When I think shabby chic, I pretty much think of Zaza’s home now.
I originally saw her home and creative ideas on Instagram, and knew immediately that she had that very unique skill of being able to make the most ordinary things look extra special. Her Instagram feed is one of my favorites because of how pretty she makes the everyday look!
I later found out, that she’s the kind of decorator that fills her home with things that mean something to her. Every single piece has a beautiful story attached to it… That makes my heart happy 🙂
Years in Saudi: 5 1/2 years overall (3 in Riyadh and 2 1/2 in Abqaiq)
I flip through home magazines and follow a lot of home decor ideas on IG (Instagram) a lot. I learn from them. What to do and what not to do. Also from my travels. Collecting local stuff and crafts from places and countries we’ve visited. I love decorating, furnishing, and love styling my home when I’m all buzzed up and inspired. It keeps me busy!
To be honest, I don’t know! Practical? I love white and neutral shades. Most of the pieces that I have are as old as my son. It may be broken then fixed, battered then repainted, but each one has a special story. Painted carpet, dented tables, stained sofas… I also love a little bit of a country feel in the house. I make do with what I already have mostly.
I stay away from floral designs and try not to make it too girly of a home.
I guess what I wanted to achieve for our home is just a place where my husband and my son would love coming home to after a long day at school, and commuting to and from the office.
What I love most about this home, and is something that I’m sure you will notice as well, is that she has managed to fill every single space with something functional, and with something worth looking at. Every inch of her home has been used properly, and with things that she’s been collecting for years from her travels and adventures. It actually makes you rethink how you should decorate your home…
Anyways, see for yourself – check out what a master decorator she is!
To the right of the entryway is Zaza’s super cute living room! There are so many unique pieces in this room, and they’re almost all from her travels. And yes… they have a crazy awesome projector too 🙂
Another thing you’ll notice about this space is that she’s done a beautiful job of compartmentalizing her home, so that there are separate spaces (not necessarily bedrooms) for every member of the family to enjoy the home without stressing about cleaning or messing something up. She came up with this solution when she moved to Abqaiq, and was forced to downsize.
I was so used to having a whole craft room to myself. We only have two bedrooms now and it means I have to share the family room with the boys.
Off to the other side of the entryway is the dining room with a cute little area for her son, Aidan, to enjoy the space too.
By the way, have you noticed that every single wall in this house is white? I always thought you’d need some paint to warm up a home, but it’s clear that it’s not necessary when you decorate like Zaza 🙂
Family Room/Creative Space
Off the dining room is a family room that Zaza, Hardy, and Aidan use to get their creative juices flowing!
This room is great in that there are several different spaces for each member of the family. Zaza has a crafting station (which is to die for!), as well as a section where she can paint, Hardy has his office space, and Aidan has a table in the middle of the room just for his Lego’s!
A special Maasalama gift I received from my friends in Riyadh was this beautiful lamp, where I can display and keep our Saudi desert souvenirs!
One of the coolest features of Zaza’s home has to be her crafting space!
Most people – including myself – would think that you would need a full room for your crafting supplies, but she managed to utilize the smallest space in the most practical and functional way!
Pinterest helped me come up with this. You can get loads of ideas there, and just be inspired! I’ve always loved displaying my collectables. And when you craft a lot, it can get messy at times. So when you have guests or want to have a clean house, easy – just close the doors!
I actually am obsessed with this closet. It makes me look at all of my closets differently…
And now we move to another one of my favorite rooms in the house – Zaza’s kitchen! I definitely wouldn’t mind cooking in this kitchen 🙂
I have to show you how dreamy Zaza’s outdoor space is too! It has so much rustic charm to it. Oh and you have to see her adorable pet 🙂
A Chat with Zaza
What is your take on how to decorate with little children?
Try to create a formal area and a play area. I would stay with neutral colours so that it won’t outgrow them. Acknowledge their work by pasting them on the wall or create boards, framing their medals etc.
Have also a formal area with the things that you love.
What pieces are you especially proud of in your home?
We love going camping and going out to the desert. And whenever we go, we’d always take a little souvenir for our home. We take a bit of sand from the dunes, shells from the seashores, fossils and rocks.
I display the shells, sharks tooth and fossils on the tray in the living room.
I have a 9 year old son. I’m also proud of all of his artistic efforts he brings home from school! He’s not really a fan of the arts, so that’s why I treasure all of his work!
Where do you like shopping in Dhahran?
I love Pottery Barn and Zara Home. But we all know that PB’s closed now. ‘Nice‘ is nice! I love upcycling and going to garage sales here too! IKEA is practical and ideal! And I always check out @thedesignsouk for tips on where to find stuff and shopping!
Best thing about decorating in Saudi?
For me, there’s lots of things here that will inspire you. There’s also lots of shops that can custom made things for you if you design them. You just have to venture out, ask around and be brave enough to try! (And lots of patience when they can’t speak English!
Tips & Tricks…
- I think it’s important to quickly get settled and turn your house into a home. Have picture frames, it will definitely add some warmth into your home.
- I think it’s important to collect things over time and only the things you love and have meaning to you.
- Let your home gradually evolve. Mix expensive with inexpensive. I change the photos in our frames regularly and move things around the house all the time!
- Bring the outside inside. Fresh flowers, grass, leaves, branches. Have life in your home.
- A home should be filled with personal touches. And not look like a showroom.
- Change. Change everything you have around so you won’t get bored of your house.