Styling your home for zen and serenity: This Desert Palm resident shows us how to design a calm abode

With every inch of space considered, Desert Palm resident Emma Goodall has conjured and calm and harmonious feeling to her villa, and here’s how you can too

Open living room connected to the outdoors
Emma Goodall added calming tones and furniture to her Desert Palm villa

“You have to love where you live and I adore the open aspect of this home,” enthuses Emma Goodall, referring to her Desert Palm family villa, which she shares with her husband Tim; 18-year-old daughter Maddy; two dogs, Tilly and Charlie; and elderly rescue cat Molly.

The family chose the location 14 years ago for the outdoor lifestyle, while the villa offered a slightly larger garden than others they’d viewed.

An open dining area with fresh light woods bring calm to the space

With its neutral palette, soft lighting, artwork picked up on travels and focus on natural materials indoors and durable materials outside, Emma’s home has a serene, Zen-like feel.

Having previously lived in Hong Kong, the entire space and surrounding garden, in particular, is influenced by her love of the Far East and inspired the launch of her stylish outdoor furniture company The Loungerie. “You look outside your window every day so why have plastic furniture outside?” Emma muses.

Emma in her garden living area
Emma has made her outside space feel just as welcoming too
Artwork by Thai artist, hanging over bed
This artwork is by a Thai artist, whom Emma discovered during her holidays

“The garden is an extension of your home and I’ve created that here.” Indeed, there are outdoor sitting and dining areas, while the lush green and pops of bright pink bougainvillea complement the soft blues and neutrally furnished rooms.

What’s more, layered lighting is used throughout the garden to create a cosy ambience. 

Indian Dowry Chest by Lucky Furniture
Indian Dowry Chest by Lucky Furniture

To enhance the flow of energy throughout her home and the connection between indoors and outside, Emma called on the expertise of Feng Shui wellness designer Simone Osswald, whose starting point was the home entrance. 

“The entryway represents the mouth of the home,” Simone explains. “When I arrived, there was lots of overgrown bougainvillea and a palm tree.” To free up the entrance, the greenery was cut back and some pots were removed. 

Bedroom with garden entrance
Layered textures give the space colour and depth in her bedroom featuring a garden entrance
Outdoor pool with shaded dining area
The outdoor pool area is complete with a shaded dining space

Simone transformed the interior by working with Emma to reposition furniture, change and add materials, colours and shapes. 

“Previously, the sense of flow went straight through the living space, directly outside,” she says. “The realigned furniture creates curves in the space – it still feels open but there are now soft breaks within it.”

Momentos from Emma's family travels
Momentos from Emma’s family travels

Meanwhile, elements representing fire and earth, such as pyramid-shaped artworks and earthy shades, were brought in, adding calmness, contrast and dynamism to the space.

Additionally, Feng Shui salt water cures, which help to purify the air, were strategically placed, along with a water fountain in the garden.

Simone Osswald’s tips for bringing creating a relaxing living space

Marine grade stainless steel coffee table
Marine grade stainless steel coffee table
  • Maximise the natural light. Choose a light colour palette to reflect the light and sheer draperies that are easy to open fully so you can let in sunlight through your windows.
  • Ensure there is no clutter in your entrance. The door should open freely and the entryway should be very inviting.
  • Create a clutter- and dust-free home. Every item should add value to your life in some way.
  • Bring room fragrances into your space. Scents add depth and character, plus they allow you to give each area a different feel.
  • Use natural elements as much as possible. These help you to enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating benefits of nature.

Get the look 

  • Industrial metal and wooden bookshelf, Dhs 1850*, Allure Collectives
  • Antique brass cowbell, Dhs 85,White Moss
  • Premier Stellar Small Vase, Dhs 110, Namshi
  • Cushion and blankets, Dhs 699, Zara Home
  • Monte Chair , from Dhs 5,529, Bo Concept
  • El Banco Vase, Dhs 200, Marina Home
  • Vintage Entrance Console, Dhs 1,850, Allure Collectives.

*The prices of the products are as per February 2019

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