Open Airy Feel in a Family Home

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1958

This lovely home in Karachi has an open airy feel accentuated by tall windows leading into garden spaces. The family home reflects the graciousness of the owners and is a warm and welcoming space for friends and family. The house is full of memories, including two weddings, and is now a second home for the grandchildren. Aalia Mausoof welcomed us into her home and showed us around.

open airy home

When was this house built?

We moved into this house in the year 2000. I like things to be a little different, I don’t like what everyone else has. Luckily the architect, Tariq Hasan, and I were on the same page and we worked very well together.

open airy home

The architect told me that couples fight a lot while building a house (laughs). But fortunately, we didn’t have that problem. My husband left the creative side to me and the architect. He just told me not to re-do things, not to break anything.

Having said that, my husband went and picked out the marble for the flooring from the factory marble and had the pieces cut in front of himself. Then I oversaw the laying of each piece, selecting and matching them.

All the rooms overlook the garden areas.

open airy home

Yes, all my doors open into the garden, including the formal drawing room. Even my bedroom upstairs opens into a terrace garden. This also allows a great flow of space when we have guests.

Do you entertain often?

open airy home

Well, during covid not at all. But otherwise I have had fairly large numbers of people over, especially in winter when we use the garden as well.

Who has done the interiors?

It was done by me. I don’t like clutter, I like clean lines. A lot of the furniture is by Zahra Ibrahim, especially in the lounge.

Her team also used some of my existing pieces and upgraded them. For instance I had these small Chinese cabinets which have been incorporated into a wall shelving unit.

The tables in the entrance are also by Zahra Ibrahim. She had two but I asked for a nest of three. Other pieces were picked up on our travels, some from Africa.

You have some beautiful Chinese furniture. Where did you get those from?

My sister lived in Shanghai for some time and my mother stayed with her for a long spell. During that time she had time to visit the furniture markets and she picked up all these pieces for me. They were later shipped back with my sister’s things.

Tell us about the purple wall.

open airy home

A friend’s brother suggested that I paint the wall purple and I liked the idea. It was a bit risky but this has become a very popular feature wall for photos, especially bridal shoots for my children’s friends. In fact, my home has become known as the house with the purple wall!

Is there a favourite object in the house?

I love my brass and copper pieces, especially this samovar which belonged to my maternal grandfather.

Who chooses the artwork?

open airy home

I do. I like calligraphy but some walls are still bare, it’s a work in progress. Then I always wanted a good quality carpet depicting a hunting scene and I got the one in the drawing room from Afghan Carpets. The large calligraphic piece with the gold leaf is by an artist from Lahore.

This little patio next to the dining room is lovely. Is it used?

open airy home

It is. In fact, whenever I host a family gathering, I have an uncle who always sits there.

You have a beautiful garden. Are you fond of gardening?

I love plants but I don’t really know much about gardening. I have good friends who helped us plant the trees and landscape the garden and my mother is very fond of plants. She gives me a lot of input.

Photography by Naeema Kapadia