Trendesign visits a stunning Amman home styled by interior designer Shiva Khalilnia to be a serene and elegant space.
Offering striking panoramas of the surrounding hills, this private residence outside Amman creates a quiet oasis for the homeowners and guests. Styled by interior designer Shiva Khalilnia, the home amazes with its refined aesthetic and unhindered views.
“My vision for this home was to create a sanctuary that the family would enter and immediately feel a sense of tranquillity,” explains the Toronto-based designer.
Only visiting the home once during the construction phase, each detail was planned remotely, although she was given creative freedom of the design. “When I saw the home it was in such a raw, basic state that I could only get a sense of the overall size and shape. I think this is the reason my creative vision was not clouded by anything. I started with a completely blank canvas,” says Shiva, adding that this was one of her most challenging yet satisfying projects.
As senior designer at the family-run business Import Temptations, which last month celebrated 30 years, Shiva has always been surrounded by design. Her mother, a designer educated in Rome, started Import Temptations and encouraged Shiva’s involvement from a young age in the interior design process, organising holidays to meet some of Italy’s great artisans. Although Shiva graduated from university with a degree in business, she began building her career in design, a choice she doesn’t regret.
“My career in furniture and design started after I completed university. I designed furniture alongside my mother in Milan, which was sold to stores and luxury hotels worldwide. This allowed me to become very knowledgeable and enabled me to develop a strong sense of interior space,” she explains.
As a professional designer, she believes it’s important to reflect the desires of her clients rather than replicate her personal style. “My design philosophy is to not repeat work, nor use templates from my previous projects in order to ensure each client is receiving their own vision that showcases who they are and how they live,” she says, adding that the most satisfying aspect of her career is seeing the client’s reaction to a finished project.
AN UNHINDERED VISION
The panorama windows are the preeminent feature of the home’s architecture – designed by architect Rula Sunna – and showcase the surrounding landscape. Especially prominent in the sitting room, the homeowners desired a comfortable space that emphasised this design element. “The view is stunning and we didn’t want anything to compete with it,” they explain, adding that the neutral colour scheme accentuates the windows by complementing, rather than detracting from, the stunning vistas.
Throughout the rest of the home, these panoramic windows extend the length of the walls inviting the surrounding hills inside. Shades of blues and creams dominate the interior with hints of silver and elegant dark wood. The continuous colour scheme ties the spaces together creating visual harmony.
“Although I used a neutral palette of earth tones, I combined a variety of textures, materials and prints,” reflects the interior designer. “By doing this, I created a calm and interesting space that was in line with the tranquil sanctuary the family desired.”
The curved elements of the furniture soften the linear lines of the home’s structure with much of the luxurious furnishings sourced from British furniture designer Christopher Guy, including a few customised items altered to suit the home perfectly.
“Christopher Guy was one of the main suppliers we used in this home since the designs are contemporary, but still have the classic, timeless lines,” Shiva explains.
In the main sitting room, a custom made sofa extends the length of the posterior windows complemented on each side by crescent shaped armchairs with spiral armrests. The set coordinates with two other sitting areas in the elongated room, which feature discretely different furniture from Christopher.
Another customised item is the multi-square headboard in the master bedroom. Extending to the ceiling, the fabric colour was specially requested by Shiva to expand the blue tones in the room.
“I discovered my passion was to create elegant spaces with carefully selected furniture, accessories and lighting that would directly reflect my clients’ wishes and expectations,” she says; an attentiveness that is evident in her work.
Each room in the home impresses, including the dining area, which features an expansive table flanked by dark wooden cabinets. An eye-catching, sectional mirror visually widens the space and vertical built-in shelving draws the eye to the floating ceiling and centred chandelier. White orchids and silver ornaments complete the space creating a tranquil atmosphere.
The outdoor elements are also impressive with ancient olive trees to guard the entrance. The homeowners were fortunate to receive the aged trees, which were transplanted as a result of the construction of a new road. They add a primordial essence to the contemporary home.
The landscaping, by Badan Corporation based in Saudi Arabia, aimed to contrast the angular home with a soft and natural appearance. The focal point in the backyard is the pond. Irregular in form and filled with bamboo, lily pads and koi fish, it provides a lush element to the property.
Overlooking the yard, the poolside deck is lined with vibrant, blue sun loungers. Befitting a tropical getaway, the colour was selected by Shiva and accentuates the pool tiling and sky reflecting in the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
From the inside of the home, the floating staircase provides a surreal vantage to enjoy the foliage as you transition between levels. Beneath the stairs is a lush indoor garden enhancing the interior oasis opposite from a graceful magnolia tree growing outside the window. The surrounding greenery gives the illusion of walking through nature.
This Amman residence is truly a wonderful setting for relaxing or entertaining guests in a tranquil atmosphere with beautiful views.
Photography: Al-Mukhtar Zeyad