The first impression a visitor has of Nadine Kanso’s home speaks to her intelligence, creative aptitude, and well-trained artistic eye. The walls hum with life in a shade of dark lavender, causing her well-curated art collection – many items of which are her own photographs and designs – to pop. Her penchant for color, sense of humor, and love of kitschy objects is reflected in the whimsical look of her Jumeirah villa. Kanso’s own personal style and jewelry line echo this same love of color and detail. Read our interview with Nadine Kanso below and click through our gallery above to unlock the beauty of her home.
Tell us your home history. What year did you purchase your home? What attracted you to this property?
I moved to Dubai with my family in 2000. I had looked around at the time, but the light and the location of this house attracted me from the start. I had a little bit of work done to it, but I liked its old and nostalgic feel. I love the old Italian floor marble; it reminded me of my grandmother’s house in Lebanon. Thirteen years later, I still love it and my kids grew up in this house. It simply is home.
Your interiors are very vibrant and colorful. What impression would you like guests to leave with after a visit?
I love color, whether on the walls of my house or on the clothes that hang in my wardrobe! Color is joy; it is daring and bold. People who come to my house usually find it cozy and warm. They feel at ease and at home. That, for me, is absolutely wonderful.
What is your favorite room in the house?
It’s funny, but my favorite place is the step just at the door of my house. It’s where I sit to have my coffee and where I unwind.
You have many art pieces in your home. Where do you find them? Which one means the most to you?
I love art and I love every single piece I have collected over the years. I bought most of them between Dubai and Beirut. I am a big fan of Mohamad Rawas and Reza Aramesh, but each piece has its own impact on me.
Who or what inspires you?
People, stories, and politics inspire me. Life inspires me.
Do you purposefully seek pieces for your home when you travel? If not, where do you source your interior purchases?
I like to buy pieces when I travel; it makes the spirit of the house stand out. When I lived in Canada and in Prague, I used to visit flee markets and bought many pieces there. Having said that, I do buy small design pieces from local designers and love the new items I can find at S*uce Gifts.
Are you a fan of entertaining, or is your home more of a private sanctuary?
I like to entertain and have friends drop by without an official invitation. I love people in general so my house is always open.
What is the most nostalgic item that you own?
I have a vintage cupboard that I bought in Prague at a flee market almost 15 years ago.
How would you describe your core design aesthetic? What is the driving force behind your creative actions?
Typography is a big part of my design aesthetic; it is something I enjoy pushing forward and it challenges me from one season to the next. What drives me is my passion for design in general, and more so the constant drive to bring to life new pieces.
“I bought this phone-booth shelf because I thought it would be a really interesting and different way to display objects.”
“The photograph of the young Emirati holding a giant mobile phone is one of my own from a series illustrating the importance we afford technology in our lives.”
“The photograph on the left is by CÃ©dric Delsaux, who adds elements from sci-fi movies to photos of metropolises like Dubai.”
“Prague, where I used to live, is famous for its porcelain work, and I thought that this figurine was a lot more interesting than a porcelain plate.”
“I bought this lamp from a friend who sources vintage tea containers and turns them into beautiful pieces.”
“When I’m hosting a dinner, I place these candles in the middle of berry arrangements. People sometimes confuse them for real fruits.”
“When I turn on all these candles, the flames reflect on the mirror behind them and the result is beautiful.”
“The photograph behind me is by Reza Aramesh, an Iranian artist who restages famous political images in unusual settings.”
“This was the number plate on my brother’s motorcycle in Beirut. I kept it when he sold the bike.”
“I rescued this old sewing machine stand when I found it thrown with the garbage outside my home in Prague.”