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Maaram and Aabroo have changed their interior four times since the start of the salon each time with different and more daring idea then before

By Zonaira Chaudry


n Pakistan, beauty is a big business. Traditionally the salons were customary hangouts for women, intent on grooming and personal care. These places were typically noisy with an earsplitting mix of blow dryers, music and conversation in the background; making it difficult for you to think let alone make conversation with your stylist. Mirrors were another typical feature. Usually there were racks filled with beauty and hair care products. This was what beauty parlors were usually about; mirrors, products and repulsive sounds. Thematically speaking, space age metallic and silver décor was the “in” thing in those days.Victorian fantasy

Today, modern has become old and old has become modern. The beauty salons have become more than just a place where you can get a haircut or a manicure, for regulars these salons have become havens of peace, relaxation and rejuvenation. These are the hip new hangouts for women of all ages. One such secret hideaway is the place called Maram Aabroo. Maram Aabroo opened in 2005 and is co-owned by two friends Maram and Aabroo who are basically fashion photographers but also specialize in make-up and interior designing. “Maram Aabroo” is not only a beauty salon; it is a fashion photography and bridal studio too.

The interior is personally done by the two. For a moment anyone stepping in for the first time may perhaps feel as if they are a part of another world. The décor shows Maram and Aabroo‘s inventiveness, creativity and wild imagination. The interior is one of a kind, simply outstanding. Each room gives a different feel and mood. The salon is basically two rooms joined together by a small passageway. At the entrance, there is a waiting area for the clients with typically unusual mango walls adorned with different paintings. One wall documents their work, creatively hanging on wooden frames, instantly catching your attention. The room gives the impression as if you are being frozen in time in a decaying burnt room. The theme of the rest of the salon is Victorian. As soon as you enter into the main salon through the corridor you will feel a radical and pleasurable transformation. The passageway has a low candle chandelier giving an instant focus to the room. The walls are papered with gold and Victorian paintings giving a very opulent effect.

My favorite is the main room of the salon. The room has a single parlor chair with a round mirror lighted, and only is reserved for one person at a time. The walls are done by a set of two wall papers one with stripes and lines and on the other side it has the same wall paper with similar background but with a floral pattern. Even though they are similar in color but the visual impact they give is different. There is larger low chandelier in the middle which is the main attraction of the room. The room is also decked up by striking embellishments in paintings, unusual yet attractive boxes, stools and a couch from that period in time. There is a snack counter in one corner and in the other corner you can see a rounded walled space which has a massage bed for beauty purposes.

A room beyond in lime green comes in view but you can’t guess its purpose, this is the wash area which seemed much more than that, yet again triggering my imagination. The colors used in the entire décor are those which we would not normally dare use in our homes but when juxtaposed they look lovely and give the space a unique character. Maram and Aabroo have changed their interior four times since the start of the salon each time with a different and a more daring idea than before. They believe that change in the environment is necessary to work more efficiently and competently. It’s also pleasant for the client. Even though they may not be formally trained in interior design but research, observation, interest and the artistic eye are the ingredients that make up their  interiors unique. “Our salon has a very exclusive clientele. While designing, we kept in mind the functionality of the space, the maintenance factors, tried to use out of the ordinary color schemes to enhance the uniqueness. We wanted to make our clients feel as if they have walked into luxury. As clients enter they should feel relaxed. To give full value for money they spend here is our top priority.”

I would define Maram Aabroo, as a fusion of Victorian with a French sensuality and a hint of mysticism just to keep you thinking of what lies beyond the next door. If you want to be treated like a princess for a day, Maram Aabroo is

just the place. Who could deny a day full of pampering and supreme extravagance? Its something we all deserve and crave. Being treated like a princess for a day is every woman’s childhood dream. Dreams can at times come true. ■

Victorian fantasy

Magazine Layout: M Asif, Photos: GM Shah

victorian fantasy

This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 3 – July 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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