West Elm has now opened in Dubai Mall, so it will be on my list of things to do this weekend….I am dying to see the new store and I am hoping that it will offer something a little different from Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.
Looking through the latest catalogue , I have to say I think they have some lovely items for sale….here’s hoping these will be available in store!!
Love these chairs….yellow seems to be coming through very strongly, as does green….
These hexagonal tables are divine….I may have to pack them up and take them home!
A couple of months ago , I had the opportunity to visit this amazing hotel for a cup of coffee with my sister and a friend.
Situated on the Palm Jumeirah, it is designed with an Ottoman inspired theme. As with most 5 star hotels in Dubai, it is really over the top luxurious ,with acres of marble floors, gold leaf on every surface and intricately painted domes with chandeliers to rival those of a palace.
Huge gold leafed columns dominate the main lobby with a lovely fountain which creates a soft bubbling sound as you enter the hotel.
I loved the choice of colours in the tea lounge ceiling..a delicate duck-egg blue with gold leaf…it looked like something Faberge might have designed…just exquisite.
The corridor leading off from the main lobby has soaring double volume ceilings with,yes, you guessed it, even more elaborate chandeliers…I particularly liked the grey and white marble laid in stripes on the walls…
The detail in the arches of the corridor…..
This regal room is one of the restaurants…it truly looks like something from a movie set…the waiters who were setting up for dinner when I stuck my head in to take photos, must have thought I was mad because I was wondering around with my head tilted back to see the ornate ceilings….
Details of the spectacular ceiling….
As you can see, the detail on the ceilings is mind boggling….actually the attention to detail all over the hotel is mind boggling. It is a must see for someone like me who works in decorative finishes as almost every wall, dome and ceiling is has some kind of pattern work on it.
Column details with gold leaf application….
Looking down the length of the restaurant….
An interior fountain….
The entrance to the Turkish Restaurant..this was my favourite …the decorative painting was unbelievable and just blew my mind!
Amazing detail on the ceiling and walls…apparently done by Turkish artists specifically brought out to do the work.
The walls of the restaurant..again lots of detail and gold leaf….beautifully executed pattern and design.
A more detailed view of the central lobby dome…
Detail of the dome at the entrance to the main restaurant….
One of the many domes in the hallways….
The entrance to the Talise Spa…I did try and get in to take some photos but they were busy and politely declined!
A view of the magnificent marble floors in the corridor leading to the main lobby dome.
Our visit to this hotel was almost an overload on my senses and by the end of two hours, I felt a bit overwhelmed…I would love to go back again just to try and see some more of the detail which I missed on this visit….my sister and I have decided that we want to go back for a spa visit, so hopefully I will be able to take some photos of the interior of the spa and see some more of the rest of the hotel!
I did mention in an earlier post, that my business will be going through some changes this month and I can now confirm that I will be moving premises and getting a new studio to work in! I will be hiring some additional staff to help out with work and I will also be travelling a bit more to source and execute work-the company I am working with has offices in a few countries outside of Dubai , which is very exciting for me because I have never had the resources to expand like that before!
All in all, I think this will be a very exciting new direction for my business and one which I am ready to take….what I do is extremely specialised , and in most cases, very much part of a luxury, niche market. The company I will be aligning myself with has a lot of contacts in this market and I hope that my business will be adding value to theirs and theirs to mine.
I will be focusing on a very select type of project and providing a very high level of service and quality. This is going to require intense training for my staff and a LOT of supervision and direction once they get on site. I also plan to train someone to be “me”when I am out of the office and checking on other sites …this should free me up somewhat and allow me to actually have a life!
My main goal over the past two or three years was to recover from the massive hit I took during the collapse of the construction and property industry in Dubai, but now that we are in recovery , I feel like I can finally focus on balancing my life more…more exercise, more socialising with friends and family, and more time to do some things I love- like painting for myself and not just for clients!
All in all, I feel very positive going ahead and I hope to have some amazing projects to feature on my blog this year, particularly projects outside of Dubai!
My wonderfully talented friend(whose wonderful African wedding I featured here) has started a blog which I discovered quite recently…she is an incredible artist, takes amazing photographs and can apparently write too…is there no end to this girl’s talents!
She and her lovely husband travel extensively, and her blog features photos (and tales) of the fabulous places they visit. Sometimes she includes her sketches which are just adorable….
Isn’t it amazing how talented,creative people are so often talented in other disciplines such as photography or styling…L and I actually attended college together and studied Textile Design and she is an extraordinary artist who has exhibited in Europe and the US!
Do take a look at her blog...she has promised to start posting more regularly…and we would love to see more sketches please Ms Paperbrush!!
This really has become quite a controversial day….if you’re dating someone, the pressure is on…if you’re single the pressure is really on not to feel like a loser because you’re alone, and let us not start on the expense of the whole day! I feel terribly sorry for the poor men who have to organise an evening for their ladies…here in Dubai, the price for dinner is sometimes double and even triple the normal cost for an evening out….it is quite scary. While I understand the basics of business (supply and demand) I still find it abhorrent how people are fleeced on this day in particular…I wonder if the Victorians had the same problem….
A beautifully intricate (and one would assume hand-made) Valentine card…..
I personally try to ignore the day entirely and just pretend that it doesn’t exist but I did want to mark the occasion by posting some images of romance, or at least my interpretation of romance…..something I think is rather sadly missing in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives….
A romantic place to stay…nothing says romance like an exotic five star beach front hotel lit up at night…..
A classic and timeless love story….Wallis and Edward
Dining under the stars with a real tablecloth and a chandelier (of sorts!)…….
The utterly decadent romance of St. Petersburgh in the snow…..images of Anna Karenina spring to mind, with sleigh rides under mounds of fur blankets….
A glamorous pair of heels…………
And , a fabulously romantic bathroom, with the most lush wallpaper……
Last but not least..the ultimate romantic perfume, Romance by Ralph Lauren….the love story of Nacho Figueras and his lovely wife Delfina, adds to the mystique of the perfume of course! It was literally a case of love at first sight for both of them when they saw each other at a polo match…..whatever the story, it is one of my favourite scents….