It is a beautiful sunny day when I take my car and drive towards Sunset beach, to discover this charming flat that belongs to a just as charming young French girl, that moved to Dubai from London three years ago and is the happiest person living here.
The light is the line that guides us across the apartment: the sun comes through huge windows and brights up all the little treasures collected from Roxane and her husband in their travels; we will spend the morning talking about how they chose this house and its decor, how France met Morocco with a Londoner twist. Their house has a contemporary feel with classic additions as the piano, that Roxane is playing in the morning, and loads of books in Italian, that she speaks perfectly.
She is 100% parisian, beautiful with no effort, super sporty, dynamic and very friendly. Her husband is Moroccan, they met in London, and for his job in the oil industry they moved to Dubai. Roxane works here with the european time, so you can meet her in the morning surfing in kite beach before going to the office, doing Yoga on her terrace or wakeboarding in Saadyat on a Sunday.
While I was taking the photos of her house, she then introduced me to her gorgeous sister-in-law, Leila, that also lives at Sunset and she told me I needed to go and see how she had decorated her flat, that is exactly the same shape, in a complete different way.
But that’s another story!
You’ll find it next week, on our #episode3
Who is inviting The Sandy Side at home today?
Roxane, french from Paris, addicted to water sports and travels; i love yoga, healthy food and true friendship. I work in the oil industry, as my husband who’s from Casablanca. We met in London in 2009, and we got married in Paris and in Marrakesh two years ago, with two completely different cerimonies, both magical. You will see pictures of our weddings everywhere in the house!
How did Dubai become your new home?
We were living in London before coming here, 7 years for me and 10 years for Mehdi, my husband. He always covered the Middle East and was constantly travelling in this region every week, until he had the opportunity to be based in Dubai. It took me maybe five minutes to think about it, and as I was able to do my job also from Dubai, we decided to move here. I think it has been one of the best decision of our life together. We are really having a great time living here, and we are not too far from Europe, so I can go quite often to visit family and friends between Paris and London. When we came we were thinking for a couple of years, but it looks like we might stay for much longer!
Tell us the story of this house.
We wanted to have a quite central location, to not drive too long to reach our offices in DIFC. But the key factor for us was the proximity to the beach, or better, we wanted to live literally by the beach! When we visited this flat it was love at first sight: the view, the beach just there with the running track, and the flat itself it is very modern and very bright.
Where does your passion for interior decoration comes from?
When we moved together in London few years ago, it was such a big step for us that I wanted it to be perfect. I started to find various inspirations visiting different houses and reading magazines, discovering shops and galleries in London, and we finally made our first home.
When we bought then our first flat in London, it was even more exciting to decorate some walls that were really ours! From that moment i got quite interested in interior decoration, and my passion continued to grow when we started to invest on several little flats in Paris.
I decorated each one of them with so much love and cure, I would live in all of them. I became totally addicted to interior design, trying every time to style the houses in different way, and researching for special pieces during my travels and my visits in the markets of Marrakesh and Paris.
How would you define the style of your house?
I think our flat is at the same time a beach house but also a parisian flat, it is literally both our origins: France and Morocco with a stamp of our many years in London. I wanted it to have a fresh and relaxed ambience, and I consider that is never really finished. We always bring something from our travels for the house, and I love the idea to add every time something very different to what we already have, it gives a big touch of personality to each space.
Tell us about an arab object that inspired you and is now part of your decoration.
It’s our Beni Ourain rug. It gives a cosy feeling to the whole house and I just love stepping on it. I would have this kind of rugs in each room, I find them really attractive and ours has always been in our living room, but I am ready to get one also for the bedroom!
Any good decoration tip?
Put lot of love in your decoration, follow your heart when you look for furniture or special pieces for your house. Always look in your family or childhood house if there is something very meaningful to you that you would like to have in your own home or just buy when you have a ‘coup de coeur’ . When each piece has a story, it will give a relevance to your decoration and your choices.
One address to recommend in the city?
Comptoir102, a concept-store and organic coffee in Jumeirah 1. I love going for breakfast there, all their ingredients come from local organic farms and their fresh juices and smoothies are to die for. They always host nice events and I really like their shop, I find a lot of gift ideas from their jewellery selection and some very boho-trendy accessories for the house.
How do you give a touch of desert style to your cosmopolitan habits?
With my morrocan carpets and cushions!
The day you will eventually leave Dubai, what would you miss the most?
If I ever leave…! Definitely the sun, the brightness, the sea and the beach. I have my outdoor sport routine with yoga, wake surf and swimming, everything just at a few steps from my door!
What is your dream object or piece of furniture that you would like for your home and why?
I miss my herringbone parquet wooden floor from Paris- i grow up with those elegant floors! And I do miss it!
DECO NOTES from Roxane’s addresses in Dubai
Dubai Garden Centre: http://dubaigardencentre.ae/
Obviously great for plants and outdoor furniture, but you can also find cool accessories for your home
Home and Soul: http://homeandsouldubai.com/
They have many ethnic objects balinese style which matches totally the beach look I like
Comptoir 102: http://comptoir102.com/
Great selection for déco accessories and furniture, and limited edition artist collaborations
Pottery Barn: http://www.potterybarn.me/
Like their beddings and tableware
Crate and Barrel: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/
Nice selection for the kitchen, photo frames, pillow covers and console tables