Ethnic Chalet by Mirna Emad Harnesses the Essence of the Desert

Drawn out by Swarm Design Studio’s principal architect Mirna Emad, the Ethnic Chalet mirrors its mystical surroundings amongst the Western Desert.

BY Karim Abdullatif

14/10/2021

The spirit of the Sahara is rich in organic patterns, a notion captured in the visualization of ‘Ethnic Chalet’ by Swarm Design Studio’s principal architect Mirna Emad. Built in the heart of Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, the design channels the spiritual and visual essence of the oasis through minimally hued interiors that feature warm furnishing canvassed by cool grey walls.

“Inspired by the surrounding aesthetics, I was urged to interpret the desert’s vibe into a cozy shelter,” Emad tells #SceneHome. “I followed ethnic architecture to derive a furnishing equation of rustic materials and the purest of textures.”

Vintage wood, worn leather and a crème sofa engage in a dialogue of contrast with the nomadically cultured rugs and kilim pillows. In the kitchen, Emad gave in to the client’s fandom with Smeg appliances and paired them with mid-century chairs in a mix and match style that taps into feelings of nostalgia.

“Optimizing the architecture to allow for natural lighting was essential in voicing out the interior,” Emad explains. Exposed wooden beams on the ceiling orient and stretch the spaces, while gallant cacti and succulents stand in textured pottery, flanking the floor-to-ceiling windows which invite sunlight into the abode and intensify its colour palette. The end result blends the interior with its neighbouring landscape, and makes for a serene desert dwelling for the starry-eyed wanderers of the dreamy Oasis. “I’ve always been charmed by our Western Desert and yearned to design a space in Siwa. When I did, I made sure to follow the local inputs: vernacular, bold, and raw.”

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