Linda Dekkers is the founder of Live Loud Girl. The creative agency, interiors styling consultancy, and online visual diary started out with just a name and an idea when Linda moved from New York City to Dubai with her husband and two sons almost six years ago. Now the company works with brands and clients to create exciting content and interior spaces. Here, Linda shares a peek inside her Dubai home
How did you come to move into your house and what drew you to it?
This is our third home since we moved to Dubai six years ago. But it’s the first house where I feel at home as we were allowed to choose some of the finishes when it was refurbished. So I can say from experience that it does pay off to invest in a rental home.
What was it like when you moved in and did you make any changes?
We luckily got involved in the early stages of the refurbishment. So we had a say in the flooring, the kitchen, the bathrooms… Obviously it is not the same thing to refurbish a rental home as your own home, yet making it your own makes you feel more at home. We only moved in when it was done.
What was it like moving from New York to Dubai? And what’s it like raising kids in the UAE?
Well… I can honestly say that it was quite a challenging move. I absolutely loved NYC. The vibe, the buzz, the people, the walking, it was all so inspirational. And that inspiration led me to start my own business. I’ve always had an interest in interior styling and wanted to share my ideas with others. So when I came to Dubai, I started the Live Loud Girl blog to hold on to that NYC vibe.
Today I know that it was a good move. My kids don’t know any better and enjoy life in the UAE. We spend so much time on the beach, in the desert (in winter) and doing sports. They are in touch with different cultures, habits and traditions and we have settled here for now.
What was your decorating vision and where did you look to for inspiration?
I am a true believer that your home should tell your story. Invest in design when you fall in love with it as those will be the pieces that you drag along your entire life. Then I mix it with more affordable pieces and style it with accessories that I change around a lot. Artwork, glassware, vases, rugs, they all can quickly change the vibe of a room.
Most of my inspiration I get from travelling when I am exposed to other materials, colour palettes and styles. On a day-to-day basis my inspiration comes from Instagram and magazines. There are so many incredible creatives out there to inspire me that I am never done with styling.
What have you done to your boys’ rooms?
My kids have been sharing a room for almost their entire lifetime. Just recently Sam asked to have his own room and I totally understand. It was great to have a new project in the house as most of my work happens elsewhere. We reused furniture that we had at home as I believe that doing a makeover does not imply buying new items. We just changed them around a bit and used some makeover essentials like adding wallpaper, adding storage and bringing in some new bedding and artwork.
Jack’s room still has the bunk bed but recently we changed it around as he is almost a teen now. Also in this room it was a matter of changing some small things around like curtains, and keeping the basics.
Being an interior designer, is there a temptation to change things all the time?
Yes… absolutely. My home is never ‘done’. If I come across something that I love, I want to implement it straight away. It’s just how I am. Besides that, as kids grow up, a home might require something different.
And finally, which room is your favourite?
The kitchen and dining! In the new house we finally have a kitchen where we can all hang out together. This is the place where we have breakfast in the morning, where I start my day after the kids have gone to school with a coffee, where the kids have a snack after school, where we share our day… As you can see, it is more of a place where we speak to each other than a place where I cook. But maybe that will be added to the list someday.
Interview: Carly Glendinning
Photography: Natelee Cocks Photography and Live Loud Girl