Photographs by Alex Jeffries Photography
British interiors stylist, Aisling Young, better known as ‘Ash’ from @AdoreDecorDXB, has established herself as a go-to interior stylist and mum of three. She describes herself also as an ‘obssessive, accidental writer’ using social media to educate and to provide interiors and lifestyle ideas to her loyal audience. Ash is a second generation expat child, born in the Middle East and spent her formative years in Saudi Arabia with fond memories of her childhood and wanted to re-create the same experience for her children. When the opportunity arose for her husband and her to be based in Dubai they jumped at the opportunity almost 4 years ago now and haven’t looked back since. Since moving to Dubai she has created a nest to raise her 3 children and embarked on the best project yet (even I get excited by this), which was to re-do her entire kitchen. She chose a Kaiser Kitchen which is a sleek kitchen line but with a more affordable price tag, and blended it together with her favourite shades of grey and she tells us tips and tricks on choosing the right kitchen for your family. Even as an interior stylist she still depended on Kaiser’s kitchen experts and she shares her reasons why. We sit down for coffee and a botox with Ash as she shares about her family life in the UAE and tells us more about ‘Project Kaiser.’
Can you tell us about your children?
My son, Lucas, is 10 and his favourite thing to do is diving with Du Dive at the Hamadan sports complex. My middle daughter, Allegra, is nearly 8 and she loves gymnastics. She’s lucky enough to train with a former Olympic gymnast here in Dubai. My youngest, Scarlett, is 6 and she is way more of a ninja than a princess! I’m so grateful for the opportunities that living in Dubai affords us as a family.
For mums looking for schools for their children, why did you choose yours?
When we moved to Dubai we fortunately got a place at Jebel Ali School which was our first choice. We love the school’s strong academic reputation but more importantly, it’s warm and inclusive community. We bought a villa just a few minutes drive away and when the children get older they should be able to ride their bikes to school which is a rare thing in Dubai.
Any motherhood experience you learnt that you wish to impart to new mummies?
I feel like I’m winging it on the Motherhood front every single day(!) but one thing I have learned is that positive reinforcement tends to be more effective than punishment. We are also big on fun! We love hanging out as a family and are each others’ biggest cheerleaders which is why we call ourselves Team Young!
Why did you choose a Kaiser kitchen?
I first visited the Kaiser showroom a couple of years ago before we’d even bought our house. I loved the concrete effect Comet kitchen the minute I saw it so when we did decide to replace the kitchen we went straight back to Kaiser.
How would you describe your interior design style in your home?
My interior design style is fairly eclectic! I adore natural materials but am also a bit of a magpie who loves mixing metals. My preference is usually for a neutral, restrained palette but I also have areas of dark, dramatic colour in my home. I love tough, edgy pieces but choose to contrast and soften them with luxurious elements. It sounds chaotic but hopefully it works! The one thing I can’t get enough of is greenery and I have a mixture of real and faux botanicals throughout my home.
What tips and tricks can you offer when families are looking for a new kitchen?
My number one tip when considering a new kitchen is to consult with experts! Being a stylist, I had a good idea of how I wanted the kitchen to look but we needed the help of our Kaiser designer, Tarek, to make sure it was functional as well as beautiful.
What was the inspiration behind the colour scheme?
I wanted the colour palette and style of the kitchen to blend with the rest of the house – something that was edgy yet glamorous.
What was the most important aspect for you about changing the kitchen?
The number one thing we needed from the new kitchen was somewhere that the 5 of us could comfortably sit and eat together. We also wanted more storage.
How did you choose the internal cabinets and what was your organisational strategy?
We got an amazing pantry cupboard which has provided us with loads of extra storage at an accessible height. By installing Kaiser’s clever pull out cabinets we’ve also been able to make use of previously ‘dead space’ in the corners of the kitchen.
Three things that you learnt when you did your kitchen?
Things I’ve learned from this process are that kitchen demolition creates more dust than you can imagine. Be sure to cover your existing furniture! Ensure that there is a clear order of work and a project manager who can join all the dots. Finally, allow some extra time (and budget) for delays or complications so that it’s not a disaster if they occur.
Which company did you choose to for your cooking/fridge appliances?
We wanted to keep our existing induction cooker as it was only a few months old but the rest of our appliances are Miele which we chose for their quality and excellent aftercare.
How long was the process?
The bulk of the kitchen renovation was completed in 3 weeks. Kaiser’s installation of the new kitchen only took 2 days. The team were so efficient.
Did you have an interior designer advising you? Would you advise when designing a new kitchen for families to seek the advice of an interior designer?
The aesthetic vision for the kitchen was mine but it was a huge help to have Tarek from Kaiser’s input on the layout. A kitchen is a big investment so I would definitely recommend using a designer to help achieve your dream space!
How did you accessorise the kitchen?
Accessorising the kitchen was my favourite bit! I believe that these finishing details are what makes it unique to us. I sourced the handmade tiles from Fireclay in California and the brass hardware from Armac Martin the UK. I got other accessories from some of my favourite local brands. The gold stools and giant wall hanging are from Urban Nest while the light is from Home & Soul.
Three favourite elements in the kitchen?
I’m not sure I can choose just 3 favourite elements! The breakfast bench has been game changing in terms of how we use the kitchen as a family, I ADORE the ceramic Belfast sink and the patterned tiles behind oven. The gold stools make me smile every time I see them as does our barn door. Oops! That’s 5 isn’t it?!
How did you blend the kitchen interiors with the rest of the house?
The kitchen’s warm, neutral colour palette combined with a dramatic charcoal grey wall, mixed metallics and splashes of green are all reflective of the decor in the rest of the house which I hope creates an over arching flow and cohesion as you move from room to room.
Find Ash @AdoreDecorDXB
For more information on Kaiser Kitchen visit www.kaiserme.com