From Mundane To Contemporary

By Sumeha Khalid

interior... This week You! takes a look at Nishat Ikram Khan’s renovated townhouse
which has been turned around from a regular four bedroom house into a two bedroom spectacular modern abode...

Any remodelling or renovation project can seem overwhelming, as restructuring a house not only requires aesthetics, but needs inspiration to turn it into a dream home. When Ms Nishat Ikram Khan decided to move into her recently acquired townhouse, she had no clue what was about to come. “When Asad I. A. Khan, architect of the house and I along with my daughter Afreen Shiraz walked through the house, we were unsure of what it would look like,” recalls Nishat.

The townhouse had a regular ground floor with a bedroom and living room while the first floor housed the living quarters. “I did not want a typical ground floor. As we walked through the first floor I realised that the space was enough for me. So we decided then and there to tear down the walls and to restructure the whole place,” shares Nishat.

As Nishat was travelling to America the very next day, for a month, she asked Asad and Afreen to have it finished by the time she gets back. “On my return, I was in for a surprise. Architect Asad, who is also my brother, did a great job of renovating the place and Afreen did all the hard work when it came to interior designing. She spent her nights and days at the house making it compact yet beautiful - transforming it from a mundane into a contemporary and modern house. It was nothing like what I had seen the first time. This was just the kind of contemporary living space I had always envisaged and now I was standing right in the midst of such an ideal setting,” she elatedly states.

Talking about the architectural aspect of redoing the house, architect, Asad I. A. Khan shares, “Basically it was a four-bedroom townhouse which was too big for Nishat. Keeping her need in mind we decided to convert the upper portion of the house in an apartment style space for her. So we settled on two bedrooms, a patio and a big sitting area with a kitchenette and a balcony. We managed that by pulling down the walls. In Karachi, renovating a house structurally is quite easy as compared to other cities like Lahore and Islamabad. That is because the construction in Karachi is based on columns and beams. Just by removing walls we managed to give a whole new look to the upper floor.”

According to Asad Khan, one thing that has to be kept in mind while restructuring any place is that it has to be done aesthetically and intelligently. “The renovation should be done in such a manner that it looks perfect. And that is also my expertise. As an architect I enjoy taking on such challenging projects. Once I renovated the house, Nishat’s daughter, who besides being a great entrepreneur is astoundingly creative, further enhanced the look of the place by decorating it.”
The idea since inception was to make it a clutter free zone. “There are so many secret alcoves and cabinets that have beautifully taken in all my cutlery, crockery and other household items,” says Nishat.
The entire house has been done in soft hues such as off-white and ash grey. Not to forget the furnishings; almost all the pieces are old but have been redone, upholstery has been changed keeping in mind the colour scheme that gives the furniture and the house a whole new look. The living room opens up in a lovely patio which is one of Nishat’s favourite hideouts. “I love to spend time in my balcony in the mornings and evenings. I open the doors whenever I have a party at my place and light it up with candles to create the perfect ambiance,” she tells.
Nishat loves each and every room in her house. Be it the well lit living room or bedroom, she makes it a point to spend a certain number of hours in each and every space. “I love to enjoy every corner of the house so I make it a point to spend a few hours in every room,” she shares.
“I am so glad Afreen designed and decorated the house for me with her husband Shiraz’s support. It’s cute and cosy just the way I had wanted. I’m now waiting for Afreen to set up her Ellemint Salon 2 on the ground floor sometime soon,” she signs off.