This bright and airy seaside apartment has a warm welcoming appeal combined with a fresh young vibe. The space reflects the spirit of the homeowners, a vibrant young couple who share their home with a beautifully fluffy, if haughty, ginger cat. Aswah and Zain’s home is always open to family and friends who invariably fall in love with the apartment’s spacious, airy feel and the stunning seaside views.
You have moved in recently. How did you go about furnishing the whole apartment?
I had some furniture because we had earlier lived on our own in Islamabad before moving to Karachi and staying with my in laws. Then my mother was emptying out her house and I took lots of hand me downs from her; like the sofas which I have refurbished.
Also, we had an office which we recently wound up so I used pieces from there as well.The open-style sideboard in the dining room which has a very scandi-style vibe is actually the shelves taken down from our office.
Then I did add a few new pieces and lights etc. I have fondness for lights. I didn’t want too much going on and relied on the plants and a few statement pieces.
There is an interesting collection of memorabilia on this rack. What’s the idea behind it?
It is basically a timeline of things I have lived through in terms of technology. There are my old iPods, MP3 players, gameboys, old phones etc. Technology changes so fast so something you put your heart into, like filling an iPod with music, becomes obsolete in a few years. I really liked the idea of displaying these things. Then there is the typewriter and the gramophone which were gifts to add to the theme.
Does the gramophone work?
Yes. My husband gifted it to me. It is over a hundred years old and actually still works. I have one record to play on it and am looking for more.
You are very fond of thrifting and re-using things.
Absolutely! This wall decor is all thrifted from junk literally…old wedding cards, calendars and the frames are discarded picture frames which I have painted black.
The feature wall in your hallway is extremely original. How did that come together?
Someone had cut down a tree and I collected the branches off the road. I wanted to use them somehow and I came up with the idea of making a sort of de-constructed forest. So I collected old bottles and jars and filled them with plants and hung them on the branches.
There is a profusion of indoor plants in the home. A lot of work goes into that.
I have always grown up with plants around me since I was small. They were always part of the house, because my mother loves plants. They would literally crowd the house and we would be scolded for touching or breaking them. (laughs) I love how plants just have such a cooling , calming effect, I’m very fond of my plants. I even have a special playlist which I put on for them.
Is there a favourite piece of furniture or painting in the home?
I’m very fond of this painting which is by my husband’s aunt, Rubab Uppal, who is an artist. I was there when she painted it. I saw the process of her pouring what she was feeling onto that canvas. So it’s very personal and special to me.
Your favourite thing about this apartment has to be the view.
That and the fact that it doesn’t get very hot here because it is away from the city. But yes, the view is amazing and everyone gravitates to the balcony outside.
Your bedroom also has a stunning view. Does it ever get old?
The sea never gets old because it does something new every day with the changing weather, the moon and so on. It looks different every day. I do my yoga in front of the big window overlooking the sea and it’s amazing.
You don’t have a dressing table but have come up with a novel solution.
Yes, dressing tables don’t work for me because I don’t like leaning over a table into the mirror. These shelves work wonderfully to hold all my make-up and I prefer to stand close to the mirror and apply my make-up.
What is your favourite spot in the home?
The lounge. I sit on the sofa from where I can see the whole apartment. I have all my devices at hand and this is where I sit and work.
You run an online community called ZAS. Tell us about that.
Put very simply, ZAS is a community where we share things. We all have things we don’t use but don’t get rid of. It could be anything from items of personal use or medicines to furniture or books. So we put them online and whoever wants can take them. No money is exchanged; it is giveaways , barters and exchanges. I came up with he idea when the covid pandemic began and it had become difficult to procure things. Since then, the community has taken on a life of its own and we have over 20,000 members now.
I also do collection drives to gather things from people’s homes and find a new home for them. I also held an Open House where people could come and collect what they needed. The last one was a huge success and I plan to do another one hopefully.
Photos by Naeema Kapadia