My Own Home: Dubai entrepreneur refuses to sell Springs villa despite high offers

Stephanie Farah's renovated three-bedroom house has significantly increased in value since she bought it

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Stephanie Farah recently finished renovating her three-bedroom Springs 10 home in Dubai, which she bought in 2022 for Dh2.65 million.

The entrepreneur, who owns a PR agency and interior-upgrade company specialising in architectural wrapping and 3D stickers, transformed the villa, extending the floor space, increasing the height of the ceilings and installing a fireplace.

She also turned the third bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe.

But despite the fact she is getting offers of up to Dh4.8 million almost every day for the house, she doesn't want to sell, describing it as her haven of calm within her busy life.

The National takes a tour.

Please tell us about your home

The style I chose for the interiors is modern farmhouse. That's just the style that suits my personality the most. I love the calm elements, the different colours that are more natural. I've got a lot of wood in the house. I've got a lot of bright whites.

It also has the right amount of lighting. I'm very into afternoon lighting and not having a dark living room.

I got very lucky with the home I eventually found.

How did you decide on your renovations?

During Covid, I learnt how to design using a program called Planner 5D. It's basically a program for people who have no idea how to do renders or bespoke designs. It's very basic, but allowed me to have a 3D render of what the space could potentially be.

This was easier for my contractor to envision it with me and go ahead and execute my inspiration.

How did you renovate the downstairs?

The entranceway used to be outdoors. We extended this area and broke down the wall next to the front door to add a glass banister and give it a little bit more of an open-space concept.

I extended the kitchen by about two metres, where there used to be a patio. I created a pantry and installed a hidden sliding door. This is where I keep my fridge and goodies.

I didn't want to have any cabinets, so I went for open shelves. I chose Italian marble. This is real marble, which I wish I didn't do because it stains so easily, but I wanted something to stand out in the kitchen.

I also created a window in the kitchen. Some people just have one small square window, but I created the arch look. Then that window fully opens up. This entire living room has an open-door concept, which is beautiful. When it rains, it's insane.

I also built a real fireplace. It's an ethanol fireplace, which is super easy to light. When you're watching TV, you've just got the fireplace running, it's really nice and very cosy.

What did you change upstairs?

I extended the bathroom a little bit in the master bedroom. I knocked down a massive wall that was separating the basins from the bath or what was originally a bathtub. I made it a rainfall shower. Again, I use a lot of natural elements: marble countertops, oak wood for the cabinets, and a beautiful herringbone tile for the shower.

I did a lot of cove lighting and beautiful spotlights so I can choose different lighting, depending on my mood.

There was also a huge change in the guest bathroom. Again, there was a wall dividing the sink, the toilet and shower. I broke that down and added a really big bathtub in there. There's also a rainfall shower feature, so you can stand in the bathtub to utilise the rain shower.

What about the garden?

I went for a Bali-esque look in the garden. I painted the walls a very muted beige. I built a little pergola. I designed my own tiles for the barbecue area. They're from Mosaico.

How much did all this cost?

About Dh400,000, although I was initially getting quotes for like Dh700,000 to Dh800,000.

What did you learn while renovating?

Choose a design that's going to appeal to a wider audience versus your own taste. I've walked into Springs villas that were renovated, but it was hideous. Then they'll call it a fully renovated home and try and sell it for an extortionate amount. That makes no sense because nobody is buying it.

Also, continuously go to the site, because you're able to really push your contractors to finish faster, but also make sure the quality of work and craftsmanship is there.

How long do you see yourself living here?

Another two years or three years. I'm very attached to it. I just can't see myself moving out anytime soon.

I've been getting offers left, right and centre on this house. But the more offers I get, the more I don't want to let go of it.

It's the perfect location for me from the office, from everything in Dubai, it is just so central. And I hardly ever face traffic.

There's so much around, like the community malls and then you've got Warehouse gym around the corner.

This is just the perfect space.

Updated: April 18, 2024, 2:56 AM