Owner of Dubai’s popular sustainable boutique Tribe, Jo England shows us around her bohemian family home in Arabian Ranches
For anyone who covets the rustic aesthetic of Dubai-based home décor store Tribe (read our summary of the boho boutique in The Courtyard), it will come as no surprise that its founder Jo England has designed a home in the image of the boutique’s sustainable and natural influences.
“Growing up in Australia, I was raised with a strong connection to nature,” explains Jo, as she sits on a handmade bamboo sofa from her new Nubambu range. Having lived in her Arabian Ranches villa for the last seven years, her home is an ode to her love of sustainable practices and travel.
“I try to buy things with longevity, which means that all the pieces of furniture we own are meaningful to us as a family – they hold our memories and make it feel like home. I bought the candlesticks on the dining table at a flea market in Florence,” she reveals looking around the room that showcases Tribe’s standout products along with repurposed pieces, such as a quilt dresser from China, which she bought while living in Malaysia.
A home well travelled
Before moving to Dubai in 2013, Jo and her family settled in Kuala Lumpur where she balanced her career in advertising with a passion for interiors. This saw her renovating a number of derelict villas. “I stripped them right down to their bare bones, re-planned the space and renovated them completely. I just loved the creative process.” After moving to the UAE, Jo took her flair for interiors to the next level by setting up Tribe in 2015 and decking out her home in her signature coastal zen look.
Old meets new
“I like mixing old and new pieces together for an eclectic look but I do work within a set palette, avoiding dark wood, for example,” says Jo. Sustainability is always a priority. “All the rugs in my home are from Armadillo & Co. They’re made by hand from natural and sustainable fibers, using Fair Trade practices. Plus, the proceeds go towards building schools in the villages of their weavers.”
“Life is so busy in Dubai that I need to be able to come home and feel relaxed,” says Jo. “As a practical designer, it is important that everything is functional while telling a story. For me, home is a collection of pieces that illustrate your life. My daughter used to collect pebbles wherever she went – particularly on the building sites I would be working on. Over the years, I kept each stone she chose and now they’re all in big glass jars in the cabinet.” With naturally sourced trinkets a theme throughout, Jo’s home also features several pots filled with shells and dried flowers.
With a distinct spa-like feel, Jo’s large garden has several zones designed for relaxing amid nature. “We’re lucky to have some big trees surrounding us and a great view of the golf course, which is gorgeous,” says Jo. A new addition to the space is the teepee (available at Tribe), “I love relaxing in the teepee – it’s perfect for this time of year, and looks really beautiful beside the pool.” Along with nurturing moments of zen, the space lends itself well to entertaining, as Jo enthuses: “In the winter my husband and I host parties around the pool – we love sharing the space with friends.”
Copy by Sophia Dyer.