The Corner: With Omer Nabi

Interior designer and owner of Studio O, Omer Nabi walks us through his favourite space

Minahil Qasim January 15, 2017

Interior designer and owner of Studio O, Omer Nabi walks us through his favourite space, his eternal drawing room in his 29-year-old family home

Omer Nabi’s family home is located in the suburbs of Lahore. This house was built in 1987 by Nayyer Ali Dada, but has recently been renovated by our host. As soon as we enter the main door, we are awestruck by the art pieces in the hallway by Salman Toor, Gulgee and Sadequain. Our host walks us into his favourite space — his drawing room through a wood-panelled, sliding glass door.

“Our drawing room had become really shabby after my mother passed away, as nobody was looking after it as such. Then, 10 years ago, while my father had gone to Sri Lanka to meet his college friends and was bringing them back with him, I decided to renovate this space,” Nabi explains.

The space incorporates warm, light hues with marble tiling and large windowpanes overlooking a lush garden. Vintage couches and chairs that belonged to our host’s mother have been reupholstered in muted colours, and add a classic touch to the drawing room. A textured, contemporary fireplace designed by Nabi is insync with the theme of the space. A Studio O mirrored coffee table rests on an antique family carpet. White roses placed on reflecting abstract mirror side tables, which have been designed by Nabi, add a fusionist vibe to the area. A beautiful wooden, ethnic table that was bought by a local kabariya sits smugly in the corner.

“Most of the furniture and pieces in this area belonged to my mother, from the couches to the wooden chairs to the side tables. I did this space for my father and as parents are very passionate about what they have collected over the years, I ended up revamping and using most of her pieces,” replies Nabi when we investigate why his statement contemporary pieces are missing from this room.

As we look around the room our host directs our attention towards a white lamp and heartily shares, “I bought and hand carried this all the way from Holland when I visited my sister. I absolutely fell in love with the way it glows from inside. However, it was sitting in my room for the longest time, as I couldn’t decide where to place it. Finally one day I brought it down to show my mother, but when we opened the box it was broken! Then I ran to the bazaar, bought a lot of Elfie glue and glued it back together that same night, like a jigsaw puzzle.”

The paintings by Quddus Mirza and RM Naeem to name a few are displayed on a muted wall, inspired by the colour of the sofas. The soft shade particularly shines in the drawing room, as it allows art, furnishings, and other accent pieces to take centre stage. Nabi’s family are avid art lovers and love to promote art. For this very reason, he will be launching an art gallery in his Studio O space this month. “Art just makes me really happy. Not only does it bring calm and is aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds life to a room,” our host smilingly shares.

A multipurpose room where the family can entertain guests, relax and cuddle up next to the massive fireplace, where each and every piece in the room has a story to tell. We leave our host’s space having learnt a valuable lesson on the importance of a family holding onto its roots, and its memories.


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