Design & Architecture

Design House: Kelly Marie Hodgkin

Kelly Hodgkin

Inside the entrepreneur's lavish and functional Jumeirah Golf Estates home

Words by Janice Rodrigues in Design & Architecture · Jul 4th, 2022

Kelly Marie Hodgkin is not a woman who can be boxed in. As the entrepreneur behind modelling and promotions business Dubai Hostesses, the director of global media group PPMG, and an investor of numerous other companies, she’s accustomed to wearing many hats with ease. Her lavish Hillside home in Jumeirah Golf Estates - complete with a cinema room, gym and beauty salon – is testimony to this and has been designed to meet a busy social lifestyle. It’s airy and sleek, with bespoke furniture and pops of colour. But mostly importantly, it’s a place where luxury meets function. 

Kelly: I moved to Dubai 13 years ago and live in Jumeirah Golf Estates with my husband and three sons. I grew up in Essex with my parents who adopted me and my two sisters when we were young. My mum was a teaching assistant and my dad was an engineer. We never had a lot of money but I didn’t want for anything and we had a happy childhood. I have always been very ambitious. As soon as I was old enough to start working, I did. 

Kelly: Before I came to Dubai, I was living in Glasgow. I knew someone setting up a property company in Dubai and looking for a personal assistant. I felt like I needed a change so I sold everything and moved. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out but I focused on finding something else quickly. I met a couple who wanted someone to set up a modelling agency for them. I loved it and it went well. After a while I set up my own modelling and promotions business called Dubai Hostesses, which I still have today alongside other business interests. A lot of people still think you need to be from a certain background in order to succeed but it’s not the case. I had an uncertain start in life and worked hard to get where I wanted to be.

Kelly: My career has always been varied which I love. I am an entrepreneur, an investor, and a company director. As well as running Dubai Hostesses, I am involved with Thomas Royall (a luxury swimwear brand specialising in matching swimwear for men and boys), Gym Clothing Co. (a homegrown fitness clothing brand), and NOOD (a female-led company that designs sustainable adhesive bra alternatives for all shapes, sizes, and skin tones). 

I am also extremely passionate about empowering women and helping them reach their potential. I host regular female empowerment weeks which bring together small groups of women who want to develop their careers and achieve their goals.

living room
living room
Kelly Hodgkin

Kelly: We were the first to buy property in this part of the development, and we were looking for a show-stopping home that was perfect for our family but also ticked the boxes needed for our busy social lifestyle. The house is perfect for us as well as a great investment. There are lots of entertaining spaces and room for guests, with a bar, cinema room, beauty salon, gym and multiple living and dining areas. The master floor has its own living room and each floor has its own hidden kitchen so it really is the perfect blend of form and function for our busy household. 

Kelly: We left the interiors to LuxDeco Studio, our interior designers who are based in London. We trusted them to create a space that suited our family but was centered around luxury and they delivered flawlessly. Most of the pieces of furniture in the house are bespoke, and imported from Europe. We like sleek interiors with pops of colour that you can see within our scheme. 

Kelly: Everything from the entrance of the home is designed to make our lives easier. Within the design consultation process with LuxDeco Studio, we explored the aspects of how we live and how we want the space to work. We often use the space to host; be it one of my empowerment sessions, to a family gathering.

Detail shot1

Kelly: I hold gym sessions in the basement gym, meetings in the dining room or in my study and lunch will be made by our chef in one of our dining areas. When work is done for the day, we often host barbecues, so although the house is a whopping 16,514 sq.ft we use every inch of the space. 

 Kelly: The chair in the master bedroom living room, made bespoke for us by LuxDeco Studio, is a piece I really love. It’s stunning, so simple yet perfect and it sits in front of our great view of the PGA Golf course so it’s a great spot to unwind from the madness.

Master bedroom
Kelly: Without question my favourite room is the master bedroom, it’s my sanctuary. That floor is where you will find me if I need five minutes. The children love it too, we will often all pile into the bedroom and watch a movie together. I have a busy social calendar and there is nothing I love more than getting ready with my friends in my makeup area. I believe that a home really is for living in and I have created some special memories in this space. 

 Interiors images courtesy: Natelee Cocks

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