Dubai has been my home for eight years and counting. I have lived in as many as eight different homes in this time but hopefully we’ll be in this one for a long time to come. It’s a single-storey villa just behind Dubai Zoo, very close to the beach, that we have affectionately nicknamed our ‘bonfire beach house’. I live with my ‘prince charming’ husband of two-and-a-half years, Wesley; our beautiful four-month-old baby girl Mila; and our teddy-bear dog, Harlem.
We have been here just over two years and it’s a never-ending project, which we love. It has been a natural, slow process and is still in progress. If I had to describe my interiors style in three words, I’d say, “bohemian, bonfires and beaches”.
I’ve always been interested in interior design but my husband brought out a whole new side to me and really helped open up my creativity. My Parisian style met his African influence, and together we travelled and shaped our home with colours and textures from all the special places we visited. I find my inspiration everywhere during my travels: meetings, morning walks in the garden, beaches, shopping in bazaars and souqs – even restaurants and cafés. Inspiration is everywhere; I often browse on Houzz and Pinterest for ideas too. Our home is full of both of our personalities.
We love food. We love to cook and to entertain, both indoors and outdoors, so you will see cooking ranges and barbecue pits on both sides of the garden, by the pool and in the dining area.
Bonfires are a big part of our outdoor entertaining culture. We love to light the fire and sit around it for long nights in the garden, having discussions with friends over great food. My husband is passionate about surfing and polo, so you will find his surfboards and polo sticks leant up all around the house and garden.
There is definitely an Arabian touch to our interiors. We have a lot of Arabic prints on our cushions and an Arabian influence in some of our other textures around the home, especially the garden. As far as my French influence is concerned, some of it shows in our art collection. I have bought beautiful photographs from Michel Comte.
If I had to choose my favourite pieces in my home, one of them would be the large hand-painted Tibetan Wheel of Life I bought in Nepal years ago. I’d also choose the two large photographs we took during a trip to the Amalfi Coast that add colour to our entrance hall, and our beads branch, which hangs above our bed and is made of shell necklaces from Tahiti, Mexico and Africa. Also, the African mask that overlooks the pool and our beautiful tree that reminds me every day of the place we got married in Provence. The one item I’m on the lookout for now is a pizza oven for the garden.
My favourite room in the house has to be our bedroom. It is my escape. It’s got beautiful light, space and a view of the pool. It’s a very quiet space with a comfy couch and a collection of hats from all around the world, books, and a massive Graham Springer photograph of the African bush, which we wake up to every morning.
We enjoy interior design and love our home. But I have designed it more around our lifestyle than material value. And, honestly, what I value most in my home is the people I am surrounded by.