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Inside the eclectic home of a Dubai pilot inspired by her far-flung travels

Pilot Kadambari Uppal has feathered her Mirador nest with striking furniture from India, curiosities collected while on her travels, and a flurry of beautiful bird art 

See inside the home a pilot living in Dubai who took inspiration from her travels around the world

“Calm down, Max! Easy, Rex!” Pilot Kadambari Uppal instructs her lively American cocker spaniel and sausage dog, as they scamper over the checkered marble floor that graces the entryway to the Mirador villa she owns with her husband Akshat Jain.

The couple, who are both pilots, bought in Arabian Ranches four years ago, gravitating towards the property’s peaceful location and perfect proportions. 

Chair with bird pattern
Animal influences feature across Kadambari Uppal’s home

“All the rooms are a decent size and we like the layout, so we haven’t needed to carry out any major renovation works, but we have revamped the style completely,” says Kadambari, who is a qualified interior designer with her own company,y Home Diva Designs.

She explains: “I have an eclectic style and my home has a lot of Indian and Moroccan influences. I pick up a lot of different things while flying around the world and, as I share the same clothes size as my mum, every time I visit her in Delhi I go with a completely empty suitcase so I can bring back as much possible.”

The duo relax in the formal sitting room when not jet-setting

It was important for the entryway to be open and uncluttered. “There are a lot of animal influences in my home, including a picture of a rhino by the entrance, which is a symbol of power and wisdom. All the wall mouldings are bespoke. My aim was to polish the basics so the house would look beautiful even without furniture.”

“In Indian culture, it’s traditional for the mum to give a gift to the daughter when she moves into her first family home. My mum gifted me this beautiful marina home table,” she explains

Material girl

A wash of soothing blues and greys, the formal sitting room is where the couple can relax and recover from their hectic schedules. The curtains are particularly stunning, made in India and shipped to Dubai, like all the other drapes in the house. “The quality of the material is fantastic,” she says. The royal blue cabinet from Marina Home draws the eye in and silver accents create a cohesive look.

Eclectic finds

“I am slightly obsessed with bird artworks,” admits Kadambari. “I fell in love with a bird fabric from Lyon , which was expensive but beautiful. I made it into a picture for the dining room and designed the rest of the room around it. I like playing with textures and layering them – it’s the best way to create interest.” 

Kadambari says her bed was a ‘steal’ proving you don’t need to splash out to create the home you desire

Dressing the master

This four-poster bed in the master suite was a steal from a Marina Home sale, as were the Pan Emirates side tables. “They’re actually little consoles,” reveals Kadambari.

She keeps her large walk-in closet well organised, a job that’s made easier thanks to the separate wardrobe that was fitted to the opposite side of the master bedroom solely to house her husband’s attire. “I invested in good quality carpets from Istanbul for a cosy feel,” she says, “with lots of golden accents for a touch of luxury.”

“If you’re decorating on a budget, it becomes even more helpful to work with an interior designer, as they will know the best pieces to pull from the affordable stores and how to mix and match.”

A haven for guests

The guest bedrooms are dressed to impress. “Our parents often come to stay for extended periods, so we wanted to create comfortable and welcoming spaces,” she says.

“Grey works with everything so that was my starting point.” In the room pictured directly below, the Ethan Allen bed and Zara Home mirror add elegance. There’s also an industrial styled movie den upstairs where the couple can watch their favourite Bollywood movies. 

A lush retreat

The art-filled study [above] is where Kadambari mood boards looks for her interior design clients. “I love portraits and I bought some fantastic pieces by Kim Mobey in Cape Town, who produces stunning portraits of indigenous people.”

The portraits of her dogs were also created in South Africa. The antique-looking rug is from Carpet Centre and yet more bird fabric has been used to upholster the chairs beside the console. 

Crawling plants give a secret garden feel to the outdoor space

The back garden has been completely landscaped, with lots of crawling plants and bushes creating a secret garden feel.

A large fountain provides the soothing sound of running water and masks any unwanted noise. There’s also a large organic garden where eggplant, rocket, basil, kale, rosemary and more thrives. 

Love Kadambari Uppal’s style? Check out her Instagram page at @homedivadesigns and see inside the homes on interior designers such as Alexandra Conti, Masoomeh Hilal and Emilie Jacob right here.

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