Back in 2013, newly married British couple Katherine and Jason Tranter were looking to upsize their two-bedroom villa in Palmera, Arabian Ranches, ready to start a family. They loved the area, and wanted to stay close to Katherine’s parents, who had moved to Dubai to work, but the couple were curious to see what the neighbouring community of Al Waha had to offer. ‘At first, we were put off because there was no access road at that time, but we knew as soon as the infrastructure was improved the community would really take shape,’ Katherine explains. ‘In fact, Jason only saw the floor plans of this villa before being completely sold on it – the sense of space, and the 3,800-square-foot plot size was exactly what we wanted.’
An intense month of renovation started the minute the couple received the keys, with the kitchen and bathrooms ripped out and refurbished, creating a much brighter, more contemporary look. ‘The existing kitchen had a really terrible use of space with areas that weren’t being utilised properly, and not a lot of natural light,’ Katherine explains. ‘I wanted to make it more user-friendly and bright with a classic look that wouldn’t date.’ An interior designer by profession, Katherine wasn’t short of ideas when it came to how she wanted their home to look: ‘If anything, I had too many thoughts about the interiors!’ she laughs. ‘But Jason was very good at helping to streamline the plans and we developed a scheme that’s very “us”.’
Indeed, a home should tell the story of its owners and in this case the couple’s personality shines through in every room. Movie buffs, sports lovers and vinyl music fans, their collections of souvenirs and memorabilia are evident throughout. Signed rugby shirts jostle for position with photographs, while a signed guitar from Slash, Guns N’ Roses’ lead guitarist, takes pride of place amongst British-themed motifs such as a mini London phone box and Union Jack prints.
Not least, there’s the fabulous collection of vintage movie posters around the home that the couple collect whenever they’re abroad, as well as from online stores and other unlikely sources: ‘We once even haggled to purchase a particular poster in our local DVD store,’ Katherine laughs.
Upstairs, a spacious landing has been converted into a man cave with a gentleman’s club feel helped by Andrew Martin’s Library print and a brown leather sofa in a Chesterfield style from THE One. ‘We actually spend most of our time up here in the evenings, either reading or listening to music, and it’s a great place to hang out with friends,’ Katherine says.
The three bedrooms lead off this space. A travel theme was selected for the master bedroom, with a feature wall papered in a fascinating luggage print from Andrew Martin, while a trio of decorative mini trunks from Pan Emirates sit in a row at the foot of the bed.
Baby Jack – who arrived last year – has a room that clearly showcases his parents’ love of America’s Wild West. A customised wall covering with his name on it sets the tone, and the couple had great fun sourcing all the other themed accessories. They found someone in the States to refurbish an old wagon wheel and turn it into a light, and all the cowboy hats came from a specialist Stetson maker in Montana. The concert posters are from country music concerts Katherine and Jason have been to around the world. ‘It’s a very nostalgic room, and we hope it’s a space Jack will grow into and love as much as we do,’ Katherine says.
With parents whose passion for the interesting, eclectic, nostalgic and stylish is clearly evident throughout this unique family home, there’s no doubt that will be the case.