When I start thinking about the kind of outdoor space that I’d want for myself, it would look a lot like what Jennifer has done in her home. Her ability to extend the stylishness of her indoor living space into the outdoors is truly inspiring. I never imagined this type of compound house to look quite like this, and now I desperately want to move in!
I actually found Jennifer’s home by accident, and am SO glad that it happened. I had stopped by because I was buying something from her, and while waiting in her entrance immediately noticed this gorgeous armchair and mid-century modern lamp straight ahead in her living room. Being the crazy that I am, I then asked if I could snoop around and she was kind enough to let me! It was then that I discovered her absolutely amazing home 🙂
Years in Saudi: 5 years
Moved from: Ohio, USA
I have never had to define it as I just pick what I like, but traditional eclectic may apply as it appears I like aspects of modern and traditional.
Jennifer’s home is SO comfy. Every time I walked into her house, I just wanted to grab a blanket and curl up on the couch or on one of those beautiful armchairs. Even the dining room chairs looked like you could sit on them for hours!
So since I was so pleasantly surprised by Jennifer’s home, I totally want you to experience the same thing!! I’m just going to jump in and let you see for yourself…
My goal was to create an atmosphere that my husband and I could enjoy on a daily basis. I tried to do this by investing in things we can eventually take home with us.
I love having a wall of sliding doors in our living area opening up to a patio. It’s the best part of this home.
And then I HAD to stop by in the evening to see how gorgeous her yard looked with all the lights on… I really could stay out there all night <3
A Chat with Jennifer
How do you find inspiration?
I am mostly inspired by nature – I love oceans, mountains and forests.
I can totally see it. She has so many earthy textures and colors in her home, mixed with that beautiful pale blue/gray wall, bringing in the whole beach vibe. I love the slight lodge-ish feel to the space as well with the antler chandelier and large leather sectional!
How did you come up with the design of your home?
I shipped some of my furniture here so I started with those main pieces and then worked within that framework.
We purchased some things at Desert Designs and definitely paid too much for things which aren’t actually from Arabia; however, these pieces will someday be the reminder of our adventures in Saudi Arabia and the people we’ve met and will always put a smile on our faces. Other accessories such as paintings and drawings have been purchased while traveling and just framed locally.
The color scheme I started with was completely different and one I was no longer inspired by so step by step I began changing things and am still fine tuning. One trip back to New York City was a marvelous place to shop for fabric so I would have been the crazy lady walking the streets with fabric that weighed half as much as me. Sure, people stared, but it was worth it!
Five pieces of furniture were recovered locally as well as ten slipcovers for dark leather dining chairs I could no longer endure.
I also originally hoped for a soft gray for my walls, but things don’t always go as planned and a soft gray blue hue was where things landed.
Tell me about your favorite items in your home…
One of the first items I purchased for the design change was the antler chandelier in my dining room. I saw it at Pottery Barn at the Mall of Dhahran right before they closed, so the price for this floor model was very reasonable, and it pleases me every time I look at it.
Another item would be the Saudi door and while I know it’s from India, work with me and call it a Saudi door. I looked for a door that I could hang or lean against a wall for years. Twice my husband patiently drove me the distance to Al Hasa several years ago looking for a door I loved, but unfortunately one was not found at that time. Last year I was in Desert Designs to have something made and what did my eyes behold, but the “Saudi” door I was waiting for. Part of the fun is in the pursuit and while those Hasa trips seemed unfruitful, I eventually started meeting people from Hasa at work. Their eyes would light up when I shared that I had been there. The best part of my trips there was the experience and hospitality of one particular antique shop owner who invited us to sit and chat over some Arabic coffee. I still have his business card and if I ever need anything in Hasa, I know who to call.
In addition to the Saudi door found at Desert Designs last year, I saw this huge, distressed, solid wood mirror and I had to have. It takes three men to hang this beast, but it’s worth it and one of my favorite pieces.
Your favorite home store(s) in Dhahran?
I like Desert Designs for local pieces and Pottery Barn in Bahrain for linens and some accessories.
Do you have any advice for people shopping for their homes here?
Make your home a refuge and a place that brings you joy. Find a friend with the same interest and determine to discover what’s available and what impacts you, indulging in the overall local experience. If you don’t think you’re good at decorating, there are terribly creative women around with businesses who can help. You have one life to live.