[Chez Moi] Settling into a new pad in the desert

Stella + the Stars new desert HQ slowly taking shape

Stella + the Stars new desert HQ slowly taking shape

Well, hello there! We are officially back in business. Yes, after a three-month hiatus, Stella + the Stars and, more importantly, Le Blog is back from the dead and finally alive again. Did you miss us?! You may wonder what happened in the past quarter. Well, a total whirlwind of moving, settling, house hunting, and decorating, that's what. Myself, Stella and Mr Stella + the Stars have moved continents, left our lovely East London pad at the end of April to start a brand new life in Dubai. The past few weeks have been the most surreal roller-coaster. There have been laughs, tears (lots), grunts of frustration, squeals of excitement, 'What the f* have we done?" whispers.. But, I am happy to report that we are finally settled in our new life and happy as clams, despite the scorching heat - that feeling when you hit 50 degrees (that's celsius by the way, peeps, not Fahrenheit!) is hard to describe with actual words. 

The to-do list has been something else, even for someone with OCD tendencies like yours truly, and the hellish level of bureaucracy here is simply indescribable. From visas, to residence cards, house hunting malarky, tenancy agreements, and generally starting from scratch on pretty much everything you can think of, I certainly haven't had a chance to stop and smell the roses (well, cacti more like).

But the most exciting part of the whole move has probably been finding and decorating a new (rented) pad. Don't get me wrong, it's been the most ridiculously soul destroying process at times, and I have just developed chronic selective amnesia as a coping mechanism to avoid having a nervous breakdown. Let's just say I had to kiss a bunch of frogs (43 to be exact) to find THE gem but fast forward 12 weeks and here we are, in this new place we finally started calling home. 

There is a massive '5 tips to style a rented pad from scratch' coming your way very soon, trust me.

I know it sounds naive, but after 12 years settled in our London pad, I had totally forgotten what house hunting was like and how challenging it is to find the right place especially when you switch from owning your place to becoming a tenant again. Imagine trying to find your way around Tinder after being married for years and you get the picture. Despite every single agent telling me what I wanted was impossible to find (have we met?!) and that I should choose a place that ticked 70% of my boxes... Well, it took 43 viewings (gulp) but I am happy to say that they were all wrong and we found our home. What can I say, when you know, you know. 

Decorating the new Stella + the Stars HQ has started in earnest (you can check my instagram feed for some sneak peeks) and I'll be reporting back regularly on progress on Le Blog. 

So, what can you expect on Stella + the Stars going forward, you may wonder? Well, my motto certainly hasn't changed. I believe you don't need to sell a limb to be able to have a beautiful home, rented or not. I am on a mission to help you inject a little bit of fabulousness into your living space, one design dilemma at a time, while keeping that 'affordable' box well and truly ticked. 

I have a bunch of wonderful new interiors brands, designers and boutique based here in the Middle East that I have recently discovered so there will be plenty of spotlights on those. I'll also bring lots of tips on how to decorate a rented pad from scratch without having to max out a bunch of credit cards, based on my experience over the past few weeks. I hope I can still inspire you to apply my tips to your own place, wherever you are. 

So welcome to Stella + the Stars 2.0. I hope you enjoy the (camel) ride.