As one of the awesome mamas behind travel and lifestyle blog Mums the World (plus a cabin crew background and some serious wanderlust), Laura Davison’s beautiful villa is an oasis of calm accessorised by a few fabulous finds from her adventures around the globe. We were lucky enough to be invited into Laura’s world for a little peek (and a lot of inspo) plus a chat about how this mama has moved five times in eight years and is now ready to make this house a home.
How did you decorate your own home? Was it very planned out or impulsive?
I am quite a planner, so the majority of our home was planned. After being here for 8 years and moving 5 times, I was really ready to make this our ‘home’ and select classic pieces that suited the villa.
We were confident with the colours and textures that we wanted to use and along the way we’ve picked up things that have gone in a particular corner or area within the house. Everything has evolved over time and it really is a work in progress.
There has been the odd sneaky impulse buy here and there though, namely my beloved angel wings, and I’m constantly on the lookout for finishing touches – currently it’s art and pictures to fill the walls and new plants.
How would you describe your interior design style?
I wanted to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere in the house and would describe the interior style as quite classic, country chic. I love the whole distressed, rustic wood furniture, muted tones with lots of creams and beiges and different textures in natural materials. All enhanced with pretty flowers and candles.
What are your best places to pick up home furniture in Dubai?
The majority of our furniture is from Pottery Barn and Marina – I always see things I love in there so they tend to be my one-stop shops. We also have a few pieces from Zen Interiors who stock some lovely things. For accessories and soft furnishings I like Zara Home too.
Do you gravitate to a certain colour palette or design style?
In the past, I’ve experimented with colour but to be honest I’m at my most relaxed with clean lines, simplicity and a soft palette of creams, beiges and browns. In the study area we’ve ‘boldly’ gone for some nice soft shades of green and that’s as daring as it gets! I love visiting houses with lots of colour and definitely appreciate the vibrancy – maybe this year I’ll step outside my comfort zone and buy some jazzy outdoor cushions, we’ll see! 😉
As a mum how do you balance functioning design and a pretty home?
If truth be told, we chose the most child unfriendly colour scheme downstairs in our house – our upholstery cleaners should be on speed dial! Boys will be boys but we do really try and instill some values that furniture is to be looked after and respected. We’ve always stood by the fact that you can have the house you want EVEN with children! My eldest son sits on an adult chair now at the dining table which is in cream linen so my newest idea has been to cover it with a sheet while he eats and it’s working a treat!
I’m not a fan of clutter and like to keep things quite simplistic, so everything has a place. We have lots of baskets for toys and a lovely piece of furniture that cleverly conceals all their arts and crafts!
What did you splurge and save on when decorating your house?
I love my sleep and both my husband and I were adamant that we wanted our bed to be as hotel-like as possible! We splurged on that by going for a lovely four poster with an amazing mattress; with pillows and bed linen from Tempur and The White Company. You can’t put a price on a great nights sleep! 😉
We saved on the boy’s bedroom furniture which is mainly Ikea. Cheap and cheerful and while the little one is still at an age where dragging his toys along and knocking them into things is the norm, it doesn’t make any sense at all to spend a lot! We accessorized it with cute sailor touches and things we’ve picked up on our travels to Nepal and Thailand.
Did you use any websites or interior design apps to brainstorm ideas?
Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration for me whether it’s for the home, children’s activities or Mums the World, I can always rely on it. I like Instagram too. Both are incredibly addictive – I can get lost scrolling and daydreaming through a whole new world of visual inspiration!
What’s your favourite room/area in your home and why?
I love my lounge area, it’s very relaxing and I’m happiest snuggling on the sofa with a blanket watching movies or reading books with the boys. I enjoy being in the dining area too. We all eat together at dinnertime and on a weekday we have a small window between daddy coming home from work and the boys going to bed where we can sit and talk about our day. It doesn’t always happen but it’s nice when it does!
If you had unlimited space (and budget) and could turn one room in your house into whatever you wanted, what would it be?
So many things! A cool cellar that doubles up as a games room would be amazing (and save all my cream fabrics!) or an indoor pool/gym – I’d have less excuse not to work out!
Playroom or bedroom and playroom in one?
The boys share a bedroom and as we don’t have a dedicated playroom, they tend to play either in their room, the living room or outside in the garden. We’re lucky that we have quite a big outdoor space so my eldest practices his football and golf whilst my youngest goes wild on the trampoline!
Do you have any tips for easy ways to update décor without breaking the bank?
We recently came across a great carpenters called Safita. They custom made our boys bunk beds for a fraction of the cost – if only we’d discovered them a few years ago!
For a quick update, I like to create a feature wall in a new colour, move furniture around or give it a new lease of life by painting or re-upholstering it. I also update photos in frames, swap coffee table books around, buy new place mats and napkins in a different pattern or colour and change them seasonally. You can also experiment with new scents of candles and types of flowers – just to freshen things up without a complete overhaul.
To save money I try and wait for the sales or pick things up whilst I’m travelling – they’re usually cheaper than Dubai! If you want to ship lightweight items over, I’d recommend an Aramex Shop and Ship account, however it’s not that cost effective for larger items. If we have family or friends visiting they usually bring bits and pieces over.
Get the Look
- Lemons Cushion, AED 35-165, Zara Home
- Harbourside Slipcovered Apartment Sofa, AED 6,712, Crate and Barrel
- Go Organic Boat Bowl, The One
- Osborn Four-Poster Bed, AED 5507, Crate and Barrel
- Circus Vintage Poster, The One Junior
- Simple Twin Over Full Bunk Bed in Espresso, AED 5325, Crate and Barrel – The Land of Nod
- Glass and leather lantern, AED 285, Zara Home
- Reverie Print, AED 1976, Crate and Barrel
Thanks to the very lovely and super talented Stephanie Hamilton of Nektar for these gorgeous photos of Laura and her home!