Tailoring the renovation of their Arabian Ranches villa to suit her family’s needs, Kerry Hayworth now has the elegant and timeless home she always wanted - as well as an abode that made our Home of the Year 2016 shortlist.

Kerry Hayworth enjoyed renovating her Arabian Ranches home so much, she’s now contemplating embarking on an interior design course and turning her passion for design into her vocation. ‘I’ve always loved reading interiors magazines and really wanted to put my stamp on my own house one day, but I wasn’t expecting to love the process so much,’ she says. When Kerry moved to Dubai four years ago with her husband, who works in aviation, they were immediately attracted to the community feel of Arabian Ranches. With the golf club, restaurants, coffee shops and parks just a short stroll away, it seemed the perfect place to bring up their little daughter. The couple looked at many houses within the Ranches community, and Kerry was able to see the potential of this villa straight away.

‘As soon as you open the front door, the whole house is open in front of you and it feels so light and airy,’ says Kerry. ‘We could immediately see the potential of what this house could be.’ Instead of being daunted by the idea of a total renovation, Kerry was excited by it. ‘By changing everything, we were able to design and create our ideal home that works for our family.’

First to go was a central fireplace that divided the dining area and living area, which meant the space was then flooded with natural light. Kerry’s focus was on streamlining the interiors as much as possible to maximise the spacious feeling, and everything from the decor to the design of the kitchen cabinets was chosen with this in mind. ‘I was so excited to design a kitchen that would work for the way I like to cook and socialise with family and friends. The kitchen opens up to the family room and is the hub of our home. I wanted a flow between the two rooms so it had to look sleek as well as being functional.’

Kerry opted for white handleless doors and selected a contrasting grey Aluminio Nube silestone worktop. The large grey floor tiles in the kitchen and family room were imported from Italy, but in the rest of the house Kerry chose an engineered wood called Oak Trollaborg from Kahrs. ‘I absolutely love the look that the flooring has added to the house and the different colours that can be seen in the natural grain throughout the day.’ As for the other colours in the home, Kerry is unashamedly a firm fan of neutrals. ‘My obsession with grey tones is evident throughout the house,’ she laughs. ‘And clutter drives me mad, so I tend to veer towards simple, natural styles, textures and colours. I have a tendency to get bored with colours and patterns quite quickly, and always keeping a neutral base allows me to have fun with the accessories.’

Kerry admits to always having a clear vision of how she wanted the house to look: ‘I’m even prepared to go without a piece of furniture until I find exactly what I’m looking for,’ she says. ‘A case in point is the dining table. We ate in the kitchen for a long time until I found the right one. My patience finally paid off when I found the Skye table from Marina Home. It suits the space perfectly and receives so many compliments.’

‘Although I’m so pleased the house finally looks and feels how I imagined, I do feel a bit sad that the whole renovation process is over,’ Kerry says. ‘Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to our home growing and evolving organically in the years to come.’

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The Owner British-born Kerry Hayworth moved to Dubai four years ago to live with her husband, who works in aviation. The couple have a two-year- old daughter.

The Home Located in the leafy community of Arabian Ranches, this home has an open floor plan, with a living and dining room leading into a kitchen and family room. Also downstairs is a guest bedroom, home office and cloakroom.

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Clockwise from top left: Smart cushion from Homes R Us, Dh65; Pendant lamp from Indigo Living, Dh690; Andreu mirror from Zen Interiors, Sh12,335; Davis sofa from Crate & barrel, Dh4,589; Lantern from Marina Home Interiors, Dh295; Vase from H&M Home, Dh49; Cassia cushion from Maison d'Art, Dh65.