This week You! peeks into a vibrant yet classy home in Islamabad...
I have always believed that our homes should tell the story of who we are. They should be a collection of all the things we love and a reflection of our experiences. Perhaps this is why, when I was planning the decor of my new home I reflected on who I really am, my experiences and what genuinely makes me happy. Instantly, I knew I wanted to decorate a place where every corner tells a different story and furniture pieces remind me of tales and passions from my childhood. I wanted one portion to be elegant and classy - suiting my parents’ persona and style and the other to be young and energetic, reflecting my style.
Living room is the heart of a home. It’s the place where everyone gathers in the evening to share about their day and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Since evenings in Islamabad are usually pleasant or slightly chilly, we were looking for something cosy. So mum and I decided on shades of maroon and olive. These two colours add a brilliant contrast and complement each other. For the sofas, nothing looks cosier than velvet and therefore the choice was easy. I find feature walls very fascinating so we got one of the main walls painted and opted for a cherry blossom wall. The feature wall in the living room adds a lot of character but then we decided to go for simple sofas and cushions.
Our drawing room too reflects my mother’s style. It is done in classic off-white and metallic tones and looks elegant yet simplistic. Both my mother and I are working women and we like simplistic and elegant styles. We try to avoid over the top decoration and went ahead keeping that in mind. While selecting decoration pieces, we used a lamp that complemented the sofa set and small crystal pieces, which go so well with the hanging crystal ball chandelier, and adds charm to the drawing room.
I believe lighting plays a great role in the decor of any space. Fortunately, our architect thought so as well and added huge windows in every room. In the day, these windows ensure there is great daylight in our home. For the evenings, the standard spotlights keep the space lit. For the drawing and living rooms, we paid special attention to the chandeliers. While the drawing room chandelier is crystal, the living room’s is a simplistic copper one. We also used a fairy light chandelier in the staircase, which makes a statement, as it is visible when anyone enters the house!
The staircase downstairs takes visitors to my most favourite part of the home - my lounge in the basement; the space that is truly reflective of my personality. An Amsterdam themed wall mural welcomes you to the living room. The wall makes quite a statement and each colour used in it is coordinated with the furniture, carpet and the curtains in the room. A navy blue petite sized sofa set is placed in front of the wall mural with traditional looking centre and end tables. Since navy blue is a dark colour, I wanted to add more colour to the space and used three bright coloured quilted pouffes to complement the five-seater sofa set. The hand knotted woollen carpet, which is rather ethnic, complements the overall chic furniture.
One of the most unique elements of the lounge besides the Amsterdam wall is the souvenir rack on one of the walls. This carefully designed rack holds pieces with immense sentimental value including the stunning Thai dolls my grandfather brought from Thailand many years ago, souvenirs from our first family trip to Switzerland when I was 7, flower baskets from Gilgit, lots of pieces from my time as a student in London and many travel souvenirs my friends got for me from their travels across the globe!
Another interesting furniture in the living room is the piano themed bookrack. As a seven-year-old child, I played piano with great interest. I also love reading so I merged my two favourite activities and incorporated in a piece of furniture. When I saw this rack on the Internet, it reminded me of my long lost love and my consistent admiration. It only felt right to have something like this at the place I will now call home! Kinder Kraft, a furniture designer store in Lahore, turned the idea into a real furniture piece that will always remind me of my childhood dreams.
The grandfather clock in the living room is actually a 3D puzzle one of my uncles brought for my brothers and I. During childhood, we spent summer vacations building the puzzle and now the clock stands in my living room.
The cross-stitch frames on the pillar behind the clock are hand stitched by my aunt who understands my passion for travel and designed these keeping that in mind. To complement the overall theme of the space, I have added some antique decoration pieces like a typewriter, globe, airplane, clock, stitching machine and a lantern.
While the living room is young and vibrant, I decided to keep my room very elegant and classy. The furniture is chalk finish with gold and the bright yellow wall behind the bed adds an energetic vibe to the room. Polaroids from my travels are hung on the wall with a fairy light. I have kept the side tables simple with flowers, candles and a photo frame. The dressing table is so beautiful in itself that it didn’t need any decoration on top of it. Yet, the perfumes, a tall gold candle stand and a stunning card from my mother on it look just perfect.
Setting up this home made me realise the value of reflecting on your personal style to understand what you really want because then the result is not just soothing for the eyes but also pleases the heart!