Zubair Mueen’s is a virtual treasure house, full of souvenirs of exotic places and distant shores
By Umer Saud
he idea was to have a spacious house with the kind of architecture that is ageless,” explains Zubair Mueen, (CEO of Potpourri stores). Zubair and Emania started their married life in the same house that Zubair has been living in since 1995. Imitiaz Ali, the famous architect designed their place, however, the main force behind the architecture was Zubair’s mother. She wanted simple, straight lines, no curves or extra edges, or waste of space to add useless design features.
There is a strong emphasis on separate space for entertainment in their home; Zubair and his family like to entertain a lot, and since they are very close knit family, they hold regular family GT’s. The house has a number of spacious lounges and halls to hold small and select gatherings to large open house parties. The interior of the lower portion was initially done mainly by Imitiaz Ali, the architect himself with major input from the family but with the passage of time it kept changing and evolving; then Ghazala Rehman – the interior designer came into play. She is well known for her classical bent that clearly shines through from the selection of the furniture to the fabric for the curtains to the lamps and the interior accessories that gel in with the surroundings.
The drawing room, dining room and the lobby are very appropriately done with the philosophy of ‘less is more.’ The upholstery of the sofas in the drawing room is a classic and goes well with the curtains. The accessories on the side and centre table are carefully chosen and tell a story of their origin; mostly they are treasured souvenirs from their foreign travels. The lounge of lower portion is huge and gives a grand feel especially with a big window opening towards the back yard which is inspired by Japanese garden landscape.
The waterfall gives a very serene look and feel from both the windows of the main lounge as well as the basement lounge. Smaller portion of the same waterfall faces the patio and the back yard – the place to hold garden and barbecue parties.
The upper portion is Zubair and Emania’s personal living space. For the last six years, there have been many experiments that the couple has gone through to finally get what they want from Hammad Ali of Harmony. They wanted a Zen theme; which comes across very clearly from the selection of colors to the wooden ambiance. “Photographs are important to me – loads of them,” explains Zubair. Asad Farooqi’s painting sits on the wall of the small sitting place where large 42” plasma is placed. The Chinese paper lamps hanging from the ceiling give a very warm feel to this cozy place in the bedroom.
All the accessories and decoration pieces are souvenirs of their overseas trips and recall fond memories of journeys and experiences from around the world. There have been very many tours that the couple has taken to many countries and cities and the well thought out selection of these accessories was made having particular corners of the rooms in mind.
Mustafa – the little angel has his own private space already at the age of ten months. Emania did the room herself, from the color selection to the décor to the lighting down to the rugs. Overall, the house is a beautiful living experience and speaks well of the effort that the whole family has put in to make this house a home; as the famous saying goes; “there’s no place like home.” ■
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, July 2008, Issue 3