A simple but elegant French colonial façade gives little hint of the fabulous porcelain treasures, collected painstakingly by the charming Anita Asim, which are displayed inside. The HomeLoveLifestyle team was intrigued and enthralled by a visit to the home of this collector extraordinaire and her passion for porcelain.
Describe your design inspirations?
I am obsessed with French colonial style and started collecting porcelain pieces when I was still living with my in-laws. I bought things on all my travels and from antique shops. I educated myself and spend hours talking to and learning from antique shop owners and experts.
Then when we built this house which I designed myself, I finally had the space to display all of it. I created an open plan, without too many doors! I love socialising and the space is designed in such a way that the whole space, foyer, drawing and dining room can be used. The drawing room is the signature feature of the house. My heart is here!
What are some of your favorite pieces?
A girl on a swing and woman in a carriage are the center pieces of my drawing room. These are antique Dresden china from Germany and my favorites. I especially love the carriage piece because it shows the woman giving one hand to a suitor whilst passing a letter with the other to another! People are still the same…
I also have Herend pieces in the Queen Victoria pattern created to honor the queen. I got these from Budapest. Also collected porcelain from Czech Republic, Amsterdam, Switzerland and Italy as well as Toronto where I lived for 6 years. I even picked up an antique Tiffany from a shop in Florida that I simply walked into.
How does your home complement your lifestyle?
Well I love to have friends over and open up the space. Usually have 20-30 people at a time. My art collection is all Pakistani artists. I just feel our art is phenomenal. And it creates an interesting mix in the décor. So all the porcelain is European; Meissen, Dresden, Herend and Limoges etc, and all the art from Pakistan.
I have displayed plates on the walls too. The plates in the dining room are all English and those in the foyer are Florentine. I also made sure that there are no head chairs on my dining table because that way no one is at the head. Everyone is equal in this setting.
What do family and friends think about your passion for porcelain?
Most people are not that knowledgeable about porcelain sadly. My two older kids are not too interested either.
My younger daughter who is twelve though, gives her friends tours around the house. And she repeats many of my words (laughs), so I am hoping she will enjoy the collection when she grows up. For me though, collecting is a real labor of love!
Photos by Zahra Chughtai