Few weeks ago, during the photoshoot of our #episode2, I have been introduced from Roxane to her moroccan sister-in-law, Leila.
She comes from Casablanca, as her husband, and they moved to Dubai just 6 months ago. You can’t tell because their house looks already super cosy and perfect, as they were here since much longer; it is a haven of peace among a blend of family art and decorative objects collected over the years.
She welcomes me in her unique artsy-vintage-modern flat, and she starts telling me all about the pieces that I see inside the house. Everthing has a story: from her mother’s art hanging onto the living room wall, to her husband’s guitars and vintage cameras, to their thousands of books. They love spending time in their home, inviting friends over and playing music.
Even without knowing her very well, I felt her reserved nature, but very determined when it comes to decoration; and that is reflected in her absolutely tasteful and stylish home.
Who is inviting The Sandy Side at home today?
We are a french/moroccan couple, married for 3 years, with a big passion for music, books and photography. We also love cinema and design, well, arts in general!
Tell us the story of this house.
For us, moving to Dubai meant moving to this exact place, on Sunset beach, not a different one. When a flat became available here we booked it immediately, without seeing it before. There was a high demand on it and we didn’t want to miss it, knowing that it would be what we wanted. We love other areas in the city, like Downtown and Marina, but we couldn’t see us living there, while this flat on the beach it is exactly what we came for. We were not sure whether our favorite furniture would fit in it or not, but we decided to ship it anyway from Casablanca. Eventually, every piece found its place in the apartment.
How did Dubai become your new home?
In 2017 we visited my brother in law and his wife who were living in Jumeirah and we had a crush on their healthy and sweet lifestyle by the beach. We decided to move from Casablanca a year later. It’s been 6 months now and we are very happy, we live just one floor below my husband’s brother.
Where does your passion for interior decoration comes from?
I think my love for decoration really started when I had to decorate our first apartment three years ago. I went to a flea market that my mom used to take me to (at that time by force!) and I found beautiful pieces. I researched the origin of these pieces and one thing after the other I started learning about mid century modern designers, getting inspired by books and magazines that showed how these pieces fit in a modern setting. In this style I recognised myself and my husband, I could really see all my husband’s music instruments and our books, travel souvenirs and vintage cameras fit in it. I started decorating that way and I continued to include more items from our travels and passions and let them fit together in the house. Our friends loved that place, its vibes and we were very happy to be able to translate who we are in our home.
How would you define the style of your house?
An artsy apartment with a blend of modern and vintage furniture, it is our family space and it represents both our personalities. The majority of the furniture come from our home in Casablanca, and we have added some pieces that we found here, mostly for the outdoor terrace.
Tell us about an arab object that inspired you and is now part of your decoration.
I love authentic and vintage Beni Ourain rugs, they are all unique, real pieces of art. When I see them I see my fellow Moroccans crafting them, and it reminds me of home. I bought a beautiful hallway Beni Ourain from Maison Saada that gives my entrance that cosy touch I am still looking for a large statement piece, with colors for the living room.
Any good decoration tip?
Mix the old and the new, the high end and the flea market founds, the wood and the plexiglas; but I would say a big no to fake flowers, cheap carpets and no more than four main colours in a room!
Give us one address to recommend in the city.
I love Alserkal Avenue! Loads of galleries, delicious healthy spots, and a very nice furniture gallery named the Odd piece.
How do you give a touch of desert style to your cosmopolitan habits?
I like Berber craftsmanship. It is full of geometric forms, prints and colours, yet it goes with everything.
The day you will eventually leave Dubai, what would you miss the most?
My home close to the beach and the late afternoon swims with my husband.
What is your dream object or piece of furniture that you would like for your home and why?
I would love to have an original Eames or Gio Ponti piece of furniture. They combine the two qualities I like the most in design : they are unusual and intemporal.
DECO NOTES from Leila’s addresses in Dubai
IKON HOUSE: http://ikonhouse.ae/
for designer’s furniture
the Odd Piece: http://the-oddpiece.com/
my favourite gallery in the city, that’s where you’ll find special pieces
the Bowery company: http://www.thebowerycompany.com/
for online shopping
Nook concept: https://www.nook-concept.ae/
Amazing paper vases