The corner: Uzma Mirza

The co-founder and partner at the upscale design house, House of Zunn walks us through her favourite spot

Maha Rizvi February 05, 2017

The co-founder and partner at the upscale design house, House of Zunn, walks us through her favourite spot — her private office

On a warm Karachi evening we make our way to the House of Zunn’s showroom, tucked away inconspicuously behind a quaint, elite neighbourhood. The entrance is lined with grey cobblestones and dark wood, bringing a sense of calm and permanence. A large glass door opens up to the showroom, where an assortment of leather and classic wood furniture channel a tasteful blend of contemporary yet traditional aesthetics.

Our gracious host, Uzma Mirza, greets us and leads the way to the inner sanctum — her private office. The aesthetic of this room reflects the showroom, whether it’s the primary use of traditional materials such as wood and stone or the neutral colour palette seen in tones of beige, white and brown. The zen-like minimalism exudes an understated sophistication.

Canvas paintings lend colour and creative spirit to the room. A slew of newspaper clippings and accolades collected throughout the years, lend credibility to her work. “Why is this your favourite corner?” we question; in her characteristic, calm manner she replies, “I feel I can deal with life better sitting over here. It’s my comfort zone. Most of my waking hours are spent in this room. I use my office as a meeting place for my clients as well as a space to just reflect on things.”

This creative space has a motley collection of objects — the coffee table, a grey suede couch, the abstract artwork, and even a few frames — they are all different, yet still coherent.

When quizzed about her favourite pieces in this space, she answers: “The signature Zunn chair, the signature Zunn desk and the frame which holds a personal inspirational note from my mentor. These pieces are all very special to me for different reasons, for example this desk, it’s the first piece I had designed for my office,” she recalls. A moment later she adds, “I have Zunn’s women’s strength award and a mug from my son that says ‘World’s Best Mom’, these also hold great significance to me. And of course, how could I forget my music system. I love my music!” she smiles.

As a testament to her passion, each space feels different and unique, be it her personal office or the various displays in the showroom. She says: “I design all my furniture but the inspiration varies. For this particular corner, I wanted it to be a reflection of who I am. It had to be comfortable and functional. I suppose what inspired me was a bit of poetry and my favourite piece of art,” she concludes.

As we part this creative space, we think of the charisma and magnetism we felt in Mirza’s presence. In our few minutes of interaction with her, she conveyed the importance of beauty in our lives and also the importance of having our living spaces replicate works of art. Her words echo back to us: “For a more inspired living, life must imitate art.”


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