Let's hear about you and the company you work for…
I am a Canadian interior designer with 17 years of industry experience across many sectors. I have lived in Dubai for nine years and have worked with Ellington Properties for five of those. I was a design blogger for 10 years and have happily hung that hat up to focus on my career, mentorship and new role as mum.
Founded in 2014, Ellington Properties is an award-winning leading design-led developer that is a truly customer-focused. We aspire to create healthier communities and bring the latest technologies to Dubai's real estate market. Ellington has exceeded clients' expectations with the combination of artistry and impeccable designs which are inspired by our customer's tastes, art and reflective of their owners' aspirations.
Describe your studio…
A bustling, bright and glamourous space filled with energy and purpose.
Are you in the studio or still working from home?
At the moment I am working from home and the office 50/50. The current world health crisis has come at a unique time in my life. With a four-month-old baby born at the peak of chaos, the need to shelter, refocus and be smart has never been greater.
I have a fantastic and tight team and our projects are spread across Dubai. It was an easy shift for us to switch to WFH model during lockdown as we mainly need our computers and phones to run our little world. Site visits and sample reviews were a bit of a challenge, but that was a hurdle we soon overcame.
How does your day at work typically start?
As a Canadian, no day starts without a big cup of coffee. I always write and review my to-do list to make sure I start on the right track before the chaos. No two days are ever the same at Ellington and I love it. Some days are more site and factory focused, reviewing details, mockups and progress on our projects. Other days are heads down burning midnight oil with a red pen to review drawing packages.
Some days are a whirlwind of consultant, supplier, contractor, artist, media meetings. Sometimes it's about the glamour of real estate sales and showcasing our work. And some days it's a bingo card of all of the above. I truly love the energy and excitement of it all.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I have a few confidential projects in the works in Dubai and abroad – watch this space... I also have a series of new projects on the go in various stages in JVC and Meydan. Each are multi-family residential projects that truly focus on creating design-led community strength homes for locals and expats alike.
I am watching our mega villa in Emirates Hills come to life along with a series of villas on the palm. Final touches are in place for DT1, our signature Downtown project being handed over soon.
What are the high points and challenges of the day?
The high point is almost always hearing positive feedback direct from buyers, end users and agents and our sales team about our product. It gives me immense gratification. The challenge is always striving for perfection for the above people, to provide a building beyond expectation that becomes someone's home, where memories are made that is an asset and caters to the more than 80 nationalities purchasing from us.
How and where do you seek inspiration?
For me, inspiration comes from looking outside our little world of the UAE. Analysing how our buyers live in their home countries, planning and design details that have stood the test of time and trends that have become international. Design and décor shows around the world inspire me and help me keep my finger on the pulse. Since I was young I always loved visiting showhomes, and I still do to this day, only this time as my job.
What's on your desk? What are you listening to?
A coffee, shop drawings and the latest design magazines, CID included. A measuring tape, drawing marker and a lot of red pens.
I'm listening to Afrobeats to pump me up, and on audible ‘A House Through Time' by David Olusoga and Melanie Backe-Hansen and classical music for my little one.
Tell us three bookmarks on your browser
I'm on a ‘shop local' binge with the current global situation. I love to pump good businesses run by great women in the region.
Just bought a truckload of custom furniture from Newsha at The Line Concept in Al Quoz. Their attention to detail, finishes and taste are spot on.
I also bought a smattering of baskets both for myself and for a few model suites from Kristy and Tammy of Grass Roots African Interiors. They bring gorgeous handwoven baskets from across Africa to Dubai selling on FB, Insta and now also in Ripe Market.
Georgie Trigg has a great eye and sense of style. Have you been to Georges of Dubai in Courtyard Gallery? Is a secluded little sanctuary worthy of your weekend morning jaunt. All her home accessories are what you need right now, and perfect for gifting.
Name three must-follows on design industry and social media
Since its inception as a little blog by Dana Tomic Hughes, Yellowtrace has been my go-to for the Australian perspective on style, and now mind blown it's a global resource for what's what.
For the American perspective, I am very much a loyalist to ‘Interior Design' as it chronicles very much the North American heart and soul of design, consumer needs, and design tech. Editor in chief Cindy Allen is my spirit animal.
And for my biggest European resource on trendspotting, forecasting and rekindling my soul I look directly to Trend Tablet by Lidewij Edelkoort. Her influence and pulse is truly inspirational.
What do you love about your office space? What would you change?
I love that we have our model suites in the office. It makes it so easy to have conversations with consultants, contractors and suppliers to properly understand the projects, details and vision.
If I could change anything it would be to have a bit more quiet space for concentrated work. While I am a strong believer in open office environments, they are not conducive to reviewing drawing packages. Mind you, nothing that big headphones won't fix.
When does your day end?
My mind is always lost in details. I believe a designer's work is never done, as some of the best ideas come in your dreams, in the shower or while sitting for breakfast. That being said, with my new family routine a late night set of emails with a cup of chamomile tea makes for a good finale.
Whats the last thing you do before you call it a day/leave the office?
When leaving the office I always do a to-do list for the next day and a quick walk through our model suites or sales wing to check that everything is in order.