This week You! peeks into the extraordinary home of Mr. and Mrs. Obaid Lodhi in Islamabad...
They say, a house is made of walls and beams and a home is made of love and dreams. But Parivesh ‘Pari’ and Obaid-ur-Rehman Lodhi’s home is made of much more than just that! As soon as you enter the thoughtfully made house, a bright and well-lit spacious area with stunning mirrors on the sides and a posh seating arrangement welcomes you. The first impression sure sets very high expectations from the place and surely these expectations are well met.
A beautiful staircase takes you to the basement lounge, which opens into a lush green lawn (at the basement level) with the most pleasant breeze coming in. Sounds quite like a dream but that is exactly what this house is made of. The basement lounge is done very tastefully, just like the rest of the house. It is modern, chic but also very practical. Leather sofas and a television with striking hanging lights make sure that the lounge is comfy, cosy and just the right size for the family of five to chill in the evenings.
Interestingly, the house is built on a space of slightly over two canals but it has two levels - the basement and the ground floor and is restricted to 5 bedrooms. “We are not a typical couple and we like to think out of the box, so we decided to build a house that was not run of the mill sort,” says Pari Lodhi, the mastermind behind all that is beautiful in this house.
Moreover, the couple didn’t want a lot of accommodation and according to Pari, they just wanted a house which met their needs but was remarkably different. “We were never interested in renting portions or making extra rooms,” she adds.
The house has open areas like lawns, pergolas, a breakfast patio and a spacious driveway on both the sides. The most interesting feature of this house is that its plot is perched on top of a small hill and it is designed in such a way that the personal lawn/private space makes you feel like you are on top of a mountain without having to leave the comfort of your home.
A striking element in the house is the well-lit alleys with bedrooms on the side and gorgeous artwork and lights that make walking through them an absolute experience. “Usually people neglect such areas as they think it is just a corridor, but we decided to make them one of the most prominent parts of our home,” shares Pari.
The house has some extremely beautiful hand-painted arches. When asked where the inspiration came from, Mr. & Mrs. Lodhi laughed as if they remembered a good memory. “Last year we visited the French Italian border and we saw beautiful hand-painted niches and arches in churches and some old colonial houses. We wanted to bring a part of that to our home and that’s how we decided to get some arches painted at our home,” she states.
The selection of designs was a painstaking process but it all paid off when Mr. and Mrs. Lodhi’s daughter introduced her friend, Parisa Ahmad, an NCA student who took the challenge of painting these arches and patterns on the walls.
It is not just the walls that add beauty to the place, its corners are decorated with ethnic rugs and indoor plants that add a very energetic feel to the space. Accessories are picked very carefully keeping the overall minimalistic and chic theme in mind. Some traditional rugs and seats are placed here and there with pots that add an ethnic vibe to the house. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lodhi have different favourite areas in the house. Pari enjoys the foyer because it gives a teaser of grandeur of the structure, while Mr. Obaid loves the lounge because of the amazing view of the back lawn.
The most interesting aspect about the house is that even though it may seem very posh, nothing is over the top. All elements of the interior and decor are appropriately balanced; the design as well as the furniture. Pari, who has carefully selected the furniture, says that as a family they don’t like colourful and flashy things. “We like to keep it simple, yet classic. We had beige and earthy tones in mind, so whatever we bought, gelled together at the end even though it is a mix of all styles - contemporary, modern, classic, antique etc. My philosophy was to keep it simple and the classy look would come out inevitably.”
Interestingly, most of the space where the family hangs out is in the basement, which is quite well-lit. There are spot lights, hanging lights and mirrors that reflect light and make the covered area look spacious and beautiful.
When it comes to elements that add character to the house, woodwork and brass studded wooden doors deserve a mention, as they make the space look very unique. Regarding the use of woodwork, Pari apprises that her husband is very fond of wood and was keen on making solid wood windows and doors in colonial style. “Executing the idea needed hard work and experts who could guide on how to go about it. Luckily, we found craftsmen who helped in transporting what we had imagined to reality - which turned out very original.”
Mr. and Mrs. Lodhi have indeed put in a lot of effort in their house and it shows. The hand painted arches, bright alleys, carved and studded doors, gorgeous hanging lights, creative artworks and the thought that goes into the house makes it the kind of space that is made of dreams, and just the ideal place that you never want to leave.