Interior designer and interior architect, Atika Shaukat, welcomes us into her favourite space — her grandiose indoor veranda
On a warm winter afternoon we make our way to Atika Shaukat’s house located in the outskirts of Lahore. A teal main door detailed with African Wangi wood and slabs of onyx, opens up to a beautiful indoor veranda, where our amiable host awaits us.
The double height indoor veranda is the main focal area of the house. Here the large windowpanes with a picturesque view of the lush garden and terrace allow ample sunlight to brighten up the house. A wooden Indesign table, ornamented with ceramic mother-of-pearl statement pieces from China, sits on the entrances’ marbled floor inlay made of onyx. The textured, cream coloured walls adorned with traditional qandeel lamps and paintings by various artists add to the grand ambiance of the space. We are mesmerised by the impact that the passion fruit and grape vines, pressed against the upper story windowpanes create. A ceiling with arched wood slabs and a classic American hunter fan, add to the timeless appearance of the space.
“The man behind this space was Wasif Ali Khan, a senior architect who was adamant that this scenic indoor yet outdoor veranda has to be made, and spaces such as the study, the stairs, the living room, were to be built around it,” Shaukat explains while handing us a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. “I love natural light and greenery so the concept of an indoor veranda just brought it all together. We kept in mind how hot it gets in the summer, therefore the area is enclosed, however it manages to keep the entire house warm and well-lit,” she elaborates.
The main hero of Shaukat’s indoor veranda is the fountain made in onyx and we can’t help inquire about it. “This fountain is my baby, not only did I design it, but I was involved in it till it’s execution. I wanted a fountain that gave a rocky, outdoorsy feel so I ordered these onyx stones from Karachi. I kept them uneven and as natural as possible. The water circulation system is designed to give a bubbly, natural stream effect.”
All the pieces in Shaukat’s veranda, from her 20-year-old reupholstered velvet couch with 3D embroidery to her Egyptian head armchairs to her console to her glass coffee table to her Ghilaf-E-Kaaba and Ghilaf-E-Roz-E-Rasool wall hangings, gels in well with the space, whether its modern or traditional. “I love mixing and matching as I can’t seem to stick to one theme, thus my space is contemporary yet classical with a touch of colonial. One does not get bored like this and it’s more long lasting than sticking to one theme,” our host explains while gazing around her veranda.
We leave our host’s house feeling inspired as her indoor veranda not only serves as an extension of a living space, but also provides a transition zone between the house and the garden. Furthermore, it provides ample space for relaxing and celebrating countless moments with family and friends.
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