Meet Gerlinde. Gerlinde the founder of 4WORK and Dubai’s ‘Good Living’ Expert. Today she share’s her account of planning and designing her own home. Is 2014 the year that you move forward on your interior design dreams? If so, then keep reading, you may just find the perfect inspiration for where to start!
A: Motivation for decorating your home generally starts with a specific room. For me it all started with the kitchen. The default kitchens we get in every single house in the UAE are not personalized, if you love your home or love cooking the kitchen is super important. For many families the kitchen is the centre of the home and the family! Everything happens in the kitchen.
Q2: How long did the kitchen design take?
A: I sat down with Oliver from Goettling Design– a kitchen design specialist, and we designed the entire kitchen over approximately three months. I wanted a design that could include living for my girls to watch TV but also allow me to cook with ease. I needed everything at my fingertips. Oliver had the perfect solution, with his beautifully designed German kitchens, the quality is impeccable and made to last. Investing in a good kitchen adds true value to your property and as far as I am concerned worth every penny!
A: My kitchen had to be functional and gorgeous looking. I imagined myself cooking in the kitchen, and having my family around me the entire time. Therefore, the hob had to be in the middle of room with drawers for cooking utensils and pots and pans underneath. I also required a very good extractor fan above it with lights and various functions.
Within a circle of 2 meters, I wanted a pull-out spice rack, more drawers for more pots and pans, a pull-out rubbish bin, a pull-out towel rack, and one large sink with a smaller one. I wanted a drawer underneath the sink for washing-up liquid. The rest of kitchen would be equipped with simple drawers, pull-out cupboards, and more storage space.Q4: What was the centerpiece of your kitchen?
A: I needed to plan the big island on which I am cooking now, where we eat, or even prepare our food. To be able to prepare anything, I opted for built-in pull-out power sockets on the actual island. We use these almost every day.
Q5: What were the challenges you faced when designing your living space?
A: I have a huge dining room, and what I didn’t want was this huge long dining table with lots of messy chairs around it. I then saw a wooden table with two benches and thick legs. The price shocked me, but I discovered the same two wooden tables with benches but with metal legs for a fraction of the price. I bought them, and I designed the room around the centre piece.
Q6: Tell us about designing around a centre piece?
As the table was the centre piece, I sat in the room and thought to myself that the metal legs would look awful and cold on the standard tiles that you find in every Dubai home. I asked myself what would look warm and compliment the dining table? The answer was parquet flooring!
This idea changed the entire house. After the installation of the wooden flooring downstairs, it looked fantastic. So we got the entire upstairs flooring done, too. Good flooring does wonders for a home, so I continued looking for matching tiles to compliment the kitchen and the entrance lobby. I decided upon 30 x 60 cm tiles a rectangle design and installed them in the same direction as the wooden flooring. I then sourced the world’s best cleaning system, the Vorwerk Kobold Cleaning System to clean the flooring. This lead to owning the master franchisee in Dubai today. So the parquet flooring changed my home, and changed my life!
A: After I chose the wooden flooring I decided on the upholstery of my existing sofas, floor cushions, and cushions for the benches. As all these items were pretty much in an open area, I wanted the same fabric texture but in different colors. The bar lounge became a burnt orange, the dining table a beige, and the living room a natural beige with dark green cushions.
Q9: Can you tell us about your beautiful window coverings?
After I was finished with the upholstery of the furniture, I then went on to add curtains to every single room. By the time I got to the girls’ room upstairs (and the final one) I asked for something pink. The sales assistant then mentioned white shutters since the girls will grow out of their pink phase soon… and I fell in-love!
Beautiful white shutters were installed in every single room, as well as the windows, balcony doors and last but not least even as room dividers. The white color contrasted beautifully with the warm color of the wooden flooring creating an amazing French chalet/holiday feeling.
Q10: What were the expensive items in your home renovation?
A: I had three expensive items: kitchen, flooring, shutters. While these items were expensive they also have created true value to the home. Little more was required to be spent on the interior, other than a coat of paint.
Q11: Did you encounter any solutions for saving money while designing your home?
Yes, after upholstering my existing soft seating, I went on and got an excellent carpenter to restore my old wooden furniture. A terrible bed turned into an amazing antique looking piece. An antique light wood bedside table got duplicated and finished with a warm greyish antique look that I matched with a purple day bed cover, an amazing wall paper on one single wall only, and was complemented with Ikea lamps in the exact same purple. All of the horrible golden and brown mirrors and picture frames were sprayed with a silver color. A huge palm in a silver pot rounded up the entire master bedroom’s atmosphere. The TV cabinet in glossy white finish would have cost me more than 30.000 AED. I got the same carpenter to build it for me in the size I needed it for a fraction of the price.
Q12: What was one of the biggest challenges in designing your home?
One of the biggest challenges was finding a new and affordable railing for the staircase. I couldn’t believe that I actually found it at Dragon Mart! They come measured with the tempered glass already done. Then they install it in your house and do the welding polishing – everything right then and there. The only not-so-nice thing was that I had to pick up and drop off the installation guy every day. I got a couple of walls done in a stucco work. In front of one, I placed my gorgeous Buddha fountain and the other one had my Mekka door.
Q11: What did you do with leftover pieces?
A: I had all sorts of various art in my old house that needed to find a new home. One of my very best friends came over (an artist herself) and showed me how and where to hang the very different pieces of art: Balinese paintings, modern art, original drawings from a German artist, and more.
As the above pictures can tell, Gerlinde’s home is certainly a haven. With a keen eye for detail Gerlinde is keen to share her knowledge on ‘good living’ with all the women of Dubai today! So stay tuned for her top home tips through out 2014.
4WORK Dubai xo