The winner of the InsideOut Home of the year 2019 award celebrates heritage, family, sustainability and personal design throughout the three-bedroom villa, nestled in the leafy community of Arabian Ranches. The home of  Italian Valentina Piscopo and her British husband Michael Ogden is a haven of Kenyan artefacts, where Valentina’s family on her mother’s side resides, personal treasures with character and custom-made furnishings designed for the their first home together in London and then Dubai.  

The couple have lived in the emirate for four years and have rented this villa for one. Michael is the senior director of legal counsel for du while Valentina works in the design field.

Valentina’s 15 years living in Kenya has certainly influenced her home style, and you’ll find a life-size Kuba-patterned engraved wood panther as a focal point in the living room plus a large daybed sofa, as well as ornaments, baskets and juju hats used to decorate nooks and walls.

Valentina has designed a number of key pieces including a shabby-chic table, matching cabinet and large round mirror in the dining room; a peacock chair, a decorative ladder and ceramic plates on the walls with palm tree silhouettes add vacation vibes to the space.

Michael Ogden and Valentina Piscopo at home with their dog Schumi, in Arabian Ranches

In the guest bedroom, Valentina commissioned the making of a white wooden four-poster bed and she made the small wooden shelves suspended by leather straps on either side, plus the light shade on the ceiling made from yellow yarn. In the master bedroom, the couple had their low wooden bed made locally, complete with a rattan headboard that complements a cane cabinet.

Plenty of raw wooden accents, large macramé wall hangings, plants potted in tasseled and woven baskets, and thick pile rugs from Armadillo & Co sourced through the Dubai-based ethical furniture boutique Tribe, layers each of their rooms with warmth, natural materials and cosy neutral tones.

Watch the video above for an inspiring tour around their award-winning home, rich with nostalgic accents unique to the couple, Kenyan accessories and bespoke furnishings that tell a story – and find out what those stories are by reading our interview with Valentina.

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