouse on the Palm they knew it would be the perfect place to raise their three children, Ruhi, nine and two-year-old twins Ruhann and Vivaan.

“I can still clearly remember the beautiful and positive vibe we felt. I just knew in my heart that I could call it my home,” Hema says.

Enticing aura aside, it was the family-friendly layout and sprawling 6,500-square-foot balcony that clinched the deal for the busy couple.

Having recently taken over her father’s perfume business, Hema is juggling motherhood with the challenges of life in the corporate world, as well as preparing for her foray into fashion with her first international collection for London Fashion Week Spring/ Summer 2014. And with Rahul’s role as the CEO of Déjà Vu Events, it’s easy to see why creating a peaceful haven to escape to at the end of a long working day was a top priority. 

“I wanted my furnishings to look very elegant and classy without sacrificing comfort,” Hema says.

She achieved this in the living room by choosing a soft silver palette with furniture from Fendi, imported from Italy.

One striking element in this room is the architectural spiral staircase, one of two stairways in the home.

“This is one of my favourite things,” she says. “It’s beautiful and regal.” As she is a keen entertainer, Hema plumped for a more dramatic look in the dining room, where bold monochrome wallpaper complements the eight-seater dining set from Ligne Roset.

Hema loved the strong floral pattern on the paper so much, she repeated the same design in the master bedroom and guest suite. “It stands out without overpowering the rooms, so I just adapted its colour depending on which room it was in,” she says. 

Hema and Rahul’s native India subtly influences the accessories in the home, particularly in their choice of vibrant art. “I love Indian artists,” Hema enthuses, pointing out her most recent acquisition – a Ganesha idol. “It’s such an intricate ceramic piece, and I love it.”

This joins pieces from Ramesh Gorjala, Renuka Kashyap and Sanjeev Mandal. Next on Hema’s wish list is a Baccarat floor lamp she recently saw at The Dubai Mall, and ever the hostess, she is also coveting a beautiful new tea set she spotted. Hema laughs, “I believe in the benefits of tea so I enjoy serving it to my guests!”

A keen traveller, Hema says that most of her design inspiration comes from her trips abroad. “When I return, I usually have something interesting in my suitcase – from a very fine silk, to an eclectic mix of buttons, beads and sequins that I can add to my designs, or even large bulky home decor items for one of our rooms. I designed every corner of this penthouse. It’s my personal work of art, my labour of love, so my family can live in a house they can proudly call home.”

By Charlotte Butterfield

By Charlotte Butterfield