This cosy family home has weathered many years and was one of the first houses built in its neighbourhood. Over the years, the residence of Mr and Mrs Ashraf has housed three generations and undergone many renovations. The warmth and character of this family home has only grown, packed as it is with family memorabilia and carefully curated collectibles.
The family welcomed us in and showed us around. Mrs Ashraf answered our questions.
How old is this house?
This house is 42 years old. The area around it was very different back then. There were barely any houses here. In fact, donkey-cart races used to be held here (laughs). Slowly the area developed. My in-laws lived here with us, our children grew up here and for a while so did our grandchildren.
There is so much history in this house then. Do you have old furniture as well?
Yes. There are some old pieces that have been handed down. The wicker front chest in the passage was used to hold the laundry and the shelf in our formal sitting room was actually meant for holding pots and pans in the kitchen.
You have interesting displays throughout the home.
That is my daughter’s idea. She has made collections according to colour and displayed them on the walls. It can be anything that catches her fancy from family mementoes to curios and other interesting objects.
Large windows are also a favourite feature in the home.
Yes. The windows let in so much light. In fact, we had the windows in the downstairs bedrooms enlarged and they now open into our back garden. We sit out in the veranda here and have breakfast or tea.
Tell us about the lovely tree-house in the garden.
We got the idea on a trip to Disney World when our children were small. There they saw a replication of Robinson Crusoe’s treehouse. And my husband casually promised them we would build one at home. He had to fulfill his promise and It was a favourite hangout throughout their childhood. They even slept in it the first night. It was their secret club, they had meetings there, food was carried up…
And now my grandchildren love to play there when they visit. My grand-daughter takes her books, a fan, her paints and spends time there. Snacks are taken up.
You have also lived in different countries. Did you pick up pieces everywhere?
We have lived in Dubai and Milan and we bought things there as well. My daughter is really the one responsible for arranging everything and displaying items. She is an artist, some of her paintings are up as well.
She has also had many of the furniture pieces made as well, like the cabinets and shelving in the entrance and the bench and table there.
There is a very cheerful vibe in the front study and casual lounge. You are not afraid to use colour.
The study used to be my father-in-law’s bedroom which we renovated some years after he passed away. The room gets a lot of natural light.
The lounge is a sunken space which was an unusual design feature back when we built this house.
The colourful walls are again the work of my daughter who has the artist’s eye.
Team HomeLoveLifestyle spent a throughly enjoyable afternoon in this creatively decorated, cosy family home!
Photos by Naeema Kapadia