Inside Lindsay Lohan’s Dubai home filled with upcycled furniture and local brands

The actress lives in a four-bedroom villa overlooking Kite Beach, decorated by celebrity interior designer Kate Instone

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“Photographs are gold. They carry so many beautiful memories and it makes me happy to see them in my home every day,” Lindsay Lohan says when I ask which, among all the rather funky artworks that fill her Dubai villa, are her favourite pieces.

“Such an easy question”, she adds for good measure.

Lohan, 36, moved to the UAE in 2014, and currently lives in a four-bedroom villa overlooking Kite Beach. This, she says, is her first “family home”. As such, her design brief to celebrity interior decorator Kate Instone of luxury design firm Blush, was “coastal calm”.

“I wanted a beautiful and relaxed home for me and my family, with a calming palette of neutrals punctuated with nautical blues.”

There was just one small problem, though. Lohan and her husband Bader Shammas were short on time and needed to move into the villa from Lohan’s previous apartment in just two weeks. Instone, who specialises in bespoke homes, usually takes a minimum of 14 weeks just to draw up a plan.

It all worked out in the end, though, because Lohan stressed she did not want this to be a “show home”, but rather a serene, family-friendly space that was not overcluttered. The star is also big on upcycling and took from her apartment every single piece of furniture – big and small – that the villa could accommodate.

“The guest bedroom is a replica from the one in her old apartment. We also reused a sofa and all of the furniture in the living area on the first floor, plus a coffee table, and the dining table and chairs, which are from Marina Home. All the accessories and artworks she collected from her travels across the world, too, she brought with her as well as the bar,” says Instone.

Lohan explains that she is "a great believer in reusing and upcycling.”

“It is so easy just to discard things and buy new, and usually these discarded items just end up in landfill." she says. "I brought everything I could with me. I then worked hard with Kate and her team to make sure my existing items blended seamlessly with all the new items we needed.”

Given the four-bedroom property’s 7,000-square-foot area, there were still many pieces that needed buying in that two-week span, though. What followed was a mad but still manageable dash that made both designer and client appreciate the sheer convenience of living in Dubai.

“We went shopping for furniture at some fantastic local brands here in Dubai,” says Lohan, citing Home & Soul, 2XL and Indigo Living as some of the shops she enjoyed browsing and buying from.

“I don’t think you could move into a house that’s fully furnished to your liking in two weeks anywhere else in the world,” says Instone. “And I love that about Dubai. We went to all the high-street shops in the malls and it was so quick and easy, like going pick-and-mix sweet shopping.”

As with bespoke homes, the design team matched the fabric swatches readily supplied by local furniture brands to ensure all the elements, from upholstery and scatter cushions to coffee tables and consoles, worked together.

Lohan was also actively involved in all design decisions. She had one bedroom converted into a dressing room to house her enviable shoe collection, and dictated that the rather dark and gloomy cabinetry in the kitchen not be ripped out but rather vinyl-wrapped to lend the space a light and airy feel.

The dramatic trio of mirrors in the living area on the ground floor, too, Instone credits to Lohan’s keen eye.

“When we first walked into the house, it was a bit dark and depressing, so Lindsay came up with the idea of having a triptych of mirrors on the back wall, and these brought light into the space and brightened it up no end.”

It is little wonder that the star says her favourite room – for the next few weeks, at least – is the TV area directly opposite the trio of mirrors. “Even though this area is huge, it still feels cosy, and it leads on to the cutest little terrace that I love.” She adds that the space is dominated by “a huge, comfy sofa from Ebarza Home and I have hung up a tapestry on the wall that I picked out with my husband when we first met”.

Another eye-catching piece of art is Blue Lips by British mixed-media artist Louise Duggan, who lives in Dubai and has also created artworks for Burj Al Arab. Another piece Lohan commissioned locally are a pair of console tables from Slab House, for which she picked out the wood herself.

The scatter cushions are from Knot Home, while a beloved armchair in the master bedroom is from The Loom Collection.

“It’s gorgeous and my favourite piece of furniture,” says Lohan of the chair. “It’s placed in one calming corner of my bedroom, and I love to sit in it and read a book or just daydream.”

As Lohan gets set to welcome her first baby, the design team are hard at work on the villa’s fourth room, the nursery, a room Instone says she’s glad to have had a bit more time to work on, given her star client had just one overarching brief: “It’s gotta be my new favourite room.”

Updated: June 13, 2023, 4:23 AM