14 November 2018Last updated


Laura McConnon's villa on Jumeirah Islands

Mum-of-two Laura McConnon creates a calming, comfortable space for her family by combining soothing, neutral tones with a bright, open layout

Tabitha Barda
10 Sep 2015 | 12:00 am
  • Laura McConnon's villa.

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  • I love my vintage tea set. It has been passed through generations of my family, belonging to my grandmother, then my mother and now me.

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  • I really value my photographs by Bobby Sager. Not only are they beautiful, but also by purchasing them, we are helping children in war-torn areas.

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  • A close friend had a vintage wedding and handmade these flower jars. She let me take a few, which I fill with fresh flowers.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 6 of 13
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  • I created a wall in the children’s playroom to hang all their artwork up. Every time I see it, I am a very proud mummy!

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 10 of 13
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  • This circus-themed room is a relaxed space where the children can play to their hearts’ content.

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  • Laura McConnon.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 13 of 13

I would describe my interiors look as stylish, relaxed and homely. I’m a very welcoming person who loves to have people over, so my villa reflects that with its open and comfortable spaces. As soon as I had my own home, I started to visit interiors stores to get a feel for the sort of personality I want my house to have. Although it has taken me a few years (and a few moves!), I think I’ve finally found the style that fits us. 

We love nothing more than to spend time together as a family. My husband, our two children – Max, four, and Mia, two – and I have regular family movie nights (popcorn included) in the children’s circus-themed playroom. It’s the space where we spend most of our time and is, without a doubt, one of my favourite rooms.

In my past homes I had always wanted white sofas, but with two children it wasn’t the most practical choice. Moving to our current villa in Jumeirah Islands gave us a lot more space than ever before, which meant I could create a formal living room where I was finally able to have them! I call that room the ‘adult/after 7pm’ room, because when the children are in bed, my husband and I can relax on our white sofas without worrying about sticky fingers…

For interiors inspiration in Dubai, I love to read InsideOut magazine and I also like House and Garden from the UK, which my mum brings me each time she visits. I also use Pinterest for everything – from interior ideas to recipes and children’s party plans – especially since it is such a quick and easy app to use!

One artist I really admire is photographer Bobby Sager. He’s known for taking photos of children in war-torn countries. I have a few of his black-and-white pictures around the house so I created a neutral/white colour scheme to enable them to stand out.

A lot of my larger pieces of furniture are bought locally and are from The One and Marina Home. Internationally, I always keep my eyes open for items for the home, but don’t shop anywhere in particular. I do like to try to pick small pieces up when I travel; I have never been able to walk past a vintage shop without a quick look either! 

I fell in love with the main living area of our villa. It has a very open plan and a double-height ceiling, so I opted for light and comfortable furnishing and lots of candles to create a calming atmosphere.

I don’t think I would ever say that my house is finished. Although I have been in Dubai for eight years, and we have lived in this Jumeirah Islands villa for almost two years, 
I am always on the lookout for new items for the house; it is an ongoing process! I’m still trying to find artwork for the master bedroom. At the moment I have four very white, very empty walls… I haven’t yet found anything I like enough, but I have a trip to India coming up so hopefully I will find something there!

Tabitha Barda

By Tabitha Barda

Deputy Editor