28 February 2018
When two interior designers set up home together, the result is a stunning sanctuary.
In the heart of suburban Jumeirah lies the dazzling retreat of designer duo Paul Bishop and Ellen Søhoel, former Bishop and their 15 month old daughter, Sienna. Paul arrived in Dubai in 1996 and swiftly set to work transforming the city’s interiors and now the stylish husband and wife team manage one of the emirates most popular interior design firms Bishop Design Associates, counting Fairmont Dubai, Emirates Golf Club, Franck Muller, Wafi and DIFC among its clientele.
Their corporate and residential interiors are renowned for their shimmering elegance and contemporary touch, so it comes as no surprise to see that their own home is awash with muted glitz and glamour. Paul and Ellen moved from Mirdif to their single-story Jumeirah home in March, and within two weeks the dated bungalow was transformed into a modern have filled with quirky designer touches. “Putting an effort into your home is so important” Ellen says, “your home is your sanctuary, and just because most of us are renting, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t personalize your home and put your signature on it.”
But creating a distinctive space wasn’t all plain sailing, “we happened to move on the only day in the year that poured with rain.” Paul recalls, “And as we pulled up to the house, we watched in horror as the removal men sheltered under the garage roof while our belongings floated in puddles on the pavement!” Everything, from paintings to wallpapers and furniture were ruined, Ellen adds, “It was heartbreaking, but starting again from scratch was quite fun” Describing their style as “timeless elegance,” the dominant scheme of cream, black and white is echoed throughout the home creating a seamless synergy between all the rooms. The subtle backdrop is accented with some striking focal features; taking center stage in the living room is a vast expanse of incandescent mother of pearl tiles by Maya Romanoff, supplied locally by AMBB. “We have had these panels in storage for about four years, “Paul explains, “we’ve been waiting for the right house to put them in, and as soon as we saw this wall, we knew it would make the room really special.”
The secret to the Bishop’s style is the clever fusion of designer pieces with high street items. The couple’s eye for the extraordinary has led to the purchases of a cow-hide Le Corbusier chaise lounge, Kartell’s Louis Ghost chairs designed by Phillipe Starck and the design classis that is the smoke chair by Moooi which has a unique burnt charcoal effect. All the wallpapers are Cole and Son sourced thorugh Zoluti Furniture and the fabrics came from German brand JAB. Decoworld at Al Aqiili supplied the plush sofa in the living room as well as numerous accessories throughout the home, but Ellen says that many of the other fittings and furniture are clever budget buys. “ Places like THE One and even Dragonmart have some really fun and stylish product lines; the key is to mix expensive design classics with accessible pieces for a truly personalized home.”
When it comes to the unique through, not many can lay claim to having an original 1987 Lambretta motorcycle in their hallway, Paul explains the reasoning behind the eccentric accessory: “I found this in Bangalore, and brought it back to Dubai and Harley Davidson reconditioned it. Its 100% operational, and a really fun, beautiful designer object. It encapsulates Italian style at its best, and as I was a mod when I was younger, it’s a nice reminder of the good days, too!”