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  • Date published: 04.04.24
  • Category: Home Tours
  • Author: Nicole Kliest

The Makers

How Monikh Dale Created a Villa Oasis in Bustling London

The stylist dresses her home similarly to how she dresses herself – laidback, minimal, and effortlessly chic.

Editor's Note

Every person in our office let out an audible gasp when these images of Monikh Dale's home came through. The London-based stylist is one of the fashion industry's most celebrated talents, known for her elevated, and yet effortless, approach to dressing.

It's this sensibility that's amassed her 377,000 followers on Instagram, who like (and no doubt, save) each one of her impeccably curated outfits. This eye for quality, craftsmanship and balance is, of course, present in the way she has styled her home, which has all the details of a Mediterranean villa – think billowy linen curtains, terracotta tiles and a collection of ceramic pieces and decorative objects in earthy tones.

From the arch mirror and clay jugs to fresh fruits and a jaw-droppingly beautiful natural wooden table, here, everything is exactly where it belongs. Like each outfit Monikh puts together, it just goes.

We hope you love it as much as we do,

Genevieve Rosen-Biller, Co-Founder, Bed Threads.

A penchant for style, a creative mum and dad, and a deep appreciation of self-expression are why Monikh Dale occupies the space she does today. The London-based fashion stylist and influencer began her journey with a fashion degree in design, which pivoted after a chance encounter. “I really enjoyed pattern cutting and doing everything from scratch, but I graduated and realised I had no money,” she says. “I met someone who was in styling and showed her what I could do, and she introduced me to the Topshop personal shopping team.”

From here, things instantly clicked for Dale. “It was through these appointments that I realised there’s real power in clothes,” she says, adding that despite a common flippancy toward fashion, it was through these human-to-human connections she came to learn how self-expression births self-confidence. “Fashion, I felt, came so naturally and it was such a fun environment to be in during my early twenties.”

It was right around this time, when social media was steadily growing, that Dale reimagined her approach to self-expression. “I was really into technology and was blogging and on Tumblr and things like that,” she says.

Simultaneously, Topshop began taking photographs of her outfits for their website. “I was like, ‘Okay, I have all of these images, what do I do with them?’ And so I started writing about style.” It was the early days of Instagram, but a pivotal time to be on the platform. “It was really just a hobby, but it quickly became a thing and I started to do more projects, other brands were willing to work with me, and eventually I left that job and now I do what I do full-time.”

I’ve always thought they go hand-in-hand; my space is a continuation of me and my clothes.

One step inside Dale’s home and it’s easy to see the parallels between her personal style and taste in interiors. “I’ve always thought they go hand-in-hand; my space is a continuation of me and my clothes,” she explains. This fluid approach to creativity is deep-seated, and observed from an early age. “I get everything from my parents; my mum and dad have always been into fashion and so unbelievably cool in the way that they don’t care what other people think.”

She provides a charming example: “They’d be bored one Friday – and with four kids – and just say ‘Right, we’re going to paint the whole house terracotta,’ and they’d do it in one weekend,” Dale says. “It was so much fun the way that they would transform the home just because they fancied it.”

Now that she’s able to create and sculpt her own space, Dale uses it as yet another medium of self-expression. “I’m one for comfort and I see that in my home now,” she explains, describing her house as a private place where everything is calm. “We live in London, so outside of the house it is crazy, but inside we’ve tried to make it resemble a villa maybe in Mallorca or Ibiza for a very simple, relaxed vibe.”

The same question arises whenever Dale invites friends over: Where are the toys? “Always! They always ask where they’re at,” she laughs. It’s a fair question. At first glance, her home (that she shares with her husband and two-year-old daughter) is an earth-toned-and-textured minimalist haven, void of the typical smattering of bright plastic figurines most parents are accustomed to manoeuvring around. Her hack is simple enough – baskets. “We just chuck her toys in there and move them to corners of the room,” Dale explains.

We’ve tried to make it resemble a villa maybe in Mallorca or Ibiza for a very simple, relaxed vibe.

But beyond the ethos of paring back the clutter and amping up the aesthetics, home is much more than an opportunity to decorate. “Home for me means safety,” she says. “I feel proud and grateful to be able to have a home and pay my mortgage and enjoy my job and to be able to bring a safe and calm environment to my baby, it’s all that I want.”

As is the case with many parents, Dale’s life views shifted after having her daughter. “It’s always lovely to have pretty things, but now I’m working to have these lovely things to protect her. Being able to have her get in bed with us in the morning and the three of us just lying together and knowing we’re safe in our four walls? That’s kind of all that really matters.”

The positioning and layout of their home echo this sense of tranquillity and security. “This used to be a car parking space,” she says, noting that she and her husband fell in love with the unique architecture. “We’re hidden behind a house and from the road you don’t even know we’re here, you can’t see us.” This style is referred to as an ‘iceberg’ property because of the construction below. “You walk in and think it’s just one level but they dug underneath, so all of the bedrooms and our courtyard are downstairs.”

And while having outdoor space in a major city is already a real estate feat, Dale’s is even more of an oasis due to the subterranean setting. “When you’re down here none of the houses around can see you, which I think is amazing for being in London. And in the summer, we have the nicest dinner parties and it just really drives home that mood of dressing the house like a villa."

Upstairs features an open plan, with the greeting area, kitchen, and living space flowing into each other effortlessly. “I’ve found this to be a real positive with a baby because if I’m cooking and she’s playing, I know what’s happening and don’t have to leave the room to check on anyone.” It’s taken some time for Dale to craft a space that makes sense for her needs. “We’ve been here for nearly three years but when we first moved in, I bought a lot of furniture and just placed it right away.”

Her advice? Avoid this temptation. “I think being able to understand the house itself, the bones of it, without furniture is really important – where you’ll end up migrating or even the corners where natural light floods in; those sorts of things helped me get a real feel for the home.”

Credits

Photography by Victoria Adamson

Styling by Hannah Simmons & Suzanne Stankus

Video by Cheer Squad


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