Saturday, September 20, 2014

HOUSE UPDATE: floorplans are finally moving along... almost to the architectural concept phase

The new engineer working on the floor plan for our villa/Muscat townhouse actually seems to have listened to what I need and have in mind. I like how he also came up with alternatives to my suggestions so that we have options. I meet with him in a couple of days to see if I approve the finalized floor plan since his design did need a few minor changes (doors to open differently---kitchen to be increased in size, and balconies to be added). Following that, and during the process of getting the plan approved by Muscat Municipalities, I'll meet with his consultancy's architect to come up with prospective sketches for the facade and landscape. I've already been toying with a few ideas of my own... and have a couple of prospective sketches so we'll see where that goes... based on the new revised floorplans of course, and the buyer/owner of the other half of our twin villa design. Since it is a twin villa design, everything has to flow together, from the paint colour to the lighting fixtures and planting, when it comes to the facades. There can be two distinct styles... but they have to match somehow. That'll be tricky. 
The trick is curb appeal, since I am a very traditional girl but I don't necessarily use a home like your average Omani family...: My style is either full out traditional Arabic architecture (I like dark, earthy paint colours, natural, uneven surfaces, and more Arabian elements) or definately very English. For example, Omani and Qatari rooflines... smaller windows, beautiful dark wood doors, plain square walls but with intricate detailing... My other options are Georgian townhouse (I love Georgian architecture) or some sort of new take on Tudor since Omani cement engineering just doesn't suit the timber and plaster architecture I grew up on. My other requirement for myself is that the facade, and the interior match.
Not so for Omanis, who like to mix and match. Interior and exterior totally don't have to go together.
So the other owner/buyer and myself, we've been trying to come up with inspiration photos to see how we can go it in a way that doesn't skimp or sacrifice on either of our styles.
My architectural loves:
So, some ideas resultant (not sure yet however):
The second villa will have an Omani buyer/owner who will use it in a very Omani-way. However, they grew up in a mud brick and stone house with small windows. The result of that is a love for modern shapes, and big windows. However, European shutters and balconies rule supreme.

So...if we are to do my first preference for a house in Oman (Contemporary Arabian) these styles require compromise.

The other villa's inspirations:
Possible result????:
So that's it for now....  it's coming along.


James said...

a nice start - but you need to reconsider your choice of architect.

there are some "no-no's" in there.

For example, the bed placement of the master bedroom. Typically, you want it across from the door so you can see if someone enters the room.

The maid's room (upstairs) is lacking a bathroom.

Umm Talha said...

Assalaamu Alaikum Sis,

BarakAllahu feeki for all the property updates - they are very interesting!

I was wondering whether foreigners currently have the right to purchase homes outright and build on that land. I'm familiar with the Integrated Tourism Complex neighborhood that foreigners are allowed to purchase homes in. Has that rule been extended at all?

JazakAllahu Khair
Umm Talha

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

James: Everything on my side is pretty much me---- the maid's room is their labelling but for me, it is more like a home office...;) no bathroom required. But door placements have been changed. Also, I want no doors directly accessing the master bedroom. I HATE people walking directly into a room. I've changed the plan so they walk into a sitting/waiting area, before the master bedroom;). I don't like doors near a bed. I like very classical English bedroom burniture placement. Bed with two side tables, directly across from a dressing table or wardrobe ect.... or seating for tea and coffee or cards if possible. That's just me. It isn't very Omani. It's just what I grew up with expecting myself to someday have.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

I don't have a maid;)... The house next door has a live in house built outside the main property for help and if the maid is okay with extra salary, I'd like part-time rather than live-in help.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Umm Talha: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakato,

The laws haven't changed. My husband and children are Omani however. The ownership of the property is in my daughter's name. I was told that pending next year, my passport request should be honoured.

With that, I can change the ownership, as a legal guardian, to my name.

If it never happens (Omani citizenship) we will keep the house in my daughter's name.

Our land isn't in a expat housing zone.

Those areas are super overpriced;) however nice. The only way I could afford them if I worked for one of the development companies building and thus got a discount or something.