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  • Nisrine El Lababidi

DESIGN FILES :: BLACK & WHITE - DIPPED IN COLOR GLAM


So you must be curious how the house of a designer and a Film Director actually looks like? A house that also has two young kids!!

Curiosity aside, I present to you our home... our sanctuary.

As you come into the house you are welcomed by a lot of light! I have magnified that effect using a huge mirror and console which we bought years ago from home centre. The mirrors not only reflect the light nicely but allow for constant update without limiting us in colors and style. I simply layered it with stacks of books, a couple of candles, fresh orchids and glass vases that were filled with lemons (fake ones of course!). You can read more about how I styled here.

Where there was once an entryway into the kitchen is now a modified wall where I've applied our removable wallpaper with the beautiful work of the song write Chafic El Moghraby, also my father in law. This was our first dance song and something really close to our hearts. It had to be in the foreground of our home.

In the background of the combined living and dining room is our ‘L-shaped supple leather’ sofa from The One which provides a comfortable place to sit in the living room, it holds loads of small black & white cushions from while a lovely grey carpet from Carpet Centre's Argento collection grounds the space and adds softness to the floors.

A square glass coffee table is offsetted with a styled round metal table and coffee table next to the grey studded arm chairs both from Marina Home. A grey leather bench from Crate & Barrel completes the seating in the living room.

I had focused on neutralising the palette rather than modifying the layout of the two-storey house, enlisting the help of Jotun Paints to create a neutral grey that would work with the tiles and kitchen stonework. The black soft furnishings are easily updated from season to season too but for now they are styled with Ikat cushions from Tribe Dubai and a throw and houndstooth ones from The One, we also found those great cushions with vintage Egyptian actors from Bloomingdales.

My own painted blue abstract artwork is a feature of the living room, along with a collection of styled vignettes on the coffee table. The custom-made media unit houses all my husbands CD's and on top of it I created a vignette around my now framed grandmother's wedding clogs where next to it lies my husbands 8mm camera!

In the dining room we have a huge glass dining table from Al Huthaifa that seats twelve people when needed (mostly in ramadan for big family and friends lifters!) The studded chairs are also a statement from The One Fusion and complement the dark Mahogany wood nicely. In one corner is a projector light, perfect addition for a house with a film director! and on the other corner lies a book shelf with a myriad of collected items I have gathered from our travels. From trinket boxes to vintage malachite look alike artdeco trinket boxes made in the 40's. I often score these from vintage shops and flee markets when travelling in Europe... and I love their color. They also make better souvenirs than fridge magnets and shot glasses!

For the upstairs I introduced more color but in controlled proportions too! Our stair case is full of family pictures and memorabilia from cities we have travelled to. It also holds a lovely carpet we bought from a shop in Royal Mirage- the first piece we bought together as a married couple. A macrame from Tribe Dubai adorns the walls too.

Once you are upstairs, the space opens up to a small TV space with a comfy navy blue sofa and a wooden bench used as a table, both IKEA, and I have accessories it with earthy textures like the round armadillo rug from Tribes Dubai and bright Moroccan Poufs from Global Village. The Media cabinet IKEA too and holds all our books and various collectibles and board games for family nights in.

In the master bedroom I chose the limited edition horses print by Australian photographer Katie Mendi which we sourced from Tribe Dubai to be the focal point of the whole room. These two horses just give the room a lot of character too. The room oozes with everything relaxing that engages the senses - from scented candles to luxurious cotton bedding & cushions. I've also created a little reading nook with a comfy pottery barn chair a throw, a cushion and a well placed side table for the reading books and coffee. The accessories further elevate the overall room feeling all sourced from Tribe Dubai. You can see more pictures of the bedroom here.

For my daughters room I chose a palette of white, pink, gold and black, with DIY artwork and H&M beddings in a lovely blush pink and some throw pillows to compliment it. We also did a few wall art in black and gold (you can check the DIY here). We got the Hay bedside table from Ashyaa and styled it with some greens and brass accessories we had picked up from Copenhagen. My daughter also made a dream catcher from TYPO to add a personal touch to the room.

In my sons room, I DIYed a whole wall out of black washi tape, added loads of storage for the toys and styled it with a stag head and metal lettering from TYPO complimenting the black and white palette with a beautiful deep blue wall. Check the whole room here.

The house opens out onto generous outdoor spaces, making it ideal for entertaining and barbecues. We have a lovely 6 meter BBQ Bar set in one corner of the garden, while on the other corner lies the kids the newest addition to the vast green space - a beautiful tree house where the kids now spend hours playing pretend & climbing. The design was done by myself and was executed by Andy from Dubai Tree House. You can see more pictures here too!

Under the pergola a sofa set from Pottery Barn is accessorized with items from West Elm & Crate & Barrel.The outdoor dining table is custom made teak wood with a bench and chairs from Al Quoz with bar chairs for the BBQ area sourced all the way from Malaysia. The Garden also has a big trampoline for the kids and we use all the sides of the garden to grow organic vegetables, herbs and even fruits. We currently have two date trees, a fig tree, an olive tree, a lemon tree and a pomegranate tree to name a few!

I was once having a chat with a lovely designer who had also never lived in her home country and I asked where she considered home and she said 'Home is where the heart is'. That is completely wholeheartedly true. Indeed Home is where the Heart is.


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