Teresa moved to Dhahran from Los Angeles about 4 years ago with a half a container full of household items and a few pieces of furniture for her new abode. While that’s not really a lot of stuff for a family of four, Teresa wanted to bring the essentials so that she could fill in the rest of her home with local pieces from Saudi… Slightly risky, I would think… Personally, I would worry only because I find mixing Eastern and Western styles to be very difficult to do. I’ve seen a lot of people attempt this, including myself, but I’ve learned that your house always ends up picking a “side,” even if you don’t want it to. Overall, the idea sounds great, but finding that perfect balance is somewhat hard to achieve when the market is so limited. Luckily, for us all, Teresa seems to have figured out how to do it!
A little bit about Teresa…
Professionally, Teresa is a wardrobe stylist, having worked in Hollywood for about 10 years on various TV shows, commercials, set designs and even red carpets. Surprisingly though, she spent her academic career studying Cultural Anthropology and Theater at USC! Clearly, life had other plans for her… It was when Teresa moved to LA from London that she started her styling career, working as an assistant to a stylist. She officially started styling clients on her own in 2002, and while working in the industry, was also occasionally asked to design people’s interiors.
Where She Finds Inspiration
Travel. The eclectic aspects of traveling. I like picking up things that may not seem inspirational. I’m inspired by the beach in California, and also by the culture in Asia. A blank palette even inspires me… Textures are my favorite to work with though!
On Styling Her Home
I like cultural and contemporary designs. I seem to pick up a lot of antiques and Asian furniture. I get a sense of peace from them. I try to mix classic and exotic world furniture with accessories and things from IKEA as well.
While mixing classic furniture with the contemporary looks of IKEA sounds like a daunting task to most of us, it’s surprising how nicely Teresa has been able to achieve a trendy and stylish look in her own home by doing exactly that…
I love the antique doors that Teresa has incorporated into her home décor as well as the bench from Desert Designs! The beautiful stool that she has sitting in her entryway is actually a purchase from a garage sale. I think I need to start going to some more garage sales…
Teresa’s dining room is a great example of mixing and matching! The large console under her mirror is an antique dowry chest and her overhead lamps are a purchase from IKEA. Some of the accessories in her dining room were purchased from Home Center!
Teresa seems to know how to handle texture really well in her home. She’s able to incorporate all the elements in a way that makes you want to explore her home and take note of every little detail!
The beautiful backsplash is natural stone, and was purchased from a store on King Khalid Street – between 16th and 18th street. I love how it makes the color of the cabinets look so much nicer! Teresa also had a granite counter put in, on top of the existing counter (also a purchase from the same area on King Khalid Street), that she’s paired with beautiful bar stools.
On the same level of the house, Teresa has also transformed one of her rooms into a guest room. It’s a great location for an extra bedroom since a powder room is just around the corner.
My favorite part of Teresa’s house has to be her outdoor space! I love all of the details, and especially the very calm and relaxed feel of it. Teresa was channeling an “Arabian” theme when designing this space. I just adore it!
The outdoor patio set, as well as the multiple lanterns in the space, were purchased from a store in the Dubai Outlet Mall and shipped to Saudi. The door hanging on the wall was a purchase from Hofuf. Teresa also bought beige all-weather curtains for the area so that the color doesn’t fade in the hot sun, and so that it doesn’t look as dirty as a darker color.
The orange and black canvas rugs sitting on her ottoman outside are actually camel bags from a Bedouin market in Na’ariyah. The beautiful lanterns were purchased from Dubai, and spray painted gold! They flank both sides of the seating area outside and make the space look super chic.
If you think you’ve seen Teresa’s house before, you probably have… It’s one of the many beautiful homes that I covered in my post on the 2015 Home & Garden Tour! Check it out if you haven’t had a chance to see it!
Teresa’s Tips & Tricks:
- Make your house a space that you feel happy in – that makes you feel calm and inspired. Even if you’re not here for very long, this should not be an overwhelming experience. It’s exciting, a new part of the world, so try to look at it as a gift!
- Start with one space especially if you’re overwhelmed. Start with the space you spend the most time in, and work from there. Use an anchor piece to start off with, and fill in the blanks.
- Sometimes less is more. You don’t need to fill your house up with lots of stuff.
- If you can’t find it here, consider shipping it from another country in the Gulf. It was fairly easy, so next time you’re in a Gulf country, ask them if they ship!
- While traveling, visit flea markets or street fairs for unique items.
- Have it made if you can’t find it. You can have anything made here!
- Refinish pieces if you need to.
- Dumpster Dive. If someone else is throwing out something you like, grab it and make it your own!
Teresa’s Places to Check Out:
Don’t go to one store for all your accessories or furniture. It’s easy to do, but your house won’t be unique. Think outside the box!
- King Khalid St. between 16th and 18th street for tiles
- Dammam Souk for fabric, but you really have to dig for what you want
- Marina in Bahrain. It’s a pricier option though…
- Home Center, IKEA & Zara Home for accessories
Hope you enjoyed Teresa’s home & garden tour!