The lovely Aisha Alam, textile & fashion designer welcomed us into her family home recently. An ideal mix of traditional and contemporary flair characterises her colourful Karachi Villa.
So you are a textile designer who now designs clothes?
I studied textile designing in Melbourne. Then I came back and joined Gul Ahmed in their design department. I worked my way to GM Marketing and Chief Textile Designer, but left after my marriage and kids.
Now I run my design label called “Aisha Alam” and have my own outlet plus I stock my designs at Ensemble in Karachi, Lahore and other cities.
Did you build this house yourself?
No, we bought it 4 years ago, when it was almost ready. It was just perfect as it was, so we just added a few touches of our own such as in the kitchen.
I added lots of storage that is hidden so we can keep the kitchen clear. This one is not used for any cooking, just for entertaining and family time.
Did you design the interiors yourself?
Yes, I have inherited a lot of Kashmiri furniture from my mother. I have added some contemporary pieces mainly in the entertainment areas. The rest is all traditional pieces from my mother.
Tell us about the gorgeous love seat?
That is also from my Nana’s home in Islamabad and an antique. I just added a new fabric to it, but in keeping with its vintage vibe.
Tell us about some of your favuorite pieces?
One of my favourites is this tapestry from France that is about 45-50 years old. I also love the antique copper pots and samovar that my mother gave me. They are displayed in a special cabinet in the living room.
I keep planning to get them polished, but my friends all say keep them like this! Don’t spoil them (she laughs).
You also have a lot of beautiful carpets & collectibles in your home?
Yes these are all from my father, who had a carpet business. I love the carpets and kilims he gave me. (there is even one in the kitchen).
The Dragon sofa you see in the dining area is from my mother. It’s carved with a dramatic pattern of dragons and is unique. Her family members all have one such sofa, it’s a family tradition!
You also clearly love art and collect that too?
The big canvas in the living room is by Ashkal and was gifted to us by my in laws. I also have paintings by Tassuduq Sohail, Mashkoor and others.
Recently I have started painting a bit myself, mostly Buddhas and also some calligraphy.
This textile designer’s love for design is obvious everywhere in her home. From cushions to upholstery this Colourful Karachi Villa is a testament to her love of colour and pattern.