The winner of InsideOut’s Home of the Year 2019 award was announced at a fabulous al fresco cocktail party held at the glamorous Oberoi hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, last week, and unveiled as the magazine’s cover star for its celebratory May issue.

From a group of seven exceptionally stylish homes, the cosy, beach-chic villa of Valentina Piscopo and Michael Ogden in Dubai’s leafy suburb Arabian Ranches was crowned the winner, in front of an exclusive audience of design professionals, influencers and tastemakers. The couple were presented with a bespoke trophy, a prize of Dh25,000 donated by the award sponsors 2XL Furniture and Home Decor, plus a special event edition of the magazine.

A treasure trove of artefacts from the couple’s travels to Africa (where they met 10 years ago), cherished furniture from Valentina’s family homes in Kenya and her native Italy, plus custom-made furnishings the couple designed together, created a home full of personal mementoes and stories, which impressed the judging panel of design, colour and style experts. They admired the way the laid-back, tactile aesthetic and coastal-meets-safari style was applied consistently throughout the home with natural flair and panache by Valentina, who works in the design/retail sector, and her British husband Michael, who works in the legal field.  

Take the full home tour and read their story.

The couple celebrated their achievement on a sophisticated rooftop venue at The Oberoi hotel, stylishly decorated by Desert River, Dubai Garden Centre and 2XL Furniture and Home Decor. The bar’s central pool feature was beautifully bejewelled with floating pink lights from Desert River, while 2XL Furniture and Home Decor and Dubai Garden Centre created gorgeous seating arrangements where the guests could relax and chat.

A tropical, Thai-inspired seating area by Dubai Garden Centre championed current design trends with a rattan love seat and stools accessorised with a bamboo screen, bonsai trees and tinkling water features.  

A luxurious lounge area set up by 2XL Furniture and Home Décor offered stunning brass-framed daybeds and brass, marble-topped console and side tables with a striking mid-century modern edge, and contemporary accessories, from which the crowd of industry professionals, stylists and interior designers could watch the evening unfold.

Check out our gallery of event photos, above, to see the winning couple, the guests, the décor and the stunning venue.

Photography by Stefan Lindeque

Read more from InsideOut magazine:

Meet the 2019 Home of the Year judging panel of design experts

Discover the stunning properties shortlisted for the Home of the Year 2019 award

Tour a beautifully designed villa of this Indian family in Dubai