The tale of Tory, Theodore & Archibald Waller
It's hard to believe Dubai-based, Australian stylist Tory Waller and her family have lived in their Umm Suqeim bungalow for less than two months. There are no lingering cardboard packing boxes, blank wall spaces or unfinished rooms. It is richly layered with special possessions, design details and feels like home.
"Our bungalow wraps around a central courtyard. It has a Palm Springs vibe and given we are in the desert, I felt the need for green. I am constantly searching for inspiration," she says. Waller has created a dramatic and lush courtyard entrance with black and white striped chairs, beautiful glossy traveller palms and greenery in every corner. The theme is continued indoors with striking palm print wallpaper. There is also a nod to the Middle East with Arabic influences. As with all creative spaces, this home is a work in progress. There are plans to add to the formal living room and Waller is still working on perfecting the outdoor entertaining area. The children's room has evolved from a nursery to a little boy's room. "Black and white is a great base. I have used Pierre Frey's new Confettis collection based on fairytales to add colour and pattern. The room is a mix of old and new. Archie sleeps in my antique brass bed that I slept in as a little girl," says Waller.
Waller and her husband Doug, who both hail from South-East Queensland have lived in Dubai for seven years. Their two boys, Archie, 4, and Theo, 2, were born here and call it home. "Dubai is a cultural melting pot where the boys are exposed to people from all over the world and from all walks of life," she says.
Waller is one of those incredibly creative women who can see the big picture, work her magic and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. She has a knack for rejuvenating second-hand furniture and arranging it side by side with designer pieces the couple have collected during their time living abroad. She convincingly pulls off wearing the brightest shade of pink lipstick, Converse sneakers with a fabulous cocktail frock and is partial to a turban. She also happens to be someone you want to be friends with because of her warmth, sense of fun and love of life.
Waller went back to work when her second son, Theo, was one. She now works as a stylist for Harpers Bazaar Interiors (and does the odd styling job for Harpers Bazaar Arabia and Junior). "For years, I danced around the edge of the creative world working in creative agencies and in events. I wanted to re-enter the work force when Theo turned one. It was the start of the year and it just felt like the right time. Having a house full of boys, I felt like I needed to express myself through design and colour."
Tory's little list of loves:
Our new little villa.
Theo starting to talk.
Beach mornings as a family.
My new Chloe tuxedo jacket.
The colour green.
Long phone calls with my Mummy and sister.
The Dubai sunshine.