Stepping through a glass front door into the light-drenched entryway of Gerlinde Krupp’s spacious abode, it’s easy to imagine that even on the most sweltering of summer days this inviting family home offers a soothing atmosphere. Situated on a narrow tree-lined street in the heart of Dubai’s Green Community, Gerlinde’s home is surrounded by the lush greenery of the communal gardens and feels worlds away from the concrete jungle that is Dubai’s city centre.
“My friends often say they feel as though they’re on holiday when they visit,” Gerlinde says, walking past a large water feature, its melodious sound echoing through the house. “My two young daughters, my husband and I have been living here since September 2012. We bought this home because its layout suited us perfectly. While our previous house had so much dead space, this one feels really alive. We entertain a lot and we use every room in the house.”
Wooden floors the colour of caramel, crisp white walls and shutters that not only help to block out the midday sun’s harsh light but in some areas also act as space dividers, form the backdrop to the five-bedroom home. The house exudes an open, airy feeling and is carefully furnished with pieces that have travelled with the family from past homes – classic English sofas, antique side tables, contemporary lamps, personal black and white photographs and sculptures from Ethiopia that have been paired with other African artefacts in an upstairs area that Gerlinde calls ‘the safari room’. “My daughters are originally from Ethiopia and I think it’s important that they have pieces of their heritage in the house,” she explains.
Gerlinde’s eye for detail is evident in her furniture compositions. Every room has been meticulously planned and put together with a sense of understated sophistication that’s also functional – after all, her daughters Sofiya and Callie are just six and four. “To be honest, the children don’t really play in the more formal downstairs space,” she says. “They know that the living room is for grown-ups. They have a play area just next to the kitchen where they can make as much mess as they like. We spend most of our time there after school.”
The formal living room is just to the left of the entryway and is an understated space furnished with a mix of newer and older pieces, including a sofa that Gerlinde has carried, “from house to house”. It was the sofa in this room, reupholstered in a sumptuous fabric from Avenue Interiors – as well as the dining table in the room opposite, from Objekts of Design – that inspired the rest of the home’s interiors. “The initial inspiration came from this sofa and fabric,” she says, sitting on the three-seater. “I had a certain budget that I had to work with so I upcycled certain pieces, including this sofa and two sofas in the bar, upholstered in the same fabric, but in burnt orange.”
Walking into the dining room, Gerlinde explains her choice of dining tables – two large, dark wood and metal pieces. “I didn’t want one massive table that I couldn’t take with me to my next home,” she says. “The benches came about because I don’t like the way chairs look around a table – they tend to get messy if they’re not aligned. I actually wanted big wooden benches but they didn’t match the furniture I already had, so I chose these instead.”
Gerlinde admits that it was also the dining table that influenced her floor selection. “I entertain a lot and I knew that the dining table and benches wouldn’t do very well on tiles, so I had a wooden floor installed downstairs. It looked so beautiful that I had the upstairs rooms done the same way. The floor is called Oak Daneborg and is from Nordic Homeworx in Dubai.”
One of Gerlinde’s great loves is antiques and there is evidence of them throughout the house, from a massive, silver-painted framed mirror in the entryway – previously a picture frame a friend found in her attic in Germany and then gave to Gerlinde – to lamps in the guest room, a wooden sideboard and table in the master bedroom and a massive trunk – also from Germany – that’s still looking for a permanent spot in the home. “I’m thinking of putting it in the safari room,” Gerlinde says. “Although I’m actually waiting for an African painting for that space; I’ll see what feels right at the time.”