Overload’s Farhad Humayun bares the bones of his private dwellings and reveals sophistication and style
By Nazish K Siddiqui
Pakistan’s fusion musical scene can never be complete without mentioning Overload. Their fusion of east and west, inspired by the great legends of rock and metal is unique and stands out in a crowd. Similarly the band’s drummer Farhad Humayun and his wife Asmaa Mumtaz-Humayun have created a home that is a fusion of “his and hers” style. Farhad and Asmaa were gracious enough to let Valuemag roam around in their private space.
Having shifted from a spacious home in Gulberg, the couple’s cozy new Defence home is now the upstairs portion of a multistory home, with the main floor being the domain of Farhad’s parents, the basement containing a recording studio and home office, and the upstairs being the swanky living area.
Designed by renowned architect Wasif Ali Khan, the upstairs floor space is done in neat boxy squares and rectangles, in a unique layout that doesn’t make for a boring space. The mini foyer is minimalist in its frills and lace, with a door sized mirror that leans against the wall, where two loud orange traffic cones (courtesy highway patrol) stand guard. They lead into the lounge, which branches off on the left, to a niched seating area done with boxy suede chairs with plush cushions done in camel that could easily double as casual dining. Natural lighting from the outside is complemented with recessed lighting plus a huge adjustable overhead floor lamp done in brushed steel. A console table and a coffee table in dark wood complete the area.
An open kitchen faces the seating arrangement and is done in rich woods, fogged glass and heathered tiling. To the right, two rooms make for the couples bedroom and Farhad’s art studio. A large and open terrace is framed by tall sheets of sliding glass, giving an almost unobstructed view of the greenery across the street, illusioning a home in a forest. The L-shaped sectional sofa in the lounge is soft and comfortable in an earthy suede finish, and the new age take on the traditional Divan is a dark wooden frame topped with a neutral leather with a quilted finish to complete the unifying theme of clean lines that are all around. The seating is centered by a low slung, dark cherry table, topped with glass, and steel “polo mints” that Asmaa found in Barcelona, and boxed in with the TV at the far end.
All the furniture in the house was custom made by Farhad’s sister, renowned architect and interior designer Reema Bukhari. Though originally made with a different house plan in mind, the furniture does quite well in its current space as well. “When the furniture was first made, I wasn’t married so it has none of Asmaa’s input, it was me and my dad working with my sister, “recalls Farhad. “She would design it all and I would suggest suede or leather or the kind of wood… but in this house, Asmaa has the run of things, she decided which piece of furniture should stay and what should go, where they are placed, the accessories and wall art are all her ideas and her work.”
And truly, Asmaa’s art is on display, and complements the entire space. Above the faux stone fireplace hangs a panoramic, mixed media painting done in cool shades of green on white, and in the hall space between the bedroom hangs her thesis work from her student days, tiled on nine squares. Another series of wall art is her framed black and whites taken with a pinhole camera with true perspective.
Farhad and Asmaa’s home is multipurpose, aside from the fact that they eat, sleep and breathe there, it’s also the location of Farhad’s art studio, where he currently is working on a new series of paintings,
a sound proofed recording studio, located in the lowest recesses of the basement, and Asmaa’s home salon and make up studio.” The recording studio is completely his space, it’s padded everywhere, so you can close the doors and literally bounce-off the walls when you’re in a fit of rage, and no one can hear you, “she says.
Farhad managed to soundproof the room himself, limited severely since, being a tenant; he cannot nail or damage the walls in any way. With two layers of thermaboard and two layers of foam sandwiched together and covered in a soothing shade of cobalt fabric, half the studio feels very much like a place of peace, with a strange lunatic asylum twist. The other half is quite the opposite, storing a couple of drum kits and various instruments, its rightly done up in a deranged shade of mango.
A home as warm and inviting as its owners is a real treat to the sensibilities. Asmaa and Farhad’s little corner is just the right blend of warm tones and clean lines, dabbled with personal touches of art and style that make their home a great experience.
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 2, June 2008.