Bold & Beautyful

Sadia Rasheed’s sig­na­ture style under a micro­scope

By Nazish K Sid­diqui

Sadia Rasheed is a name to be reck­oned with. Those already in the know can attest to her bril­liance and aes­thetic sense. In the past four years she has become the pre­miere Inte­rior Designer, her work, par excel­lence. As she pre­pares for her exclu­sive, invitation-only exhi­bi­tion slated for April, Val­uemag delves deeper into the mete­oric ascent of one woman’s quest to make this world beau­ti­ful, one room at a time.

Sadia Rasheed made her foray into the artis­tic world early on, doing murals in posh Lon­don. Once here on this side of the pond, she spent time at the illus­tri­ous PSFD before going to work with style guru HSY. It was at this point that Sadia decided to break out of the pool, over­crowded with too many swim­mers, and make her own waves in another field, “I felt that inte­rior design gave me a much larger can­vas to work with, com­pared to fash­ion design.”

While doing free­lance mural work, she also worked on hand painted cus­tom fur­ni­ture, which was her first “the­matic boys room with a sports theme where paint, fur­ni­ture, cur­tains and acces­sories were indi­vid­u­ally designed and where many of the acces­sories were sourced from abroad.”

Her hus­band Rashid Rasheed is a promi­nent and suc­cess­ful Lahore based archi­tect, who has been very sup­port­ive of her work from the start, “I got a lot of sup­port from him, and (from his com­pany SR Design­works) I learnt how to use dif­fer­ent soft­ware, put pre­sen­ta­tions together and how to struc­ture a busi­ness.”

From bare walls and empty space to the fin­ished prod­uct, Sadia designs the entire space. She can find her inspi­ra­tion in almost any­thing; fab­ric, tex­ture, design, pat­tern, prints, motifs, color or even a his­toric era. “I’m very color sen­si­tive, so the use of color is very impor­tant to me.” In terms of her own par­tic­u­lar design style, Sadia describes it as “con­tem­po­rary but with a warm look to the room. Clean lines, low key fur­ni­ture, sim­ple con­tours, bold col­ors and pat­terns being key ele­ments. Bold use of color and pat­tern is my sig­na­ture style. It’s what any­one can come to expect when they com­mis­sion me to do their inte­ri­ors.”

bold & Beautyful bedroom“Whether it’s a client or for my own home I like to cre­ate at least one fea­ture wall in the room, it’s the color which cre­ates the atmos­phere sense in the room. Any­one can stick a few col­ors together, but to under­stand a rela­tion­ship between dif­fer­ent col­ors is not just an art but involves sci­ence; which ones work together and which ones clash, which com­bos are rest­ful or stim­u­lat­ing.”

As a top notch Inte­rior Designer, Sadia sets her­self apart from would be copy­cats and imi­ta­tors by work­ing for a very select clien­tele, and jus­ti­fies her actions with her desire to con­cen­trate on as few projects at a time as pos­si­ble to devote as much time as she can to each one. She places great impor­tance on being able to over­see the tini­est detail in her work. For those of us oth­er­wise artis­ti­cally chal­lenged indi­vid­u­als, Sadia divulges sage advice on putting together a room (or home) with a uni­fy­ing theme: “Style is multi dimen­sional; it’s about per­son­al­ity and lifestyle. It has to be a reflec­tion of you. Theme is a trend, or re– cre­ated envi­ron­ment. Once you’ve decided on a theme, iden­tify your focal point in room then it’s a mat­ter of sup­port­ing the idea, coor­di­nate through your color palette, pat­tern, fab­rics and accessories.…keep fur­ni­ture sim­ple.”

“Try to mix and match acces­sories, this is what gives your space its indi­vid­u­al­ity. The acces­sories and paint will solid­ify uni­for­mity. Elim­i­nate things that don’t fit into the theme decor or mod­ify them to suit over­all theme. Try to look at things on a whole not at indi­vid­ual things in iso­la­tion.”

When it comes to the cur­rent trends in home decor Sadia has her fin­ger on the pulse of inter­na­tional and local demands. “Retro is in, chrome, vinyl and plas­tic has been revived…but in the local mar­ket the major­ity of peo­ple are not adven­tur­ous as far as trends are con­cerned.”

“Con­tem­po­rary wooden fur­ni­ture with clean-cut lines is more in demand. Trends tend to come and go. To be cur­rent in décor it is wise, instead, to use trendy acces­sories and play with color schemes…furniture is not some­thing which every­body wants to change so often…I like to play with the color palette, pat­tern and fab­rics,” she says.

“The inter­na­tional color trends for this sea­son are egg­plant (dark pur­ple) and tan­ger­ine (orange). The clas­sic black/white combo is all the rage, cit­rus and acid col­ors, too. Fab­rics with dif­fer­ent tex­tures espe­cially woven flocked fab­rics in unusual col­ors are what’s hot. The “IT” acces­sories of the day are piles of books, wind chimes, can­dles and more can­dles!”

bold & Beautyful BedRoom The April exhi­bi­tion promises to be a real treat for the senses, “I’ve been doing this for the last 4 years and it’s about time peo­ple got a bet­ter idea of what a com­plete look is. A fur­ni­ture exhi­bi­tion is sup­posed to pro­vide an expe­ri­ence and I want to pro­vide my tar­get mar­ket that expe­ri­ence with the com­plete envi­ron­ment, with coor­di­nated acces­sories and wall fin­ishes. Such high qual­ity fur­ni­ture is not avail­able in the mar­ket. There will be a dif­fer­ent range of items avail­able from hand painted children’s’ fur­ni­ture, uphol­stered pieces… and the rest you will find out!”

All the fur­ni­ture and most of the acces­sories are designed and made to order locally by Sadia’s hand­picked crafts­man, under her keen eye for detail and per­fec­tion.

When it comes to doing up your own crib, Sadia Rasheed offers these vital Do’s and Don’ts of Inte­rior Design:

  • DO think out­side the box. Give your­self the free­dom to be unusual or
  • Cre­ative, it’s always appre­ci­ated.
  • DO remem­ber that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Appro­pri­ate scale, pro­por­tion, color, com­po­si­tion and bal­ance will cre­ate
  • a beau­ti­ful result for any project.
  • DO make sure your home has a soul and is not just a SHOW PIECE!
  • Do allow for nat­ural path­ways in a room
  • Do iden­tify focal point of room
  • Do pur­chase the best qual­ity fur­ni­ture you can afford
  • DON’T cre­ate mul­ti­ple focal points in a room. The eye gets con­fused.
  • DON’T expect your room to last you 10 years because it’s so unre­al­is­tic
  • And after 2 years you would want a change.
  • DON’T under­es­ti­mate the knowl­edge of pro­fes­sion­als!
  • DON’T try to MATCH every­thing!
  • DON’T be afraid of using color.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nally pub­lished in the print edi­tion of Val­uemag, issue 1, May 2008.

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