Muted colours and a lack of clutter

Relaxing Springs home

GMT 22:15 2011 Monday ,09 May

Arab Today, arab today Relaxing Springs home

Jacqueline has lived in Dubai for 15 years
London - Arabstoday

Jacqueline has lived in Dubai for 15 years I don't like moving house. I prefer to settle in a long-term place and keep the same style and furniture around me. I like to invest in accessories and furniture to fit particular spaces. My style of decor has not evolved or changed; it's become a personal trademark and synthesis of my upbringing. My childhood was spent in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South

Africa, while I have also lived in Scotland and Bath in the UK.

Since I came to Dubai 15 years ago, I've lived in three places: Jebel Ali Village, which no longer exists, a villa in Umm Suqeim and my present home in The Springs, which I bought and moved into six years ago.

One of the reasons I chose The Springs is the greenery. It was "countrified" compared to the rest of Dubai. There's also a sense of community. I enjoy the fact that you can walk and cycle and get groceries in small, neighbourhood shops rather than going to a mall. I've never been a city person.

I've made lots of changes to my home. I decided to knock down most of the walls on the ground floor to create an open-plan space for my living and dining room area. I also changed the guest bedroom upstairs and created an en suite shower room.

I installed a kitchen with the help of an excellent carpentry team, but I'd love to do some more work on it. I made some extra cupboard space and a breakfast bar. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen because I enjoy entertaining.

My home is my haven. In my professional life I like to be active. My job keeps me constantly on the move, so when I come home I feel like I am entering a retreat. My living room is one of my favourite areas and has one of my most treasured possessions, a painting called Birds Over the Scottish Moor by J Todd that was a 40th birthday present from my aunt and uncle. It holds special sentimental value.

I love colour, especially soft colours. There are no dark colours in my house. A friend introduced me to the concept of accent walls and now every room has one. I like yellow and I feel that I have created a sense of calm through the use of pastels.

I don't like mess and therefore I de-clutter. Before I buy anything I decide where it is going to go. I always make sure I have the space for it. I prefer to buy one or two good pieces rather than many. I firmly believe that people come to your home to see you and not your furniture.

I'm fortunate that I get to travel as part of my job and I often pick up souvenirs for my home. I particularly like Thailand for this. I've got some beautiful, tranquil pieces. I recently visited Norway and picked up some lovely pottery. I also collected some china from Amsterdam. For a real no-shopping holiday, though, I love going to Maia in the Seychelles.

Any free time I have I spend in my garden, watching the birds and pruning. It's a small garden that I divided into a patio and a lawn. It's my private paradise. I find gardening very therapeutic. Like in my professional life, I enjoy seeing things grow and mature.

My favourite room ever is the kitchen of my apartment in Bath, UK. I'm selling this property at the moment. I've had the apartment for 20 years and it was my first venture on to the property market. I couldn't afford anything too big, but I had many happy times there.

The kitchen is decorated with burgundy tiles and is all white. There is a real feeling of cosiness. That kitchen enticed me to cook and enrol in a cookery course.

Photographs make me feel most at home. I have them in every room. Having my friends and family around me is very important. For my 50th birthday, which is later this year, I hope to organise a professional, group photo shoot with all my friends. It's my present to myself.
Luxury is about being able to save and buy something you really want. I bought a Highland Stone Pottery lamp, my first-ever online purchase, and it brings me a lot of joy because it was something I wanted for a long time. Looking at it and knowing it's an individual, one-off piece is luxury for me.

On a smaller scale, luxury is about having a beautiful candle to burn. I especially like Jo Malone's range. My favourite luxury is Lladro.

Home is where my friends and family are welcome anytime. If they're not there, I have them with me in my photo frames. My ideal home is in the country, just outside Bath with a rose garden. I always wanted to have a large kitchen for entertaining and a spare bedroom for guests.
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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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