I sat down with Oliver from Goettling Kitchen and we designed the entire kitchen over approximately three months. Even though every kitchen in every villa has the same layout, there are so many different ways to design the kitchen.
For me, it had to be functional and gorgeous looking. I imagined myself cooking in the kitchen and having my family around me during the entire time. Therefore, the hob had to be in the middle of the room with drawers for cooking utensils and pots and pans underneath. I also envisioned a very good extractor fan above it with lights and various functions above it. 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 for the sink to have one large and a small sink. I also wanted a drawer underneath the sink for washing up liquid etc. The rest of kitchen is equipped with simple drawers and pull-out cupboards.
We also planned a big island on which I am cooking now, where we eat, or even prepare our food. For being able to prepare anything, I opted for built-in pull-out power sockets on the actual island and we use this almost every day.
Then I was stuck at first how to proceed around the rest of the house ….
I have a huge dining room and what I didn’t want was this huge long dining table that I couldn’t take with me later and 20 chairs around it (which inevitably always looks messy). I then saw a wooden table with two benches and thick legs. The price shocked me and I discovered the two wooden tables with benches but with metal legs for a fraction of the price and I bought them. This is how everything started…
I thought to myself that the metal legs will look awful and cold on the standard tiles that you find in every house. And then I had the idea of a warm parquet wooden flooring (wonderful work by Kahrs flooring by Nordic Homeworx). And that idea changed the entire house. After the installation of the wooden flooring downstairs, we got the entire upstairs flooring done, too. Then I looked for matching tiles that I wanted to have in the kitchen and lobby and I went for 30×60 cm tiles (I don’t like square ones) and installed these in the same direction as the wooden flooring would run.
After I chose the wooden flooring I decided on the upholstery of my existing sofas, floor cushions, cushions for the benches. As all these items were pretty much in an open area, I wanted the same material but in different colours. The bar got a burnt orange, the dining table a beige and the living room a beige basic unit and dark green cushions.
After I was finished with the upholstery 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 as the girls will grow out of their pink phase soon … and she had me big time!!! Shutters got installed in every single room, at the windows, balcony doors and (last but not least) even as full or partial room dividers. The white colour goes beautifully with the warm colour of the wooden flooring, creating an amazing French chalet/holiday feel.
Now I had three expensive items: the kitchen, the flooring, and the shutters. Not a lot more money to be able to spend on the interior.
After upholstering 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 bed side table duplicated and finished into a warm greyish antique look that I matched with a purple day bed cover
- An amazing wall paper on one single wall only
- Ikea lamps in exactly the same purple. All 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 money
One of the biggest challenges was finding a new and affordable railing for the stair case. I couldn’t believe that I actually found it at Dragon Mart! They come measure and do the tempered glass. Then they install it in your house, including welding and 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 did a couple of walls in a stucko work, one where I placed my gorgeous Buddha fountain and the other one with the Mekka door to be hung.
Then I had 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 so different pieces of art: Balinese paintings, modern Art, original drawings from a German artist, etc.
Now I have the most amazing home, it gets published in magazines and people LOVE it!!!
It was the wonderful wooden flooring that began my adventure opening 4WORK Trading LLC and making the Vorwerk Kobold available for sale in the UAE. I had owned a Vorwerk Kobold for nearly 20 years and always loved it. When we installed the wooden floors, we learned that it needed to be cleaned very carefully (using very little to no water and a manual mop). A week or so later, we flew to Germany for a trip. When I went to get some filter bags for my Vorwerk Kobold, there it was: the VacuMop, the attachment that vacuums and mops at the same time! So, I bought it and brought it back. It did just an amazing job on my beautiful hard wood floors. I was supposed to get the floor maintained once a year, but I didn’t do this for over three years, but didn’t need to because of this wonderful system!