23 October 2018Last updated


Louisa Spencer’s villa in Arabian Ranches

Louisa Spencer, mum of two and owner of handmade gift company LulaBeau Dubai, injects a coastal-chic vibe into her Arabian Ranches villa with muted colours, rustic materials and vintage beach scenes

Tabitha Barda
26 Jan 2016 | 04:38 pm
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  • The tall cupboard is from Pan Emirates.

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  • “This wallpaper of old-fashioned beach scenes completely transformed the feel of our downstairs toilet.”

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  • “I love my bed. I bought it from Pan Emirates at a really reasonable price and I knew when I saw it that it would work perfectly in my home.”

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Ever since I was a child I’ve had an interest in interiors. At the age of 10 I used to make dried-flower arrangements and would sell them at our school fairs, and friends would pay me to decorate when I was in my teens.

It took about six months for me to get our Arabian Ranches villa – where I live with my husband and children (Freddy, 5, and Ophelia, 3) – looking the way it does now. It's been a labour of love, and I’m always adding extra finishing touches along the way.

I would describe my style as cosy, tranquil and shabby chic. In a place as busy and hectic as Dubai, it’s always nice to come back to an organised and peaceful home.

I’d like to think that I create my own style, although I do use places that I visit as an influence. I’m inspired by holidays to the seaside in summer and by hotels that I have stayed in. My living room colours for instance are inspired by a hotel where we stayed in Greece.

My home features a lot of pieces that I have either made myself or that I have upcycled myself. As the founder of handmade gift and crafts company LulaBeau Dubai, I enjoy making things – I made a lot of the pieces in my daughter’s bedroom, which is filled with cushions and vintage-inspired fabrics and is one of my favourite rooms in the house.

My other favourite room is the living room, as it is so light and calming.

My first significant purchase for our home was the dining table from The One. It started off the seaside theme that runs throughout the house.

I tend to shop all over Dubai for home products. I like Marina Home, The One, Homes R Us, Pan Emirates, and so on. I use UK home magazines and Pinterest to get inspiration, and I like to buy from a wide range of shops as every store has something to offer. I also love to shop in the UK when I’m there as there are so many gorgeous little boutiques selling beautiful home items.

The home item that means the most to me is a painting in the bathroom done by my great grandfather, who was an artist. It’s of a lady sitting on some rocks in a 1950s bathing suit. I just love it and have always had it with me in Dubai.

I am still on the lookout for some new side tables for the living room. I upcycled the current ones by painting them and changing the drawer knobs, but I would really like some new ones and I just need to find some that would match the room.

I think my house is an example of how you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a nice home. Rather, it’s about shopping around and buying a few key pieces, and then basing the rest of the design around those.

Tabitha Barda

By Tabitha Barda

Deputy Editor