styledrifter

IKEA + Teresa Karpinska = <3

When it comes to interiors, my taste in home accents is very similar to my taste in clothes – I am very fond of neutrals and items that in its simplicity create a striking effect when skillfully combined. 

My guest bedroom needed a bit of a boost; or was a part of the home that had been a little neglected in the most recent move so I was really happy when this creative opportunity came along. Not to mention that each trip to IKEA means a happy meal and by that I naturally mean the Swedish meatballs. 

I spend an overall of 1000 aed on items that I have specified below. The most important part was to bring in the fluffy rugs to for my guests to step on in the morning and the earthy toned beige linen sheets. I made sure to get a few decoration pillows (for the bed to look fuller and “creatively messy”) and copper accents to break off all the earthiness. 

Candles are the safest way to make a room lived in and inviting I find so they were represented in a few sizes all over the room. They are also one of those typical IKEA items that noone ever leaves the store without. 

A very important feature for a bedroom is the phenomenon in memes referred to as “the chair;  meaning the one piece of furniture where clothing lands on its journey between the laundry basket and the closet / suitcase. The Jassa collection is my current favourite at IKEA – both because of its look and it’s eco ethos so I was happy to find one in the thrifty ”as is” section.

Lastly I made sure to pick up a few storage boxes because as a rather organised person I appreciate when storage is provided every time I’m being hosted somewhere – the “living out of a suitcase” lifestyle is thrilling for a day or two but then mostly tiring. Freeing up closet space for guests is a really nice way of showing hospitality I find.

Tomorrow I’ll be announcing the winner of the 1000 aed voucher and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish with your living spaces.

Xxx Teresa 

Jassa chair, Vigdis cushion cover, Kvistbro storage table, Glattis tray, Parlband candle holder, mini cacti. (Sweater and pillow inside the storage table are my own).

Bedframe and blankets my own, everything else IKEA as following:

Puderviva bedsheets, Klipsk bed tray, Uphetta coffee / tea maker, Flimra glass, IKEA 365+ carafe.

Hampen rugs, Jara lampshade, Rodd table lamp base.

Pierre Marcolini.

Ramadan (and Eid) are my favourite times of the year despite the fact I am not of Muslim faith. I guess in western culture the Eid festivities that follow the holy month can only be compared to our Christmas. The streets and homes get adorned with lights, the palm trees are heavy with dates ready for harvest and the spirituality surrounding this season is truly special. This period focuses on an inward journey and whether you are a practising Muslim or not you respectfully observe it from a distance, the different energy is truly tangible. This is the time where friends and families gather, and since I have lived in the Middle East for 13 years I feel lucky to say that I am surrounded by many loved ones residing in the city of Dubai. Now whilst Ramadan is about modesty and the act of giving; Eid is a period of indulgence. This is where home cooking reach culinary heights and restaurants put on the most lavish buffets – lavish being the word often used when describing Dubai all year round! Whilst the formal outings are lovely there is something truly special about being invited into an Emirati home and experiencing the infamous Arab hospitality.

Showing up empty handed would be considered rude and chocolates are always well received by all nations and all ages. To make a good impression I looked for something truly premium. This is where Pierre Marcolini comes in with his Summer of Dreams collections. The round Salted Caramel Truffles (and OMG how delicately melt on the tongue they taste!) were specially developed for the Middle Eastern market. The colourful Songes on the other hand strike a healthy note with their quinoa, spelt, sesame and spelt – rest assured though as they still taste like a delicate fruity ganache. Now whilst on the topic of giving; don’t forget yourself in the equation. ❤

You can shop Pierre Marcolini here and in London, you can find Pierre Marcolini in Selfridges, Harrods and Marylebone High Street.​ / Teresa 

Essentially

With regards to anything health and wellness related I have (as many others I am sure), with time, become hugely skeptical of relying on social media recommendations. These days so much of the content has been paid for – in other words probably not even experienced by the so called influencers who merely rely on the content of a press release. At the same token endless amounts of conflicting information is being passed around by self proclaimed experts with no factual expertise on the topic. Everyone is gluten intolerant and everyones cousin is a certified yoga teacher innit.

And yet here I am about to release a blog post on the very topic of bottled green goodness. Whilst not a certified nutritionist I am a woman in my late 30s (as in: soon there are no 30’s left to it) but I look a decade younger (or so I am repeatedly told)! I am generally always in a jolly good mood, I sleep well, I have the energy to work 12-14 h days and since you ask, there is nothing wrong with my libido. Ok I made myself lol here but these normally are signs of overall health and so my day to day choices must be somewhat right. I am also very adamant about which brands I choose to work with and my consistent rule is that if I wouldn’t pay my hard earned pennies for the product I will also not accept it for free. (Juice cleanses – I will btw have you know – are very 2012. Bone broth is the new miracle potion and Dubai has gotten onboard with both Hapi and the Clean Living Company catering to the collagen thirsty consumers who don’t have a spare 12 h to roast a pile of bones.)

So –  whilst not a certified nutritionist or a smug insta yogini –  here are my two fills on green juices and why Essentially has been my go to brand since they launched 4 years ago.

I met Wiebke (the founder) on the first month of Essentially’s launch and I find her to be is a great spokesperson for her product. As harsh as it may sound I very much judge the book by the cover. It is a very short sighted approach and feel free to call me up on it but in the past I have met health food promoters who with their demeanor didn’t ooze of health and balance. Why I feel ok with typing these words is that as a stylist I too am a victim of snap judgement. I would probably starve to death if I tried to score new clients whilst looking like Waka Flocka.

I have also tried Essentially’s main competitors (and whilst mentioning names is not required I am sure you know which brands are equally active on the liquid goodness scene). I perceived one of them as heavily overpriced and too ”try-hard” with flavours and the other one as very weak ingredient wise. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to know that you won’t get much from juicing an iceberg lettuce.

Whilst I won’t be doing regular juice cleanses I KNOW that my current diet is poor on veggies and so a bottle of green juice (packing an impressive 1,5 kg of product in one bottle) feels like a very welcome addition to my current “always-on-the-go-eating-in-my-car”  day to day situation. The nut mylks taste like healthy milkshakes and the power balls are a nice and clean snack with my afternoon pick-me-up cup of coffee.

Essentially (and Wiebke) these days send me 2 days worth of juices a week in return for the social media love but like I said above – for the longest time I trekked to whichever RIPE market they were selling at in order to get my full priced fix. I will probably continue to do so if they were to stop. Now take what you wish from these ramblings and most importantly remember not to buy into blind social media endorsements without a little bit of research. / Teresa

Love story.

Most of us have had experiences where a certain smell—a flower, freshly baked cookies or the salty beach air—floods our brain with memories of a distinct event or location that we associate clearly with certain emotions.

There have been scientific studies using a variety of approaches to back up this anecdotal evidence. One was a study led by a female scientist at Brown University in 2004. Dr. Rachel Herz and her team found that a group of five women showed more brain activity when smelling a perfume with which they associated a positive memory than when smelling a control perfume they had never before smelled. This is likely due to the brains anatomy and I am going to stop myself here before I embark on diving further into medical terms like the amygdala and hippocampus (hippowhatWHAT?).

I consider the sense of smell one of my superpowers. It is one of my strongest senses (which is somewhat of a nuisance when the scents in question are unpleasant and makes public transport a no go) but it also makes me somewhat of a perfume connoisseur. As a blogger I have the privilege to receive most releases before they hit the shop floors and whilst I sniff them all (and oooh and aaaah over the luxe packaging); I am loyal to a very few.

In general anything with undertones of clean laundry or baby-powder-resembling-notes goes down well with me. Florals aren’t my favourites – with the exception of the delicate frangipani (and if you ever go to the Maldives they will quickly become your favourite too). The same applies to orange blossom which again is related to a fond memory of a certain place. The orange blossom is hugely prominent in the Middle East (my home as of the last 12 years) and works on soothing aching tummies, flavouring trays of home made baklavas and symbolises purity when used in abundant wedding bouquets. I have also grown to be very fond of oud and sandalwood based concoctions – both ingredients with a heritage strongly tied to the place that I nowadays call home.

Chloé’s latest release: Love Story Eau Sensuelle (which is the third fragrance in the brands story line and the second in my collection) has French actress Clémence Poésy as the face of the campaign. It combines orange blossom with sweet heliotrope and velvety sandal wood and hence makes it into my top 3 daytime favourites. / XXX Teresa

Level Shoes – the Ramadan edit.

2000445 Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

This Ramadan marks my 12th year in the UAE and yet again I am reminded of how much I enjoy this time of the year. Dubai life is known for being fast paced and these spiritually significant days allow for everyone to slow down, reflect and rediscover our fair city.

Iftars are a must to experience – thoroughly curated, culinary vibrant they are a beautiful way to connect with friends and family. Whilst simple in nature the dishes traditionally served are something I reminiscent for months and months that follow. Being somewhat of a fitness / wellness advocate I normally don’t include kunafe in my weekly meal plans. During Ramadan however this glutinous gooey cheesy treat is like the proverbial bucket of gold at the end of the mythical rainbow.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Ramadan dressing revolves around modesty and good taste. Kaftans are a fool proof way of ensuring that you’re comfortable, culturally appropriate and on trend. With its nudge towards folklore through intricate beading work and embroidery, they are my preferred item of clothing that later during the year gets reinvented as resort wear. As homes get adorned with lights in anticipation of Eid Al Fitr, I invite sequins and cracked golden leather into my wardrobe. The N° 21 mules are the Holy Grail of Instagram footwear, frequently seen on street style icons all over the globe.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Aquazurra can do no wrong and these brocade pumps, with their homage towards ethic footwear, work wonderfully well with a monochrome ensemble but would also stand their ground when matched with geometrical patterns – after all dis the season to embrace minimalism with open arms. Lastly – our very own Dubai made All Things Mochi has launched a collection of handmade espadrilles exclusively for Level. They are as comfortable as they are fun.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

All the footwear can be found on Level Shoe District – website and the physical store at The Dubai Mall.