Tucked away in Dubai’s Silver Springs, interior stylist Ash Young’s villa is a tranquil enclave, an intimate marriage of muted colour tones and dramatic pops throughout.
Born in the Middle East, Young moved to the UK at the age of nine, before settling in Dubai five years ago with her husband and three children, Lucas, Allegra and Scarlett.
A view of the dining hall in Ash Young's home
Having met her husband in university while studying law, Young’s background wasn’t always in interiors. “I used to work in rehabilitation centres and work with teenagers and after a while, I realised I didn’t want to pursue that type of work anymore,” admits Young.
After working on a few of her friend’s houses, she found her calling for interior décor. “I’m very much into styling spaces and making them look as beautiful as possible while being functional at the same time.”
Interior view of the master bedroom featuring a wool wall hanging by fibre artist Justine Anderson
At first sight, Young and her husband fell in love with the broad ceiling windows, modern design and abundance of natural light in their current villa. “It was like a brand new canvas for us,” laughs Young. “The house has huge broad ceiling windows, which is good as sunlight just floods in throughout the day, but it also meant that the combination of big windows and bright white walls made it feel quite cold inside, so I wanted to soften it and add more organic elements to make the design less sterile.”
The dynamic living room, joined with the dining area, is another design feature which the couple fell in love with as it meant the family wouldn’t be restricted in one space.
The home is situated opposite the community park in Damac Hills. “In the afternoons, we can hear the sound of kids in the park, which gives a sense of liveliness around,” says Young. “The community itself is very peaceful.”
Interior view of guest bedroom in Ash Young's home
Young’s favourite part of the villa is the kitchen by luxury German brand Kaiser, which was remodelled six months after moving in. “Everything was replaced to make it look more elegant and functional at the same time,” she shares.
“We love to hangout in the kitchen - there’s a breakfast bar there, the kids do their homework there while I’m cooking, we often eat there as well.” The patterned tiles behind the oven have been handmade and shipped from California-based Fireclay Tile and the brass stools have been sourced from concept store Urban Nest.
A view of the office space in Ash Young's home
The garden, another highlight of the home, has been designed by Young herself and was remodelled from scratch. This is where Young and her husband celebrated their tenth anniversary last November, and also where the couple love to host friends and family with barbecues and live cooking stations.
The space is home to a beautiful outdoor, chalky-grey concrete dining table and benches sourced from Dubai Garden Centre, as well as quirky-shaped rattan chairs. The patterned, cement tiles in the garden seating area are from UAE-based Mosaico and were handcrafted in Ras Al Khaimah. When the weather is nice, the Young family can be found here by the swimming pool.
Ash Young's office space with a wallpaper called Dark Floral by Mr Perswall
Over in the office area is a dramatic wallpaper called Dark Floral by a Swedish company called Mr Perswall, a feature which has stayed the same while others have changed.
“In terms of style and taste, I prefer to combine dramatic and dark décor, like the dark wallpapers with hints of metallic and natural elements,” says Young. “I like a bit of tension in my décor, to add the ultimate organic feel to the space. The ideas behind my décor are quite fluid and I don’t stick to one style or type.”
Ash Young's Kaiser kitchen featuring patterned tiles from Fireclay Tile
All the paint in the house, including the dark paint on the garden walls, has been sourced from American paint company Benjamin Moore.
There’s modern artwork dotted throughout the abode with prints from Society 6, Drawdeck and Australian art boutique Olive et Oriel. Adding a generous touch of hygge, the master bedroom features a signature large wool wall hanging by Abu Dhabi-based fibre artist Justine Anderson from Shaggy Hands.
Interior view of Ash’s daughter Allegra’s room
“I’m not an interior snob,” laughs Young. “I will buy anything from anywhere if I tend to like it.” The indoor dining table has been bought from Indigo Living, chairs from Home and Soul, a gorgeous large golden mirror and white cabinets from PAN Emirates and rugs from Pottery Barn.
There’s also very special Persian rug in the home from the seventies, which was previously in her family room in Saudi Arabia.
“We brought it with us when we cleared the space in the UK after my mother passed on,” shares Young. “She used to be very fond of that rug so it’s very precious to me, and with the rug placed in all the homes we’ve lived in, it makes us feel like she’s there with us in spirit.”
Interior view of one of the children's bedroom in Ash Young's home
Young is a believer in challenging norms and setting your own standard in life. “You don’t have to follow rules, just go about decorating the way you’d love your space to be,” she says. “Don’t be paralysed with this fear of rules and regulations on what works or what doesn’t, let loose and have fun designing your space. Be creative! I say just go for the bold choices; if you feel purple will work for the walls, why don’t you try it on and see what happens, it’s that simple. You’ll find that it’s such a joyous thing to do when styling your home.”
A view of Ash’s garden with concrete dining table and benches from Dubai Garden Centre, patterned cement tiles from Mosaico Tiles handmade in Ras Al Khaimah
So what does it mean to truly be at home? “Being somebody who has had different homes in different places, the concept for home has never been one fixed place,” answers Young. “Rather, it’s somewhere we as a family can feel stability, feel permanent and have a reflection and sense of who we are.”
Seeking home inspiration? Check out Ash Young's totally binge-worthy Instagram pics on @adoredecordxb
Images courtesy of Ash Young and Aasiya Jagadeesh; ITP Media Group
From the Spring 2020 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Interiors