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Sadia Rasheed’s signature style under a microscope By Nazish Siddiqui

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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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

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