Combined with a base palette of neutral and monochrome tones, offset by colourful accessories and exquisite artwork, the interior décor of Nigar Nazar’s apartment is sophisticated yet quite unique – with a mix and match feel. “I didn’t need to change or update anything when I moved into this apartment some seven years ago, I only had to focus on the interior decorating,” says Nigar.
Her three-bedroom apartment is a reflection of her effervescent personality. “I love living in this apartment as it has all the elements of a cosy home; it has drawing room, dining room, TV lounge along with front and back galleries. It’s lighted, has cross ventilation for fresh air and has huge glass windows that have a great view especially in the season of Jacaranda blossoms all in a row on my street and above all a million-dollar view of the Margalla Hills,” describes Nigar.
According to Nigar, her favourite place is her front gallery where she enjoys the weather with friends over a cuppa and lunch. “It’s like a garden because I have filled it with pots and pots of plants,” she elucidates.
One of the wow factors of this apartment is the bold and contemporary pieces of furniture. “While I was decorating this space, I made sure that furniture should not be too bulky as it’s an apartment. Furniture must not just look good, it has to be practical. Most of the furniture that you see here is part picked from different showrooms and part custom made according to my specifications and taste,” tells Nigar.
Talking about her one decorating mistake while furnishing her place, Nigar says, “I tried to fit my dressing table in a corner but it ended up with an inconvenient unpractical design, I regretted it later.”
Her drawing room and lounge feature an eclectic mix of quirky accessories and objets d’ art which she has collected over a period of time from different countries. “The best way to make a space feel truly your own is with accessories that reflect your personality and add character to the room,” opines Nigar. “My late husband was a diplomat. We had diplomatic postings in more than seven countries, so the artefacts are porcelain, ceramics and blue glass from Turkey and UK, wood sculpture from Africa, leather decor from Australia, Paintings from Central Asia, and little knick-knacks from other countries,” she elaborates.
Art plays a big role in Nigar’s interiors. A passionate collector of art, pictures and portraits of various artists are displayed on the walls. Her walls are adorned with paintings of renowned and senior artists like Mussarat Mirza; Ms. Mussarat Imam, Meher Afroze, Qudsia Nisar (late) Bekov from Kyrghystan, and Fatma from Africa. “I am crazy art lover who picks things up from all corners of the world and who feels strongly about showcasing our roots and heritage. I used to paint back in the day, before I embarked on Gogi cartoons. One of my paintings hangs at my daughter Nosheens’s house and a few of my framed cartoons hang in the home studio and another room. Also, I have family photographs and my portrait painted by Bekov in my room,” comments Nigar who is an artist herself. “There are original works in caricatures of myself and my late husband by Touka of Iran, Tan Oral of Turkey and Cartoonist Aziz and more from various parts of the world,” she adds.
What is your favourite piece of art? “It would have to be the one that Aziz cartoonist did as a demonstration in caricature. Sadeqain volunteered to pose in the Arts Council Bookshop for Aziz and asked me to look on. As students we would visit him on the floor where he worked on huge murals,” explains Nigar.
Nigar is of the view that one can decorate one’s place nicely in a low budget if one has good taste. “Don’t go for gaudy furniture. Decorate with creative ideas. You would be surprised how innovative you can be with making your own artefacts by going online and choosing wall décor, paste-ons for kids room or lounge. Discuss with an artist and only then experiment with one wall only,” she suggests.
She also shares some interesting interior tips with our readers. “The key to a fresh and colourful interior décor is to use indoor plants. They instantly change the atmosphere and add that kick your décor needs to stand out and to feel complete. Plants are very versatile that they can be placed at any corner and area or space of your home. I have recently added some new seasonal plants in my front gallery and they are a constant source of joy for me. I love putting fresh flowers and real plants, it adds life to your place.”
“Dark colours are definitely design-friendly, but they make a room appear smaller. Stick to pale colours such as white, cream, pale greys to keep it light, airy and open. Start with a colour scheme and once in a while make a complete change over with your favourite room. Also, mirrors are the quickest way to make a room appear larger,” she recommends.
Being a social person, Nigar likes to entertain her guests and friends from time to time. “My apartment is not that fancy but what’s nice about it is that when people come in, they don’t want to leave. It’s friendly. In routine cooking, I use all kinds of shortcuts with my helper but on special occasions my menu is special and I prepare it myself. My kachoris are quite popular as are my Italian dishes,” she says with a grin.
“The ethos of my home is fuss free living with a relaxed homey vibe. I like to surround myself with objects that are both sentimental and interesting. You don’t need money to create a great experience; you need joy and joy in the creative process. The entire place has joyfulness in the way it is choreographed. For me a home has to feel like home,” reflects Nigar.