Author: bringwanderlusthome

How did we know that we needed to hire an Interior Architect

This is a question that I asked myself a few weeks after we shifted into our holiday home two summers ago, knowing full well that we would not be in France for the majority of the renovation we knew we would need to find a main contractor that we could trust but with my background in hotel development advisory, the already well thought through scope of work to be done and a document of mood images that took me three months to compile we could have gone either way.  So what made us decide to engage a professional to help us through the design phase of the renovation? Are you wondering the same right now for your place?  Well here are some things to consider: Location – are you in the same town as the work ? are you able to meet suppliers, contractors, other consultants on site or do you need support to do this?  We are based in Dubai and our home is in the Savoie, France so we definitely needed to find …

My top three picks at Index Dubai 2018

INDEX Dubai started back in 1990 and is one of the key events in the calendar to stay abreast of what is happening in the interior procurement world.  This year the team behind INDEX decided to include a September show into their schedule and I wanted to share my top three picks: Number 1  – Stephanie Design – Firstly Stephanie Ng is fantastic, she loves what she does, she loves the products she makes and every collection has a story.  From the aunties at Kuala Lumpur that now do her knitting to the automotive interior company that does her leather work.  I have to say I am racking my brain where I can have them in my home and I recommend that you check them out by clicking here. Number 2 – Maison du Monde and Crate & Barrel – I have to confess I am a big MDM fan as we have  store ten minutes from our French home so it is very much my go to for bits and pieces.  Both brands are …

Dining at Atmosphères – amazing food and views!

Now that we spend time in France each year we thought it was a good idea to expose the kids to as wide a range as possible of French food as possible.  That means anything from a croque monsieur to steak hache to something that does not really look like anything they have tried before. This was one of those days when we wanted the kids to adventurous and try a truly delicious market menu from Atmospheres up above Bourget du Lac.  Only ten minutes from home I can’t believe it has taken us over a year to visit so I wanted to share our experience. A very modern sleek dining room and terrace provides a simple and elegant setting for some amazing food.  With a private dining room to one end we had a perfect vantage point across the garden and view across Lac du Bourget back towards our place.  Also a good place to put a party of seven when three of them are 6 years and under.  It meant that the kids …

What does it take to be a good client?

I have lost count of the number of architects, engineers and designers that I have worked with over the last 20 years in my professional life but for the first time ever we have worked with an interior architect on a project for us. I take my role in hotel development advisory seriously, I have a strong eye for detail and I am very conscious that we are often custodians of clients funds and how they are spent.  They lean on us for advice to make sure it is spent well, fairly and will deliver hotels or restaurants back to them which maximise their revenue stream.  The advantage of hotels is that very early in the timeline we build a guestroom and take time to get it right so that when the other 300+ of them are built the expectations are clear.  This leaves more time for the bespoke elements within the hotel. Of course when you start to renovate or build your own home you become the client, you rely on others to spend …

Who to call on to add life into your interiors

Whilst pinterest is a rabbit hole of inspiration that you may or may not return from taking those ideas and turning them into reality can be a challenge.  Not only do we need the time to make it happen but having someone with a talented design eye help you do it can often mean the difference between like and love. There are three great layers of support that you can call upon to bring those pinterest images to life in your own spaces.  The first being a friend who has a great eye, the second is an Interior Designer (called Interior Architect in some countries) and the third is an Interior Stylist.  When is it a good idea to reach out to each of these? My thoughts are: A friend who has a great eye – you definitely don’t have to be trained to have style.  If you have an idea of what you want and just want some advice on where to source particular things then asking a friend who has a similar aesthetic …

Feature walls – our last four homes and my top tips

Coming from a hotel design/development background the feature wall is a favourite amongst designers to add instant (and permanent) interest to a room. I can remember choosing the interior for our first home almost 20 years ago.  The house was a modern brick and tile and we went for a deep aubergine on a niche wall in our dining area and a paprika red one in the lounge area.  They were painted and an easy way to add depth to the space when most of our furniture was hand me downs from family.  When we moved to our next house, a 100 year old villa, the previous owner had painted every room a different colour so we just updated a couple to our preferred colours but hadn’t got around to repainting the house before we moved to Dubai although the end of our kitchen/dining room was anchored with a fab dark blue.  Of course these homes were before digital cameras so photos are all stored back in New Zealand in a shed in Hakaru! Once …

Lighting up a little girls world

In the adventure of renovating a house by remote control one of the things I have had a lot of fun looking for online is wall lights for the girls rooms.  Here was my shortlist. Super cute bunny ears from Atelier Pierre Lightbox with super cute lettering from Maisons du Monde Opalescence from Cecile Chareyron AM.PM’s Fifi Box from La Redoute Ferm’s Living Cactus spotted at Amara Living Standout copper pineapple from Jasmine Living Haya wall light from La Redoute Seletti’s Hanging Monkey spotted at the Bowery Company Origami from Tedzukuri Atelier What was I looking for in the wall lights? something that could take my littlest girl from 2 to 6 years old and another light that would be good for Miss 4 and 6 until they are about 10 years old.  Which ones did I end up picking? well watch this space as we put the rooms together and share the spoils of all our hard work. Photo credits: the feature image is from Ekaterina Galera, the individual products are from the websites …

The best balconies in Dubai

When I got the chance to visit the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai in Business Bay I jumped at it as I had been aware of the repositioning that the brand had been going through globally and I wanted to see how this was brought to life in Dubai. I will fill you in on what I found around the hotel in other posts but I needed to share the guestrooms as they have the best balconies in Dubai !!! I checked out both the suites and guestrooms and they are gorgeous. The guestrooms are spacious, with all the bits I love about hotels, the crisp white linen, light streaming in the windows and a place for everything and everything in its place.  The carefully curated furniture gave a feel of visiting a friend’s new home and the art was simple, camel focused and appropriate for Dubai with a really fun twist.  It plays along that fine line of being a business hotel and one for leisure and I would be quite chuffed for a stay …

Louise Sur Cour – a must stay in Brussels

Guesthouse by name, getaway by nature.  This four room guesthouse owned and hosted by the charming Dimitri Parimeros, who painstakingly restored every inch of the building over a five-year period, is a must stay if you are heading to Brussels. From the street Louise Sur Cour looks like any other residence on the road but when you step through the over height doors it is something else.  You are greeted immediately by one of Dimitri’s own contemporary resin/fibre optic sculptures before entering into the main living room where you can enjoy a book in the sitting area and take breakfast in the large dining space.  As soon as we arrived Dimitri was kind enough to share with us a map of Brussels, pointing out allsorts of places that he thought we might find interesting along with a quick call to a great restaurant for dinner.  As he shows us to our room the story of the house unravels and so do the tales of the interesting pieces that are within it. There is a stunning …

A few days in Brussels – my favourite things to do

With tickets to U2’s last tour concert in Europe in our hot little hands we headed to Brussels for a four day summer break.  We had a fantastic time and I have picked out some of my favourite things to share with you: Getting to Brussels This will depend on where you are coming from but as we were coming from Lac du Bourget in France we decided to take the train.  About six hours from arriving at the station in Aix les Bains to getting to our guesthouse, with a one hour change-over in Paris meant that the afternoon of travel was very easy going – work was done, magazines were read, coffee sipped.  We booked through SNCF and travelled on the TGV and Thalys lines – both of which were great, although the latter had a really good meal service included as well. Getting around Brussels Walking, walking, walking – our feet were really all we needed.  We took all of five metro rides the whole four days we were there. Things to …