Open spaces and large windows welcome you into this spare, modern family home. Although the home was built over 25 years ago, it retains a contemporary feel and has not dated over the years in which the family has expanded and new members been added. Insia Sohail welcomed us into her home and showed us around.
When was this house built?
It was built about 25 years ago by my in-laws. It was designed by the architect Tariq Hasan and was, infact, one of his first projects. He did the interiors and the landscaping of the gardens o as well.
The courtyard outside is very beautiful and has been carefully landscaped.
Yes, that was also landscaped by the architect but the inspiration was my father-in-law’s. He would travel a lot to Japan in those days and he had a Japanese garden in mind. Hence the large rock and other elements. But my mother-in-law is the one who looks after the plants. It is a lot of hard work and she is constantly tending to her garden.
This is the perfect space to entertain as well.
Oh yes! The drawing room and dining room doors lead into the courtyard area. So we just open up the space. The outside is lit up and It looks very pretty. But I have a lovely terrace upstairs as well where I entertain more casually.
The formal drawing room also has a very spare, modern feel.
Actually you will find a lot of Japanese design influences throughout the house. In the garden, the paintings, the other design elements. The whole house was very contemporary for when it was built and has a minimalist feel.
Tell us about this unusually large sofa.
This was custom made for us by our architect. Since this is a very large room, and back then one didn’t have many furniture designers, he had this made especially. It can seat up to eight people.
He also designed these wooden cabinets to hide the large air-conditioners needed to cool this room. The architect really gave his heart and soul to this project. He had recently graduated and this was one of his first home designs.
One can spot some interesting collections.
That is my mother-in-law. She has this collection of small boxes from all over the world. And then there is her teapot collection.
Any special pieces in the home?
There are many. There is the painting done on glass especially gifted to my mother-in-law for this home. The camphor wood chest which is very old. And then the kantha embroidery cushion covers I had made. We had to change the whole colour scheme of the room to complement those cushions.
What is your favourite space in the home?
For me, it’s the upstairs terrace. When the weather is good this is where you will find me. It’s great to just sit here, enjoying a cup of tea or reading. I also entertain small groups of friends here. I love cooking and my son is very fond of cooking as well. So we do some family cook-outs here.
Tell us a little about yourself. You are a clothes designer by profession.
Yes, I design clothes. But I think of myself as more of an entrepreneur rather than a designer since I was not trained as a designer. I focus on brand building. My brand is called Insam. I am also an avid cyclist and I ride with Critical Mass. Then I also love adventure travel and photography. I often go off with friends to beautiful off-the-beaten track places in Pakistan.
Photos by Naeema Kapadia