It was a pleasure to visit this creatively re-modelled family home. It is always gratifying when our readers write in. Another of our loyal followers, Tayabba, invited our team to feature her beautiful, completely self-designed home which she shares with her husband and two small sons. The young family moved into this home about a year ago and it was extensively re-modelled for their use. A stay-at home mother at present, Tayabba is a professionally trained pastry chef who will soon be reviving her line of desserts named Saint Honore, in homage to her Parisian training. She is, in fact, in the process of adding a professional kitchen to the home.
Tayabba showed us around her creatively decorated home and chatted with us over a prettily laid out tea and snack trolley.
So this was an old home which you purchased?
Yes. It was built in the eighties and needed a lot of work. All the bathrooms were changed, the kitchen re-modelled, walls broken or added as well as all the detailing like mouldings, grillwork etc was added.
The current living room was the original drawing room. And there was a small window here. The window was expanded to open into the garden. I wanted to enjoy the view while using this room. I have small children so I have kept the space clutter free and the design element comes in with the use of colour.
The formal drawing room was created by adding the glass partition to the hallway. This was actually an atrium with a pond but didn’t want an open water source in the home because of my children. Although I love the idea of a fish pond.
You chose a round dining table. Do you find it more convenient?
Actually I wasn’t looking for a round table but this one just caught my eye. It’s by Zahra Ebrahim and I added the glass since my children are still small and it’s hard to maintain the polish.
Tell us about the porcelain plate collection.
These are plates I have collected from all around the world. My husband bought me one on a business trip to Japan. It is a design from the royal household. Then we picked up some together from a flea market in Bruges; it depicts the four season of Holland. Others are from London and so on.
Is there a special object in the home? Anything with a story behind it?
This wonderful tapestry belonged to my mother in law. When my husband was a teenager, he went to Venice with his brother and bought this tapestry for her. It hung in her home for many years and when we moved into our own home, she gifted it to us. So there’s a bit of history there.
You also have a lovely modern kitchen. Do you cook often and do you eat here?
I do enjoy cooking when the weather is good and we use the kitchen to eat in cooler weather as well. It is very convenient with the children.
Is the kitchen also self-designed?
Totally. The cabinets were made in a shop in Bahadurabad and I sat in the shop directing the carpenters and experimenting with colours till I felt it was right. It is completely custom-designed to fit this space. We are also rather proud of the overhead light. We gave this plank of wood to the light shop and asked them to add the bulbs. My husband actually bought a whole tree (laughs) and we have used planks from it throughout the home.
Your children’s room has also been labour of love for you.
Yes. I took a small image from Pinterest and had the motif especially printed for the blind fabric. The rock-climbing pegs, lights etc were sourced from different places, ordered on-line to fit my vision.
You are obviously a creative person. What is your inspiration?
I am passionate about design and I am always scrolling the internet for design ideas. Actually I really wanted to pursue an art degree but couldn’t. I studied economics instead. But I still have the artistic germ. I basically love aesthetically pleasing things.
I’m always on the look out. The rugs have been bought in Islamabad, or Bara market in Peshawar. And once in a while my husband and I will go and check out the local art galleries to pick up paintings.
Does your husband have a say in the decor?
No. I usually call the shots. (laughs). But he did have one request. He asked me not to paint the living room wall black as I wanted to do. So we settled for navy blue instead.
What is your favourite room in the house?
That would be the living room. It is super comfortable and has great natural light. I love the fact that it looks out into the garden. It is a very child friendly room so my children are always playing here. And if they are outside, it’s easy to keep an eye on them. I can even curl up here for a short nap knowing they are playing in the garden.
How did you end up becoming a pastry chef?
After I got married, I decided to make a career shift. My parents-in-law live in Paris so I had the opportunity to go and live with them and take a course there. I joined the Cordon Bleu school and did a year’s diploma. This included a three-month internship at a boulangerie or bakery in Paris. That was definitely the toughest thing I have ever done.
Photography by Naeema Kapadia