18 November 2018Last updated


Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s eclectic JVT villa

Sharon Conneely-Donaldson, creative director of Full Circle Design, blends sleek contemporary style with playful punches of colour and quirky accessories for a down-to-earth take on modern interior design

As told to Tabitha Barda
28 Jul 2015 | 03:45 pm
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s JVT villa.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 1 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s JVT villa.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 2 of 12
  • The wool and cashmere throw in the living room is from Avoca Handweavers, which is Ireland’s oldest woollen mill, founded in 1723.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 3 of 12
  • These wedding photos in the dining room evoke memories of a very special day.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 4 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s JVT villa.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 5 of 12
  • The wooden ducks were a wedding present.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 6 of 12
  • I like to relax in the armchair with a book in this corner of the master bedroom – it’s my tranquil haven.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 7 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s master bedroom.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 8 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s JVT villa.

    Source:Aiza Castillo/Domingo/ANM Image 9 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson’s JVT villa.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 10 of 12
  • This interior design reference book by publishing house Assouline covers the inspirations behind some beautiful and interesting homes.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 11 of 12
  • Sharon Conneely-Donaldson.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM Image 12 of 12

I would describe my interiors style as modern, with a touch of playful quirkiness. I like to think the design of my home is stylish without being pretentious, and it has a good dose of punchiness in terms of bold patterns and fun accents, which suits my sense of humour. It is also created to suit our lifestyle – my husband, Peter, and I like to chill out a lot in our home, whether by reading or watching movies, so I wanted to make sure the design is conducive to relaxation. Our friends find it very welcoming too.

I have lived in the UAE for 17 years altogether, but Peter and I moved into this two-bed, Arabic-style villa in Jumeirah Village Triangle just over a year ago, last May. I am an interior designer by profession, so I can work very quickly; I think everything was finished within a week! However, I would still like to add more art to the walls.

My favourite room in the house is the living room, as it is flooded with light and overlooks the garden. It is a restful, peaceful atmosphere to retreat to after a busy Dubai day.

The shops I buy interiors items from are varied – there’s no one place in particular that I always go to. However, I do like to design and customise furniture when possible, as I did with the dining table and bookcase. It means I can get the exact style, size and finish I want.

I’m inspired by anything and everything, and there’s no one artist or designer who I’d say I am influenced by in particular – although I take influences from many different ones. If I’m searching for some fresh interiors ideas then I find the websites Houzz and Polyvore, the trend-watching site Scarlet Opus, and Image Interiors online magazine all useful resources.

I love the typographical wall decal in the dining room. I have an interest in typography, text, literature and the general power of words whether written or verbal. This decal is playful with couples’ names, mainly from popular culture. It is from a local company called E-Walls. In our previous Dubai home, I used wallpaper with international city names from Swedish brand Mr Perswall – available from D-tales Dubai. My husband and I love to travel as well.

I also love the white Italian leather swivel armchair in the master bedroom. It is my refuge when my sports-mad husband monopolises the TV in the living room. I love to sit in the armchair and lose myself in a good book in a quiet, tranquil environment.

Interesting art is the one aspect of our home that I want to build on. But art cannot be rushed! I will probably find something I love on our travels – it will ‘speak’ to me when I see it.

The one thing in my home I could live without? All of it. It is just a collection of things after all – people are more important. As an interior designer and tutor, I advise people not to be too uptight about design in general. Homes are to be enjoyed and lived in – they can be beautiful, but we shouldn’t be precious about them.

As told to Tabitha Barda

As told to Tabitha Barda

Deputy Editor