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21 Nov 2017Last updated
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An entrepreneur brings her work home in the relaxed interiors of this Springs villa

Leanne Moss showcases her laid-back style with pieces from her Dubai-based business White Moss

Sharon Parsons
Added 12:29 | June 11, 2017

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Above: The generous white linen sofa from Marina Home Interiors is dressed with black-and-white cushions from H&M Home, while the tropical leaf-printed pillows are from Joba Home, a South African brand based in Dubai. The rattan platter, lamp, poufs, stool and mirror are all from the White Moss collection. The white wood-effect flooring, which transforms the space, was found at Dragon Mart.

The small ‘White Moss’ sign by the front door of this regular-looking villa in the leafy Springs neighbourhood may provide a hint, but few visitors are prepared for what’s to come when Leanne Moss welcomes guests into her home.

The light, fresh interior is predominantly white – from the walls and wood-effect floors to the sofa and drapes – which not only provides a cool respite, but immediately sets the scene for her very own creative enterprise. Against this neutral background, an effortless blend of decorative pieces – from vast rattan platters and pendant lamps to textured poufs, wooden stools, mirrors, baskets and more – showcase the natural, beautiful handmade items Leanne and her husband Rob have sourced for their online interiors venture, White Moss. 

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Pastel-toned mugs from Emaam Home are combined with tableware from Ikea, and work beautifully in the scheme. Weathered finishes add to the laid-back feel in this home.

‘This is our home, of course, but it’s also a great way to see how the pieces in the collection work so easily in any space,’ explains Leanne, whose passion and enthusiasm for the business is, she says, a complete reflection of her own sense of style and ethos. ‘I love simplicity, natural materials, handcrafted work and traditional craftsmanship,’ she adds. 

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Turquoise suede-upholstered benches frame this rustic table: the top is made from an old wooden pallet, and has been gently distressed. The shuttered dresser came from Heritage Touch in Al Quoz.

Describing herself as a bit of a free spirit, Leanne’s love of adventure has seen her travel the world. ‘I’ve always loved going to different places, seeing new things, and meeting interesting, talented people,’ says this 36-year-old entrepreneur, who spent five years living and working in Panama. ‘I wanted to do something that really tapped into that passion.’ Having taken courses in photography and graphics in the past, she was also keen to make the most of her creative energies.

By the time she met up with Rob again – whom she’d known as a friend since university days – and moved to Dubai with him in 2013, her interest in design and style had really begun to evolve. She took several interior design courses and began helping friends to decorate and style their homes, but it was only after being seriously ill in 2016 that the germ of an idea she’d long considered began to grow. ‘We went to Bali so that I could properly recuperate, but the trip quickly became so much more than a holiday,’ she recalls. 

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Little displays of lemons, limes and fresh flowers are arranged throughout the house. The botanic-patterned dishes are from Emaam Home. In the couple’s bedroom, a dressing table has been cleverly devised using wooden stepladders as a base for the simple glass top. The basket, pineapple and jewellery holder are all from White Moss.

The couple were fascinated by the Balinese artisans who used traditional methods to produce beautiful homewares and decorative items from locally sourced and sustainable materials. ‘We hired a motorbike and spent our days visiting craftspeople all over the island,’ Leanne recalls. ‘It was so exciting to realise that a business opportunity could not only help them, but make a dream come true in the process.’

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Wooden stools from Bali – one of the first items Leanne sourced for White Moss – give the simple white kitchen personality.

And so, the company, White Moss, was born. ‘It seemed a good name for all sorts of reasons,’ says Leanne. ‘A white canvas means a new beginning, which was what we wanted, while Moss, of course, is my family name, though it also means strong and adaptable. As well as that, I’ve always been drawn to touches of turquoise – which I’ve introduced here and there in our home furnishings – as it’s believed to be calming and have a spiritual connection.’ 

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Pattern and texture combine beautifully in the furnishings and accessories.

In Leanne and Rob’s home, the White Moss collection is very much in evidence, of course, but it’s just one element of this entrepreneur’s clear sense of vision and style. ‘We persuaded our landlord to let us lay white laminate flooring and paint the walls white, which immediately transformed the villa, and gave us the right backdrop for the relaxed look we wanted,’ she says. Throughout, clever ideas have been fully utilised: old packing pallets have been inventively used to create everything from the top of the rustic dining table to the painted headboard, along with cabinets, chairs, and even the generous garden loungers. Simple wooden stepladders have been repurposed to form the base of a rustic dressing table, while treasures from Leanne’s travels are effortlessly included in the overall scheme: the turquoise roll of suede she picked up in Panama several years ago, for instance, has now been used for the upholstery on the dining benches, adding a welcome splash of colour to the scheme.

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The couple’s light and airy bedroom is accessorised with pieces from White Moss. The headboard was made from old packing pallets to Leanne’s specification.

The overall impression is one of laid-back calm… though things may change just a little when another addition – the couple’s first baby – arrives later this summer. ‘I think,’ Leanne laughs, patting the pristine white sofa cushions, ‘we’ll start sourcing some lovely – and very useful – throws on our next trip!’

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The lovely patio area outside features a stunning L-shaped lounger: again, pallets were put to good use for the base, while the cushions were custom-made in a store in Satwa.

white-moss.com

Profile

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The owners British-born Leanne Moss is the founder of White Moss, and lives with her husband Rob, who works in education as a regional finance director, in Dubai.

The home This Springs villa has an open-plan layout downstairs with a cloakroom and separate office to one end. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms including the en suite master bedroom.

Get the look

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Clockwise from top left:  Mango Wood Sideboard from Marina Home Interiors, Dh4,350; Dome lights from Dragon Mart 2, Dh55; Driftwood lantern from Crate & Barrel, Dh730;  Makati basket from Wysada, Dh224; Groussay Vert Buis cushion from Christian Lacroix by Maison d’Art, Dh500.

Photography by Stefan Lindeque

Sharon Parsons

Sharon Parsons