Colorful Modern Villa in Dubai with a Dutch Heart

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If you love warm, bright colors and mismatched, creative interiors, then Sabrina Kuipers from @SabrinaVisual on Instagram is the decorator of your dreams! She has such a sunny, global style that really doesn’t fall into one category – which is what I love most about her visual language – it’s hard to define, it’s uniquely her!

Sabrina is originally from Holland but will stay in her new villa in Dubai for the next few years due to her husband’s job – he’s working as a Civil Engineer in the oil and gas industry in Dubai and Iraq. Sabrina was born close to Rotterdam but his work has taken them to Brunei, Borneo South East Asia and to Breda, The Netherlands during the last 14 years and now, Dubai.

Sabrina is a content creator, interior stylist and a travel blogger for @bartsboekje and for her own Insta @sabrinavisual, and she works from home. I asked her some questions about her style and life in Dubai because it’s such an intriquing place to me… So would you like to learn more about Sabrina?

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Hi Sabrina, tell us about your home, how many rooms do you have and what do you love most?

SK: We live in a small community with 28 villas built 4 years ago, and we share a gym and a community pool. We’re near the beach and the Burj Al Arab. (the famous Dubai hotel on the beach). All of the villas are light, spacious, and are very modern and contemporary. There’s a garden around the house and a small private pool with each villa. Our villa has a large hallway, a living room with high ceilings, a modern kitchen and 4 bedrooms with their own bathrooms. I really like the hallway with the staircase and the wooden wall panel/slats (shown below) which gives it a mid-century modern vibe.

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What is different about life there vs. back in the Netherlands?

SK: Well first of all the temperature… In Dubai it’s forever Summer, all year round. It’s more relaxed and laid back then our life in The Netherlands. Maybe it’s the sunny weather and being at the beach so often… Dubai has turned into a metropolis in the last couple of years, it’s a crazy place in the desert, but I love it! Also, Dubai handled the pandemic very well, so the last couple of months since moving here there was no lockdown. Everything stayed open, which has been very good for the economy, and also for us. But Dubai is also really strict, so we must always wear our face masks, inside and outside (yep even with it’s 40 degrees/104 F). Almost everyone in Dubai is fully vaccinated now, that’s a good thing. To me it feels safe and I am happy here!

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How would you describe your style?

SK: Whenever I’m asked to describe my interior style I’m like uhmmm I really don’t know, hahaha. Maybe it’s just a passionate modern mix of design – vintage, scandi-japandi, mid-century, with a happy, positive-infused pinch of terracotta/orange. That’s definitely my style.

Where do you get your decorating ideas?

SK: I always have my eyes wide open, hungry for inspiration. I’m inspired by nature, the colors of the desert, traveling, hotels, interior magazines, instagram, pinterest, and so on…

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What are your 3 favorite colors to decorate with?

SK: I love neutral tones, but there’s also a part of me that really likes colorful interiors and decorations. So I tried to combine them in this house. Terracotta tones, a bit of pale pink and dark brown are my favorites at this moment.

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What are your favorite decor brands?

SK: I’m a huge fan of HKLiving, Ferm Living , Madam Stoltz and Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. But I also like IKEA (who doesn’t) and I love to go treasure hunting at flea markets, vintage stores and thrift shops.

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Where do you like to shop for decor in Dubai?

SK: My favorites are the French concept store Comptoir 102, and two interior shops run by Dutchies, The Bowery Company and Urban Nest.

I love your Arch mirror, where did you get it?

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SK: Ooh yes I’m also totally in love with this mirror, it’s from Haze Homewares, a small Abu Dhabi based brand. Hazel and I (the founder of Haze Homewares) did an Instagram content collab, so she gave me this one. I’m over the moon with this huge arch mirror, you can imagine, it’s such a statement piece!

What are five things in your home that you can’t live without?

SK: My family and dog of course… And then it would be – creating a relaxed and comfy atmosphere with scented candles, pillows, music, books and magazines, flowers and plants.

What did you learn about yourself and your home during lockdown?

SK: Well the lockdown that we had was in the beginning of 2020 when we still lived in Breda, The Netherlands. The whole lockdown didn’t bother me that much honestly. A couple of years ago I found out that I’m a highly sensitive person, so I just love to be on my own, and I’m never bored. It felt like a moment to unwind and realize what’s really important in life. I realized that my family, our home, and just being together and living together is the most important thing of all.

Sabrina Kuipers

Sabrina Kuipers

You are obviously very creative, where does that come from? Have you always been creative?

SK: Yes, I’ve always been creative. As a kid I was constantly drawing, fascinated by colors and fashion – I even made my own clothes. I used to turn my 70’s orange-brownish teenage bedroom into a little boutique and pretend to have a little shop ( which is still a dream). My mom was always decorating at home, every now and then she turned the whole living room upside down and redecorated it. Now I see my 21-year-old daughter upcycling vintage clothes, painting, doing crochet, etc. So it definitely runs in the family!

Who are your favorite creatives on Instagram? Maybe 5 people?

SK: Instagram is such a huge inspiration and a great community for creative people! A couple of my personal favorites are: @theobert_pot @damesvanrusticusstyling @andbloom @sfgirlbybay and @liveloudgirl

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What makes your house a home?

A place where you can be you. A comfy cozy place surrounded by the personal things. We’ve moved a lot and even moved countries twice now, and I’ve learned that I’m capable of making a new family home everywhere. Make home yours, make home matter. That’s my rule to live by.

Thank you dear Holly for this interview!

Thank you too, Sabrina!

(Photos: Sabrina Kuipers)





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