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Natasha Sturko’s Abu Dhabi House: A Modern Retreat With Japandi Influences

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

Located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Earth + Fire House by Natasha Sturko was designed for a young Emirati couple and their fur-baby, Pablo the golden retriever. With its soaring ceilings with full-height windows dressed only in sheer linens, this villa is a raw, natural, and tranquil coastal home for modern-minded, minimalist owners.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

The warm Japandi style of the project was achieved through a blend of Scandinavian & Asian furniture lines and raw, natural materials with an overall ‘less is more’ design ethos at its heart. Earthy colors, oxidized metal lampshades, and tactile surfaces of natural wood, stone, fabric & leather all came together in a celebration of materiality.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

A central hearth provides a design focal point for the great room that is visible from several other spaces in this open-concept design. The fireplace wall-mounted, cantilevered cabinet was detailed to the specific requirements of the components housed within and finished in oak veneer and limestone concrete plaster top to coordinate with the wall chimney.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

The ‘chimney’ is a double-height, asymmetric gypsum structure hand-finished with limestone plaster concrete. The overall design pits a visual fragility – reminiscent of origami paper – against its raw and rustic stone-like materiality while evoking a sense of timelessness.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

The central coffee table in the great room was also something of an engineering feat with its inverted truncated pyramid design working against the fragile, faceted nature of the natural white onyx stone. The result is a sculptural piece that appears impossibly balanced and visually complements the folded structure of the fireplace wall chimney.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

The project was executed responsibly by using natural and sustainably sourced materials like FSC veneers/timber, limestone concrete, and low-VOC coatings. The studio also prioritized furnishings made by ethically responsible manufacturers and implemented efficient low-voltage LED lighting.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

“At our studio, we deeply value ‘bespoke sustainability’ and strive to support local businesses whenever possible,” explains Natasha Sturko. For this project, 90% of the construction and fabrication was done by UAE contractors, local workshops, and craftsmen. The remaining 10% was sourced from local suppliers.

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

“We carefully selected indoor plants to enhance air quality and establish a visual connection with nature,” adds Sturko. “Above all else, we emphasized top-notch quality and timeless style to ensure the longevity of this interior design project.”

Earth + Fire House, Abu Dhabi, UAE / Natasha Sturko

“In a world sometimes marred by uncertainty, a sanctuary of peace, joy and balance was achieved for our Client,” concludes the architect. “Highly functional design features such as smart custom storage were combined with objects of meaning and character to reflect the Clients’ aesthetic of organized minimalism.”

Image courtesy of Natelee Cocks