Situated in Umm Al Sheif, Dubai, husband-and-wife duo Jurjen and Abbey Visser’s five-bedroom villa is a treasure trove of pastel shades and colourful flowers. The pair live with their four children, with the youngest just eight months of age, and an adorable Yorkshire Terrier puppy named Coco.
Abbey and Jurjen Visser stand in the upstairs area
After many travels around the world, Jurjen settled in Dubai in 2006, meeting Abbey a short four months later. Today, the pair work at Dubai-based floral boutique Bliss Flowers, which has a home in Emirates Towers, DIFC and Palm Jumeirah, to name a few. Since last year, Abbey and Jurjen have launched three Bliss Flower boutiques with the plan to perpetually grow their portfolio of locations. Not only does the firm sell the most beautiful flowers, it designs and executes events with a team of event consultants, managers and graphic designers.
“We have made the decision to set ourselves up for franchising and are very happy to announce that the first Bliss Flower Boutique franchise has opened and several are planned to come in the near future,” say Abbey and Jurjen. “We are so excited to see where we can take Bliss in the coming years.”
An interior view of Abbey and Jurjen's home
A short two years ago, the couple packed their bags and moved from a small villa in Umm Suqeim. “For us, two years ago, we felt like it was time to invest in a larger home - our children were growing up and we felt like adding a little pup to our family,” recalls Abbey. “We were looking for a home with a generous entryway and foyer, as my heart and soul for a long time had been adoring beautiful lobbies in hotels. In this home, we were entranced by the preponderance of natural light.”
The spacious abode is adorned with bespoke art pieces, vivacious rugs, plants, quirky lighting and decorative sculptures. “We poured our heart and soul into this house,” admits Abbey. When styling the home, the pair perpetually drew inspiration over the years from international design fairs from Maison et Objet in Paris to the IHGF Delhi Fair, and many more in between.
The dining area in Abbey and Jurjen's home
“In our quest to better our business, our design philosophy has also evolved,” shares Abbey, adding, “Our vision for the home was built around our family, functionality and practicality.” There is a neutral colour palette with pastel pops of pinks and blues throughout the home, with each room embracing a character and aura of its own. “The living room, for example, has some accents of the modernist movement in California.”
There are several pieces from local European artist Zustique which hang on the walls, sourced from an art fair in Dubai Design District. “I felt the connection with the artist’s colours, style, texture and movement,” smiles Abbey. “After my first piece, she made several pieces on order for us.” Featured within the dining room is a planked trestle table which sits beneath a constellation of multifaceted gold crystal pendant lights. “Throughout the home, hand-hewn craft is tempered by chic design, frontier spirit by urban cool,” says Abbey. “Our home truly reflects the vivaciousness of our family.”
An interior view of the kitchen
The modern living room, a highlight of the home and also the owners’ favourite part, features a mix of furniture and accessories which, as the couple describe, “best exemplify the light and bright spirit of us as a family.” There are two beautiful lounge chairs sourced from London-based modern design store Sauce, a coffee table custom-made in the couple’s own workshop and a stunning contemporary round light from lighting brand Moooi, designed by a Dutch designer named Bertjan Pot.
“I did my best at juxtaposing modern and contemporary pieces with the architecture of the house to create an interesting look,” says Abbey. “The soft curved lines of the furniture instil a sense of fluidity. We wanted to keep it sophisticated and young, a place where we bond,” she pauses, “it’s really our happy space.”
Abbey stands in the living area
The baby blue and pink pastel-coloured cushions which adorn the sofas, coupled with the orange and pink flowers, complement the playful-yet-formal ambience. “Pastels are just easy on the eye - they work perfectly with praline hues for an overall calming effect.”
The space is versatile; it’s where Abbey and Jurjen love to host friends and family, and also where they display their floral installations for weddings and other events. “It is the kind of space that begs for creative experimentation,” they share.
An interior view of the lounge on the ground floor
There are vintage and modern pieces dotted throughout the space, creating a seamless marriage between old and new. “In general, I love collecting pieces that are not only modern and contemporary, but also vintage and have a story behind them,” says Abbey. For instance, the modern chest of drawers with an inlay of mother-of-pearl has recently been sourced from Bloomingdales, while the vintage Syrian mirror which hangs right above, also inlayed with mother-of-pearl, is over a century old.
“We also enjoy having the classic simplicity of modern acrylic, which has been designed and produced specifically for our home.” The metallic glass stools beneath the foyer table are a nod to contemporary Lebanese design. “Every time we walk in through our front door, their colours add a vibrant feel to the space,” says Abbey.
An interior view of the master bedroom
The pieces have been sourced from a concept store called O’De Rose in Dubai, a hidden gem nestled in Umm Suqeim. Also of note is the small collection of bearbrick toys which are placed atop the console table in the entryway, sourced from Frame in Dubai Design District.
“I take an enormous amount of pride in them as they gave been gifts from my amazing husband over the years,” shares Abbey. The home is a reflection of Abbey and Jurjen’s personalities; bright, bubbly and full of colour.
Abbey sits in the lounge room
“A lot of projects that I have done involve adding elements, whether its texture, colour or pattern,” expresses Abbey. “I believe [the home] has a very animated personality. The permissive nature has permeated into the interior design of this house. Balance is key and that’s where my husband comes in - he made sure we balanced high with low and heavy with light.”
One advice the couple would give to those redecorating? “Be genuine in translating your style into your home. Choose the pieces you invest in carefully. Someone wise once said, design the space for the life you really live."
Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh, ITP Images
From the spring 2020 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Interiors