My Own Home: French-Filipino couple bag 'bargain' Dh1.85m dream apartment in Cayan Tower

Filipina marketing executive Sharday Filio and her French husband, who works in tech, bought their first home two years ago and have never looked back

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Sharday Filio says she and her husband struck lucky when they bought their dream apartment for Dh1.85 million in Cayan Tower, a distinctive residence in Dubai Marina and one of the world's tallest twisting towers.

It was two years ago and the Filipino marketing executive says there was low demand and high supply at the time.

Their two-bedroom apartment, which faces Palm Jumeirah, is now worth about Dh2.3 million to Dh2.5 million, and that's without factoring in the extensive renovations Ms Filio has carried out.

The National goes on a tour.

Please tell us about your home

We were renting in Cayan Tower before we bought and we lived in the same apartment layout but it was facing the other side, towards the Marina. Now our apartment faces Palm Jumeirah.

There are three types of two-bedroom layouts and this is the biggest. It was a real bargain.

The layout is great, the management of the building is also great. It fits our needs, in terms of how big it is and how everything is laid out. That's why we bought it, we had been looking for about maybe four years. We just got lucky in terms of timing.

What renovations have you done?

We did a complete overhaul of the kitchen. I'm talking floor to ceiling. We also put in a real exhaust system, which connects to the main exhaust of the building.

It extracts the cooking smoke and smells outside the building. It doesn’t just filter the smoke.

I designed a storage space for the hall with a seating area, for when we put on our shoes. I thought it was quite beautiful and I haven't seen this in any other Dubai apartment.

The water closet for visitors we renovated floor to ceiling as well, creating a faux ceiling design.

We even improved the AC and ventilation as this is a 10-year-old building, so we had to refresh everything, including the plumbing.

We didn't really do much in the master bedroom. We focused more on the painting job, as we wanted to keep this as empty as possible, because this is our serene little space.

Our walk-in closet has always been here, but for a smarter use of space and because my husband works from home, there's an empty nook here we turned into a home office, which is great since he's quite isolated and doesn't really hear any outside noise.

In our master bathroom we removed the bathtub, because we're not bath people. Who has time for baths? We added a rain shower and his-and-hers sinks, focused on the mood lighting, added a little shaving mirror and faux ceilings again. It feels like a hotel. I work in hotels and I love them.

I don't know what our style is, I guess it's like a Japanese-Scandi minimalist vibe.

How much did you spend on the renovations?

We used a company called The Home Agency because they specialise in high-rise apartments. It was one big payment that we gave them. In total, it was Dh240,000 to Dh250,000, give or take.

Why did you want to live in Dubai Marina?

We've always been in the Marina. Our first home together was in Botanica Tower, it's kind of on the edge of JBR. We were always facing Cayan Tower, which is also how we got inspired to look into this place. The building design is funky and when you think of the Marina, this is one of the buildings that catches your eye.

Being in the Marina, you have access to everything. My doctor is here, my dentist is here, my nail salon, my grocery store. Everything that you want or need are all within reach.

What facilities do you have?

We have a gym with Technogym equipment. We have a small room in there if you want to do floor or mat exercises.

We have an infinity pool on the sixth floor overlooking the Marina. It also has a lounge area with couches and you see the community using that if you want to read a book or bring in coffee or tea.

And we have the usual steam and sauna.

How is the traffic in your area?

It feels cosy on our end of the Marina because we're at the very end. We have our own roundabout, so we don't really feel the congestion that I would say other places in the Marina do.

How long do you think you'll be in this apartment?

As long as possible. We could see ourselves retiring in here, honestly, like two 70-year-old people just taking the lift, not having to use the stairs, because, you know, your knees are bad or whatever. I mean, it's pretty easy, right?

We're not really the kinds of people who spend their time outside. We love being at home.

Updated: April 11, 2024, 6:27 AM