Heather Porter, founder and author of Body Back has lived in Al Barari for the past four years, moving into her current eight-bedroom home, along with her husband, children and Aramis the cat, a year ago.
Heather was always going to take on the task of doing-up her home herself. “I always choose my own interiors,” she says, having decked it out in her trademark Regency style mixed with Ralph Lauren collection furnishings. Heather has adapted the taste for interiors she developed in her native UK for her Middle Eastern abode, explaining that, “In England, I love antiques and old clocks that chime on the quarter hour. However, in Dubai the house is modern, very light and airy, so I diffused the look and brought in some modern art and a few new pieces of furniture. For example, in the hallway I have an antique French pastry table and opposite a Natasha Law painting. Very old to very new.”
Living the Dubai dream hasn’t been easy though – Heather says that supplies from overseas took forever to arrive and there are too many unreliable contractors in Dubai. “You have to sift through them to find a good one that will actually turn up on time, and work to one’s expected standard,” she says.
She also laughs that the costs of running a home in Dubai can be sky high, telling us that, “Even if we are away and the water heater and air-conditioning is off, we still seem to get the same bills!”
● Many interior books, including all of Henrietta Spencer-Churchill’s, are a great source of ideas. Her books cover the Regency period brilliantly.
● Go overboard on cushions and consoles behind sofas, photo frames and books. By bringing things into the room, you create a cosy environment. Furniture doesn’t just have to be around the edges of the room.