The juxtaposition of rustic-chic and industrial décor sets the tone of antiquated style at Nasimi Interiors.
Inside, the space radiates a cooling effect even under the harsh lights that illuminate the furniture on display in this showroom. The use of texture, pattern, and contrast creates a subtle, sophisticated look.
Naseem Omar is still setting up. She just opened the shop located along the historic furniture and interior décor district on Mombasa Road.
Within the mock sitting spaces complete with settees, coffee tables, rugs and art pieces created by Naseem in the showroom, the sofas being the main features evoke serene sophistication in their grey, cream, charcoal colours.
Even with their interesting textures.
For this particular project, she says has combined earth wooden, plain floors and natural linens to create a textured, rustic vibe. She promises every restock will have a different feel.
The sofas are made of crinkled linen and seem uniquely rough on the edges. While the natural wood accented coffee tables, craggy and weathered finish, educe a touch of untamed happy-go-lucky feeling.
She has constructed and partitioned sections of the store with exposed beams and a second-story loft lending an airy feel.
“Pairing of antiqued wood, the crinkled settees and cast metal achieves that ‘form meets function’ industrial appeal,” says Naseem. And she says she would not hesitate to advise customers looking for ideas on different living room styles to try the look.
“My instincts are toward designing spaces and comfortable furnishings for today’s lifestyles. But all of it comes from the heart. So it is as much my style as it shall be— I hope- the buyers,’’ she says.
Her creations capture in furnishings and home décor, the neutral colours and luxuriously rustic comforts from a by-gone era, with unique designs for the blithely spirited. Her stock of dining tables too has an industrial look and mechanisation.
The bigger ones are foldable to reduce or increase size. The tables are all distressed or white washed.
The store’s distinctive selections include outmoded art pieces that include mostly of lantern lamp shades and candle holders, oversized vase candle holder and glass hurricane candle holders.
Those with metal handles have a rusted finish, again in keeping with the antiquated flair.
Amongst her art collection are African inspired photography paintings and beautiful custom throw cushions.
All her rags too are natural fibre carpets made of jute sisal and sea grass material with earthy colours.
She has drawn from the African wealth of crafts too. There are bent and carved wood art pieces of various shapes and sizes that can be used not just as decorations but also as trays or bowls. Art pieces that promise to add style and character into your space.
On one of the walls is curated a gallery of flat wicker basket trays that give the wall some a geometry. Although they come in a variety of dyed colours, she has chosen tonal palette of the natural pieces adding depth and texture to the room.
“These are from Zambia but I bought them from Maasai market. My belief is that modern design and cultural style combine to create spaces that are connected, and that tell our stories as Africans. Even as we source from without we must have signature pieces that are ‘us’,” she says.
On offer too are lampshades or jumbo candle shades that promise to provide low-level lighting and table lamps to ensure that the scheme retained a certain warmth, especially when the evening takes hold.
“With the pieces, what we are offering are easy ways of adding style into your living rooms,” she says.
She says it important when using industrial elements to combine these with softer, warmer tones and textures to create an inviting environment instead of a harsh one.
She suggests blending the home furnishings she has in her shop with a mixture of exposed brick, iron framework, and timber panelling just as she has done with her space at the showroom.
The raw components are balanced out with rich, smoky grey flannels, and to create an overall sensation of rough luxury.
Naseem makes her orders—99 per cent—from a Dutch manufacturer based in China. Some she designs herself. In her next shipment which comes in next month, Naseem says she is expecting beds and leather vintage seats.
Naseem returned from Dubai where she had lived for 12 years in 2014.
“I had been working at Marina Home Interiors as a senior manager. I used to train the designers.”
But she notes that most of the items can be made locally and remarks: “If I get a good carpenter then we can them here perfectly.’’