One’s home is their sanctuary - the place where they come to relax after a busy day, the place where they find their calm in a world of chaos. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to make your home personal - something that art and culture enthusiast, Zoya Ahmed, has nailed!
Zoya, who works at a foreign cultural institution in Karachi, and has her work revolve around art and culture, made sure her place is reflective of her interests. By passion, she is an interior designer who also loves to paint, read and explore the world - all of which are visible in the way she has curated her space.
What’s most interesting about Zoya’s place is the collection of artifacts, artworks and decorations that elevate the décor of the space. She told You! that she loves collecting antiques, rugs, art pieces, sculptures specially Buddha pieces and has been collecting them from all over the world. “I also have a keen interest in local crafts, pottery and ceramics. And often, I travel to rural areas to collect them and specially, some of the furniture in my home is sourced from Havelis.”
The inspiration for Zoya has been mostly nature. She finds incredible colour palettes and textures around her. “Like observing the small differences in tonality between the blue and green wings of a bird, or the hues from yellows or orange to pinks and purples in sunsets or the intricate and detailed textures of a leaf.”
While there is ample lighting and plants that reflect Zoya’s interest in nature, at the same time, her place also has a lot of vintage and heritage pieces. “I would define my space to be a very maximalist space with a lot of vintage and heritage pieces and furniture pieces that are timeless. I also have little Zen corners around my home that bring calmness to me. I love raw and organic designed materials, so there are many corners in my home which will seem pretty raw to others but, I find beauty in it.”
When asked how she has selected the artifacts, Zoya mentioned that most of them are from her trips. “I want to place a part of that travel memory into any area of my home because it serves as a reminder in my everyday life that this is something I have experienced, it is a part of my life. I usually pick up a piece/art that I instantly connect with and it doesn’t necessarily have to have a story attached to it or for it to be popular or in-vogue for me to get it. If it gives me a certain feeling, I get it. Because I love exploring local cultures/crafts, I prefer picking something that is a part of them or locally made or handcrafted.”
Zoya has also adorned her place with lots of artwork that she has gradually collected over the years. Some of it she has commissioned to young artists, as she loves supporting emerging artists. “Some of the initial pieces I gathered, I had passed on because my taste in art is evolving, and I don’t think art should be caged and kept in a corner, and everyone should get to enjoy it and experience that,” stresses Zoya.
The masses usually believe that art is something only the rich can afford but Zoya negates that. She believes art isn’t a brand and owning the works of an acclaimed artist is not the only way to decorate your space. A lot of pieces at her place are local and have been picked from here and there or commissioned through young artists. Nonetheless, they are stunning and add a great charm to her space.
Zoya’s favourite artworks at her place include the Frida Kahlo portrait, because that was her first commissioned artwork for her place. The second is the Richa Kashelkar piece - she loves the colours and the style both and her third favourite is a monochrome abstract, which balances the colour around it.
Another very interesting corner of Zoya’s house is her terrace. “We love sitting outdoors! As a person who loves sunsets and plants, I love having my ‘shaam ki chai’ in my terrace along with my cats who also love that one hour in the evening where I let them explore the outdoors”, she tells this scribe with a grin.
Setting up a terrace like that isn’t really difficult - according to Zoya, just add some plants and wicker/rattan furniture because it is long lasting and looks very nice. She also suggests adding some fairy lights, and pottery and ceramics at the terrace which enhance the overall look.
Zoya believes that one can use affordable tactics to set up any corner, not just the terrace. “One can always reuse, recycle things and make them brand new. I have this habit of picking up pieces from junk/thrift stores and upcycling and using it. Another tip is to reupholster old furniture pieces, and it looks new. DIY pieces save a lot of cost. Also, fill your space with things that bring life and freshness in your surroundings,” suggests Zoya.
While these are some ways that Zoya uses to decorate her space, if you seek inspiration from them and experiment around, you can set yourself a beautiful sanctuary as well.