Our home away from home – Part 2

13 Apr

So… thought I’d write a bit about our little place in the desert sun (a typical sort of compound house here in the Kingdom)

We have a 3 bedroom villa. Double story; living areas downstairs and bedrooms etc upstairs. One could get a mansion living outside of the compound for the equivalent we pay in rental living in a compound. You have to pay a bit of a premium to maintain your sanity in the Land of Sand! However, rental is covered by the company you work  for in the majority of cases.

Villa’s come furnished which makes moving around the world a lot easier. Although that being said, the Brinkmanns did arrive, second time around, with a little over half a ton of STUFF. We blame Luka entirely!

As you can imagine, everyone’s house looks kinda the same,  we all have the standard issue equipment and furnishings. So one has to play around a little here and there. You have to maintain a balance between making your house feel like a home and keeping in mind that you will probably leave 90% of the stuff you bought behind when you go. Fortunately, we have IKEA! Oh my word, do I LOVE IKEA. It is the most fabulous place in the whole of Riyadh and I am on the IKEA shopping bus whenever it makes a trip there. I have a serious passion/addiction to home decor. It is bizarre that I have such a thing for homes and all that comes with them, yet I lead the most transient of lifestyles. Anyway, I digress…

Here is our lounge/diningroom the day we moved in:

and this is it now…

I still have loads of plans but at least it feels a little more homely. I have just completed a chocolate-brown silhouette mural against our diningroom wall, just to shake things up a little. I think that when management find out that I am merrily painting the walls, things will get a little shaken up, but I am taking my chances. Although the mural is done the wall is still a work in progress at this stage. Will send an update when I complete it.


The front of our house is quite secluded from the general throughfare which is a lifesaver for us with Luka. Our compound does not have private gardens so it is quite difficult for people with kids. There are 16 swimming pools in the compound which makes letting little people out for a run on their own absolutely impossible. Fortunately we happen to have our own little enclosed garden area so Luka gets out as often as he wants to, it definitely keeps him and his parents sane. He is an outdoor kinda kid.

Sorry about the night-time photo, I quickly took some tonight so that I’d could write this post while I had peace and quiet.

This is the back entrance to our house although it is the place that everyone walks past and is actually the more logical entrance to the villa. Our pooldeck is about 20 meters away from this little patio. We often eat meals out here as it is open and a little more spacious that the front. It is a very social little spot.  We end up chatting to everyone as they walk past and often friends pop in for a quick drink on their way home from work as we are right near the entrance to the compound.

So that is Villa 7 – Arabian Homes: Barada Village. Hope you enjoyed the tour!


3 Responses to “Our home away from home – Part 2”

  1. Jan & Fay April 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi Philippa, Olaf and Luka! Man, it is absolute crazy to see you guys in our villa at Arabian Homes and how nice to have a website too!!!
    You made a nice place there Philippa!!
    How is life? How’s the weather and how are the neighbours? Still the same people or are there new people as well?
    Will send you another mail one of these days from our side (holland) of the world 😉
    Enjoy your stay, big kiss for the 3 of you and give madele,bennie and the kids a big hug!!!
    Kindest regards, Jan and Fay xxxxx

  2. saverio November 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    hi Philippa how are u? it is so strange and funny in the same time to read about our villa. now i’m living in villa n7 from 2 month. i love ur painting but they deleted it 😦 … and is even more funny to see that who was living before u had written u…
    regards, saverio 😀

    • dustbusting November 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

      Hi Saverio

      What a lovely surprise to hear from you. We have many happy memories from our time in Villa number 7. I hope you will too. There are some really amazing people living on Pooldeck 1, I hope you have gotten to know them. You will have loads of fun hanging out with them. We lived in Villa 41 a few years ago and that is how we got to know Fay and Jan who lived in Villa 7 before us. It is indeed amazing to be in contact with the 3 ‘generations’ of tenants from Villa 7. Thanks for making contact. I hope your time in the Land of Sand will be as good as mine was.

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