The Fighter pilot’s beautiful home.


 A home in Islamabad built with pride and love.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved interior design magazines, and books. More than that, one loves visiting beautiful homes of friends and acquaintances. It just makes you feel great.

As you know, I’ve been writing on different homes in Islamabad. You can see my previous blog posts here and here.

Love to share Pakistani homes:

I find such pictures of homes in Pakistan, more inspiring as these are made from local materials and by Pakistani architect, contractor and laborers. Totally home spun. A place built with pride, and lots of love.

I met my friend Nabila in 1994 when my husband was posted to Sargodha Base. We had just moved into our house, when Nabila walked in with a beautiful stain glass on mirror wall hanging for me.  In those days she made stain glass miniature paintings on mirrors.  So, our mutual interest in arts was an immediate bonding factor.

Her children are equally talented and doing well in their lives now.


Today, I’m taking you to my friend Nabila’s home. We were neighbors, in the year 1998 when we lived in the air force colony in Islamabad.  We’ve known each other for the last twenty four years. Every home of hers held these qualities of grace, beauty and comfort. Now that the couple has built their own home, I asked her, if I could share it with you all, my readers and followers. Happily she agreed.

Nabila’s husband was a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force.  He flew aircraft in the busiest Bases in Pakistan Air Force, including the F-16, When I met them first in 1994, it was in Sargodha Base. Now, they are settled (after retirement) near my home in Islamabad.

So, when I visited her yesterday, I saw many things in her home which I’d always wanted in my own home, especially those brick walls in that color. So, in a way, her home reflected many of my dreams too. It feels good to see someone accomplishing your dreams too!


As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy in all states. If one can complete one’s plans, fine. If not, then its fine too, as you have achieved other things which you wanted, in the mean while – yes, my MBA, books and a few more stuff.

So, each one of us makes their home what they want. It is not just the finances, but also the other elements like good planning, management and timing. I know, they waited a long time and worked hard to get to this point in their lives.

What I love most about my friend is her candid responses. She has no false airs and graces. This is something, I find extremely charming and endearing.

Pervaiz Vandal, a prominent Lahore architect said ‘the time spent with your architect communicating your personal requirements, is never wasted. It is the most important.’ How can an architect build your house without knowing what you want? A home is a very personal thing and it needs your personal time and full attention. In fact, the moment you step into a home, you know, how much communication there has been between the architect and the client. Also, how much the whole family was involved in the process.

So, I knew the moment I walked into the home of the AVM and his wife, that here was a house that was well thought out. Each nook and corner, very carefully planned and worked out. Both husband and wife have managed with mutual support and love.

The Exterior :

Frank Lloyed Whright the great architect believed that the house should look as part of its environment. It should look as if it is growing out of it. That is why local materials looks wonderful. Here are some pictures of it.



The garden:


Details in nooks and corners:


The philosophy while building a house:


In Karachi  I interviewed Aqeel Bilgrami for an article on architecture for Dawn newspaper, he said, ‘while planning you should plan for  ten years, life changes, so planning beyond that isn’t wise..’ Ten years. Now, I can see how right he was!

Even you aren’t who you were ten years ago. How can that same house be fine for the new you? So, just plan for the next ten foreseeable years.

The kitchen.

Special touches in this house:

Spaces have been utilized for easy maintenance and maximum value. The windows have been made to enjoy the views from every vantage point. I love the way the staircases have been made so interesting.

There are no curtains in the entire houses. Instead, there are special wooden Venetian blinds. The other thing I love are the book shelves in most rooms, which is something I love also. Every room was designed to enjoy the view of the mountains, even the stair case. The first floor balcony has a lovely garden where a barbecue has been planned on the terrace nearby.

The brick accents in every room, give a personality and charm to the rooms.

What about you?

So, what do you think? If you are still planning on building your own house, how would you plan your dream home? I’d suggest, make a Ring bound folder scrap book of your dream home. Keep adding your ideas in it. Put in pictures, drawings, and things, it can also be a folder in your laptop. The most important thing is to be  open to fresh ideas.

This house is truly something beautiful that came out of the couple’s efforts. I pray that they find happiness, family strength and peace within it’s walls.


The upholstery project

Hello Everyone! You gave me such a wonderful response to my previous blog post on how I revamped my parents’ room here.  I was flooded with questions about it afterwards. Yes, I get most on my Facebook and Instagram accounts where I share the blog posts also, as well as on WhatsApp with various groups.

So,  as you might have guessed, I’ve regularly changed the upholstery of my furniture after every few years. It is more economical than getting new furniture, and it brings in a fresh new look to the home.

My friend Ayesha said that it also removes any unpleasant or difficult  vibes and memories that each furniture item might have gathered during its’ use. Also, it is clean and plain hygienic too. Just removing that old cloth to replace it with new one along with the foam etc, does help to refresh it all. It is literally as good as new now.

Actually, my philosophy is to buy a reasonable cloth so I can keep changing it often. Mostly people buy such expensive and exclusive materials that they last so long and you have to live with it for years and years! I love to refresh and make changes within every few years, depending on my economic status. In this process, I get to give benefits to the workers too. – Usually giving them food while they are at my place, and obviously they get an opportunity to make money too.

You can see what a back breaking job it is. Please do be kind to them.

This is how it looked previously! It was around twenty five years ago, I also needed a change.

Your questions:

  1. Where is the shop?

Well, I go to Gul Khan fabrics. (This is why I love blogging so much, I can take names of places and brands! Previously I’ve been to Curtain Museum and to Khan fabrics also.)

You can go to any shop in your city or town. Go to one which is reasonable and has a large enough variety too. Once I was lucky to go to one which was closing down, so I got excellent bargains there. Also, watch out for sales there. So, if you do such things often, you can pick up materials as you go. Remember to save up left-over cloth and materials like foam, after each session. These will come handy later on. If nothing else these make good cushions. I’ve done this work in Karachi, Sargodha, Islamabad and Peshawar. This is his Facebook page. Do not get upset by the designs shown there, you can make your own stuff more graceful and decent.

  1. Where did you get the upholstery men?

Originally, he was recommended by the shop where I went for the fabric. When they came to my house, and I spoke to them, I found out that one of them had worked with someone I knew very well. She had a furniture shop and I knew this man had worked there. So, there was this old connection. Ever since, I’ve only called him up and he sends the guys. His name is Murtaza and his phone number is: 03005105729

  1. How much did it cost?

The cost depends on the cloth, the making charges which is the ‘labor’ and the materials needed.

  1. How much do they charge per seat?

It is Rs.1200 to Rs.1500, depending on the design.


How to go about this upholstery project:

(This is how it looked previously!)

  1. Keep gathering as many items as possible: With experience,  I’ve found out that they don’t like to do small projects. So, I won’t call them if there is just one sofa set to be done up. They won’t come. When it is a big enough project, then they will come happily. So, I just keep making a list of all different items around the house that could do with the change. It makes sense, as it will save your time and money too.  So, in my case this time, it was:
    1. My mother’s Victorian sofa set of 3 +2 + 1.
    2. Then I got the hospital bed done up for her, (which I had got for my father, earlier. We found it is very handy to raise an elderly person to a sitting position in bed to give them water or food. So, I got the  bed head and foot board fully upholstered with cloth left over from the sofa set.
    3. Bed head of master bedroom.
    4. Window seat of living room.
    5. Single-seater of another sofa set. (The other 2+ 1 seaters were fine, so I didn’t do those.)
    6. Turned a center long table into an ottoman.
    7. Then did up the red 6 – seater which my mother brought with me, into a yellow one!

So, this was a sizable amount of work for them to come to the house for. It was feasible for them and for me.

  1. Meeting with upholstery man first: So, before starting the project, you have a meeting with the man in-charge, in my case he is Murtaza. During the meeting I showed him what I want. The shared vision will enable you to make an accurate estimate of costs. So when I show him the pieces that need to be upholstered, he will tell me how much cloth I need to get for each furniture item. Remember to ask him according to 1 ½ yard width cloth and also for double width ones (specially for curtains if you are wanting. – ooops! That is the next project. Shhhh! You see when you go to the fabric shop, it pays to get curtain material too, to save you an extra trip, even if you aren’t getting it stitched yet!)

So, during the meeting I made a note of:

  1. Number of items to be upholstered.
  2. Making Materials needed for all the items such as foam and Samadbond etc. He said nails will be on-the-house.
  3. Cost of labor for each item.
  4. Time: How much time this project would take. Remember it can be slightly more or less, but it will give you a fair idea.
  5. His availability: The person will inform you of his or his worker’s availability.
  6. Make the approximate estimate: A graph or table, with specifics for each situation. So, you get a clear over-all picture of your situation. Now, you make a rough estimate of how much the project will cost. The more detailed your planning the better will be your estimate.
  7. Decide and Clarify with him now: So, be clear now, if you still want to go about it. If you are not sure about certain things, tell him. Be very candid with him. (Don’t you want him to be the same with you?)
  8. Check out designs on Pinsterest: Do, your research and get as clear as you can about what you want. You can even check out my Pintrest account, and find the number of sofa sets I looked at. It helps to clarify your mind. I just wanted a fresh look, and my purpose was to brighten up the room. Remember not to get carried away.
  1. Trip to fabric shop and getting the fabric: So, actually, it was Murtaza who referred me to this shop. When I went I found it really good. My mother had gone with me, so we got the stuff. I saved her quite some money by changing the design a bit, the more expensive material went on the cushions and rest of sofa set had the self-colored material. We came back happy, and then I called Murtaza to send his men.
  2. Have shared vision with your workers: So, he came with the workers and took the advance for the materials. He had already checked to see how many sofas would need new foam and how many could use the old ones. I had showed him the cloth I had from previous sessions. So, they knew how and when to use my previous stuff first.
  3. Save wherever you can: Yet, I give them food daily. Once they said, my domestic help didn’t give them tea, I asked them to get it from nearby shop, as my helper had too much to do. (I was busy with other projects as usual.) So, they understood. Make sure your own domestic help also isn’t too over burdened. A little consideration for one’s staff is important.

Important note:

Yesterday, I had a very sensitive talk with Murtaza while we were making final calculations for the payment. Afterwards he told me that he really likes to work with me, and his workers can work peacefully with me. He used the word ‘sakoon’.

He said, ‘you never haggle with me on prices, and I myself give you concessions wherever I can. He said, the inflation has grown so much, naturally, it is hard for everyone to manage. He said, when people try to haggle and say, ‘my friends got this work done for lessor! And try to pay less during final payments.’ It is very upsetting. He said, it is tough work, and look at the prices everywhere, so if our prices are raised why do people haggle so much? He said, the other thing is that you never come to criticize the work of the workers. You support us and then trust us. That makes us give you our best. We like to help you too. He told me how one of the workers had save me around Rs.3000/- of materials by tediously joining up old foam pieces here and there, to help me save money. So, this he said one only does when one is personally interested in doing for the client.


So, here is how I help them to give their best:

  1. Trust the persons involved.
  2. Watch, but do not interfere. (I’m sure you have had nosy and interfering bosses at your own workplace, you know exactly how it feels! Why do it to your workers here? )
  3. Do not haggle on prices unnecessarily. It is better to get more reasonable materials, and pay the workers well.
  4. While giving them food, give them whatever you are having. If it is something special, why not share with them? Do it for God’s sake, for God’s sake!

The fact is that buying some gorgeous suits for yourself, means you do it for yourself. Also, you wear it once or so many times. The rest of the time it is hanging in the cupboard. When you upholster your furnishings you get the pleasure of looking at it on a daily basis. It gives a beautiful back ground for your whole family. Let them feel happy being in a home that is well cared for and well maintained.

Be happy and make your family members happy too. Stay blessed! 😉


Reboot yourself by re-upholstering.

Salaams to all. This one is more about getting yourself back to normal after a difficult spell in life. It maybe a personal tragedy, or just a terribly busy spell in life. When you come back to your own life, you find that almost everything has changed.

Nothing is as it used to be.

So, how to find your own self?

Well,  I use the terminology of ‘rebooting yourself.’

You know what ‘reboot’ or ‘restart’ means?

Definition – What does Reboot mean?

Reboot is the process of closing and starting a computer or its operating system from the initial boot loading sequence. This process reloads the operating system files and is used to fix many common computer problems, such as slow processing or freezing.

So, back to my topic, to reboot myself, I have a theory that really works for me…. Let me show you. I love to do an activity which will keep me physically and mentally involved. Best one is painting, or writing for me, but another is driving, or just plain upholstering my furniture items around the house. 


Yesterday, I had someone over, saying he loved his mother so much;  when she left the world last year, he felt so lost. He wants to gather himself and his life, but is finding it too hard. The loneliness is too much. He misses her a lot, as wherever he looks he finds her memories.  So, you know what I suggested? That he should offer his sisters any of the furniture items they want.  After all, they have sentimental connection with these, and would be happy to have most of these.  He, too could keep some for himself. This would create space for him to start a fresh life for himself. Keeping the home the same way, only makes him feel worse, as the main person isn’t there, and everything reminds him of her.

‘Re-upholstering your furniture can change all that!’ I told him.

A big smile dawned on his face. He was pleasantly surprised.

I told him,

‘it changes the dynamics of your home.’

He loved my idea.  Then it struck him, ‘it will cost some money!’

I said ‘yes, much better than paying your psychiatrist and for the medications!’

He laughed out loud.

Re-upholstery as a means of rebooting yourself:

Actually this is what I’ve done. I’ve done up my mother’s room, and given it a completely new look. She willingly contributed to the change, and I went and did the needful, it was a lovely drive to the shop with her, to get the materials. A mind-boggling time in the shop planning and calculating… and finally returning with the materials, feeling happy. (The trick is in not investing in too expensive a cloth, or you will be stuck with it forever.) In case you like a very expensive material, then use it sparingly. In my mother’s case of  her Victorian sofa set’s case, I used it for the cushions only, the rest was in a lovely shade of pink to brighten her room up a bit.  I know the color scheme is ‘colorful’, but it was needed to keep her cheered up. (Blue and gray was too close to the original feeling and colors!) I had looked up some interesting versions of modern ways to upholster these old-fashioned styles in sofas.

Of course, I have my own upholstery man who willingly comes over. So, he came and the work has begun.

Now, this is how it looks, it has changed the look of the room completely. I even did up my dad’s hospital bed, with upholstered bed head and foot board, to give it a lovely look. Now, my mother can use it  and she can be easily raised to help her up to a sitting position. So, this would be ideal for her breakfast in bed.

Other rebooting systems:

I’m telling you painting is even better. It is the best. But very few people understand.

‘My friend is paying around Rs.2,00, 000/- per month, going to a rehabilitation center, for some therapeutic treatment which includes coloring, and ranting one’s heart out.’ Said my student Izma. Then  she added, ‘I wish she had just come to your art classes!’

Yes, she could feel it too. Painting is one of the most therapeutic things. Well, so is knitting, embroidery and stitching. Well, it is anything that involves your mind and body in so much action that there is no time to feel morbid.

Depending on the time you have, and the money at your disposal, I can suggest these therapeutic activities which can help you reboot:

  1. A trip to the nursery, and fill your home with huge indoor plants. (Time: one to two hours.)
  2. Buy yourself a huge bouquet of flowers. (Time: 5, 10 to 15 minutes.)
  3. Yes, get clothes if you want, but they don’t give me that big a thrill. In the case of newly upholstered furniture, you can enjoy for several years. (Time: takes around a week to ten days.)
  4. Well, you can reset the furniture settings in your home. That also gives a fresh look. (Time: one to two hours, and months of pleasure. No cost at all!)
  5. Cook a nice dish,  serve it with a nice candle lit dinner or lunch. Use your best cutlery and crockery. (Who could be more valuable than yourself?)  This process can take  a couple of hours.)
  6. Go out for a long drive till you find a stream, seaside, river or pond. Put your feet in the water, and laugh out loud. Okay, you can look out glumly at the horizon from there – if that makes you happier. (Time: 4 -6 hours. Return with lovely pictures and videos to fill you with lovely memories. You can share on Instagram too.)
  7. What about those funny cat films on YouTube? (Yes, 20 minutes to one hour.)

I believe in doing something that needs you to be to be fully active physically and mentally too.

Nadiya Najib’s blog post on Time Management:

Well, I love the article Nadiya Najib wrote on time management. You know it is a pet subject of mine. My girls have witnessed these things in their home, and tried their own ways of doing it. You will find it here.

I’m telling you, when you manage your time properly in which you manage not only your own time but also take care of your loved ones, then you will be a far happier person.

It is a good way to reboot and get back to your ‘normal’ self!

So, when life deals you a jolt, you have to have things lined up so you can get back to normal. Here, your schedules are all ready and waiting for you.

Note: Take as many breaks as you can. You are still in ‘repair’ mode.

Look at how nature ‘reboots’ and reupholsters itself every spring! Stay blessed. 🙂

Creating and living with beauty in your home.

It is all about managing to bring beauty into your home.


We are surrounded with  art and beauty in nature.  Nature is an artists’ greatest inspiration. It is only natural to want to bring this beauty inside our  homes as well.

I’ve shared some beautiful homes with you, and have lined up some more for you in the future . Have you noticed the beauty in the home belonging to my friend Unzila here? Also the home of my friend Munazza here. I know you must be thinking these must have cost the earth! Probably they did. Yet, I’m sure the beauty part of it, can come with far less expense too.


The motto of my College of Home Economics is Beauty is truth and truth is beauty.

It is so true. One of my favorite verses in Urdu is:

Sochiye to husn kaafir kutch nahi,

Daikhiye to daikhtay reh jayiye!

If you think about it, beauty is nothing.

When you look at it, you can’t stop looking!


We look for new forms and shapes of beauty in our lives all the time.

Anyone with aesthetics always gets more attention from others. You see the great fashion icons being followed on Instagram due to their aesthetic sense.

Take a step further; beauty can be in thoughts, living styles, poetry, prose and music. You look for it in all the creative works. Sometimes, there is beauty in renditions of music and it is about your individuality.

All this is vital in our lives. Otherwise, life wouldn’t be worth it.

All my life, we used to move house every year or so. Sometimes, when we moved into a place, we knew it was just for a few months. I’m so glad, I’d do up our one-room make-shift apartment with as much beauty as I could. I’d put up paintings, drapes, lamps and furniture to make it a charming home for my husband and children to come home to.

In the end, my husband never got to live in the home that we were building together. It feels good to know, he always lived in a home which felt like a home always. As far as I’m concerned , the house where my husband and children live is our home, (whether it is rented, joint-family or one’s own!)

I’ve known people living in homes like garages. Stark and bare. This is consciously done. It is extremely unpleasant to the eyes. Then often you see them cribbing about everything. It is up to you to make yourself happy within your given or chosen surroundings.

Let me show you how you can do it:

  1. Cleanliness: A dirty place is dirty. It is nauseating and disgusting. So, do regular cleaning on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis.

  2. Tidiness: you must allocate a place for everything and put everything in its place.

  3. Choose a style that reflects your taste: Now, you can surround yourself with anything that you love. There are somethings which are a sure shot way to beauty.

    My style kit:

    1. Pictures of family, paintings, drawings.
    2. Flowers, plants, pine cones, sea shells, plant roots.
    3. Spot lights and lamps.
    4. Books and magazines.
    5. Music.
    6. Scented candles.
    7. Fairy lights.

Once you have set up your place, you need to maintain it by making a daily & weekly plan. Share your vision with your staff and family. So, you all need to be in sync. Believe me, I’ve done this all my married life.

Let me share  the daily plan I’ve prepared yesterday; it is already up on our kitchen fridge for my staff. The other copy is here next to me. You see the work has to be done, whether you do it, or you delegate it.

Staff duties: daily time table: 

Time 8.00 -9.00 am 9.00 -12.00 pm 12.30 -2.00 pm 3.00-5.00 pm 5.00-7.30 pm. 7.30 – 9.00 pm.
Hasnain. Breakfast

Clean car, Gates,


(7 am)

Dusting: Basement, kitchen cleaning.

Porch area

Make shopping list.

Pay bills.  Cleaning/ polish.

M. bed rm

Change bed sheets

Lunch: shopping for Rahim.


2.00 – 3.00 Tuition class.


Rest and break.

Tea & snack.


Check inside garden,


Clean kitchen.

Put dishes back. Nothing on sink.

Remove garbage.


(My parent’s helper, whom I manage too!)

Breakfast: of Porridge, boiled eggs, & Roll or slice.

Change & bathe sahib.



Put off geysers.

Make beds,

Clean & tidy bedroom & bathroom of sahib.


Dr. rm, tv lounge. Dining rm.

12.00 pm: Give Glass of water.



Dr. rm, tv lounge. Dining room.


Rest and break.


Tea & snack.

Check outside garden. Remove any papers etc.

Make sure garbage bucket area is clean.


Clean kitchen.

Put dishes back. Nothing on sink.

Remove garbage.

Hasnain & Sabir duties between 9.30 – 12.00 pm. Mon:

Khirkiyan aur sheeshay saaf karnay hein.

Baahir ki railing saaf rakhein.



Furniture ko polish karna hai.


Bistar ki chadrein badalni hein.

Wed. Kooray ki balti saaf,

Bahir ki kursian aur maiz saaf karna hai.


Thurs: Batiyan aur sheeshay saaf karein,


Chaadron ki almari theek karni hai.



Qaleen dhonay hein, pankhay aur nalkay saaf karnay hein.


Sat/sun: Gariyon ki safai, undar say.


Apna karma aur kapray saaf rakhein.




Rani Mon:

GF:  cleaning.


Dust / clean W’s rm.

M. Bed rm.



bedroom, dr. rm, loung, kitchen,



GF:  cleaning.

M. Bed rm.

Dust / clean w’s rm.

M. Bed rm.


GF:  cleaning.

Dust / clean w’s rm.

M. Bed rm.



bedroom, dr. rm, loung, kitchen,



GF:  cleaning.

M. Bed rm.

Dust / clean waliya rm.

M. Bed rm.

How to follow this duty chart:

Each staff member is clear what is expected of him or her. You too can check  them, by referring to the chart. (As it is a shared vision, it is easily possible). I make a drawings of the clock of that time, too if needed. I try to educate them in my spare time. Recently, I’ve kept a tutor to have one of them taught.

As you see I’ve written some stuff in Roman Urdu for them.  You can write in Urdu script even, if needed. Also, go over it all with each one, to see if they’ve understood it.


What about you?

Do share your thoughts with me. I’d love to know it.

More Links to inspiring bloggers:

I’d love you to follow these inspiring bloggers (if you aren’t already doing so!)

Shahzeen link: http//www.the

Urdu Mom Link: http//

Diary of a PMP Mom: http//www.diaryof

Vital point:

I know, many of you keep telling  your husband how educated you are,  and deserve to be given your due. Very true.  Show him how educated you are, by the way you  manage your  home. It is wonderful to walk into a home which is well organized, beautiful and in the hands of a capable homemaker. 



Stay blessed, my wonderful Readers. Remember, I am here, because of you.

Note: Special thanks to Nataliya for her amazing photography,  the rest of the photographs are taken by myself.

Café Garage – a refreshing addition.

– A perfect place to hangout for the youthful among you.


‘ Cafe Garage, is a new place in E-11,  which is quite interesting. It has a garage look and is called ‘garage’ too!’ My daughter mentioned it to me, some time back. I made a note, to check it out, and forgot about it. Recently, when I visited it, I found it quite fascinating. Apparently, it had its ‘soft launch’ in February 2018. It is a different kind of place, designed for the youth and youthful in mind.  I’m sure you’d love to know more about it.

Some days ago I got a text from Mahroosh, one of the partner/owners and we had a snack there. It turned out that their other partner Basil (who is an electrical engineer) is running the place. It was designed by their third partner Ebne Sajjad (Noni) who is an architect from NCA. I really loved its’ plan. So original, and it has several levels to it. The best part is that it is functionally designed, and has an open plan. So you can see the whole place from wherever you are sitting.

Continue reading “Café Garage – a refreshing addition.”

An Elegant Home – Part II

20180918_151914After my last blog post on this Elegant home in Islamabad, many people wanted me to do more posts like it. (Actually 87% of you!)  So, here is the rest of my friend Munazza’s home. In case you missed the last post Here it is.


A beautiful home is probably everyone’s dream. 20180918_152102.jpgWe all would love a beautiful ready-made home to live in. But we also know that a lovely home like this doesn’t just happen. It is years of constant loving care that goes into it. We know, it needs constant maintenance, buying of expensive items and lots of care.


The best thing is that whenever you invest in  your home, and take care of it, then you can enjoy the things for years to come. When the family is surrounded with such beauty, it is reflected in the temperament of the inmates too. 20180918_152231.jpg

Its been great meeting my friend Munazza and her husband AVM Qasim through the years, actually about twenty four years. Many of the items you see here, have been with them for a long time. She has  kept the furniture looking  fresh and new. Even I have many furniture items which my parents got for me when I got married.  Just re-upholstering the furniture and getting the wood  polished makes a big difference.


Adding new things which will blend in with the stuff you already have makes all the difference. Everyone is welcome at her home. Whenever I go over, I find her husband’s or her own family members there. When her brother-in-law got posted to Islamabad, she asked him to stay with them. So, she is so big-hearted, that her hospitality and open-house is there for long term also. Her mother-in-law has her own room here too, and the guest room is always full. When my daughter Nadiya got married, the entire baraat – boys’ family stayed with her.

Here are the interior points that I love in her home, which you can have in yours’ too:


  1. A home needs to be beautiful and comfortable as well. Specially, it is important for the guests to feel welcomed here. 42254666_2157130270986920_4583052618221223936_n.jpg
  2. When you have an interior with many artifacts and art works in it, then the upholstery of the furniture needs to be self-colored and plain. So that it makes a good back ground  to let you look at the art works without being distracted.
  3. Having natural plants inside the house is great also. Every room has plants outside its’ windows. So, one feels close to nature at all times.
  4. Books and book shelves are in most rooms. Their daughter Maha loves books, and has a unique book case in her room. 42119631_2157130384320242_414035487284527104_n.jpg
  5. There are artificial flowers too, but these are blended in so beautifully with real plants that it all looks lovely.
  6.  The carpets, furniture, books and paintings reflect harmony in choices. Blending these with the traditional styles together.
  7. The look here is definitely grand, traditional and stylish.
  8. The dining room is the perfect setting for the grand dinners which are given here. The delicious dishes cooked by Munazza and the line up of different cuisines is something to relish and enjoy. 20180918_182056.jpg
  9. It gives a happy and comfortable ambiance full of items reflecting their taste. The best part is that it is all very comfy.
  10. 20180918_181929It is important to be clear about the kind of style you want to have in your home, so whatever you buy fits in with the original style. In this way,  the whole house has that same ambiance every where. 🙂



An Elegant Home in Islamabad.


Truly, I cherish my friends. Especially the ones whom I’ve known for a long time. Maintaining these friendships is my greatest happiness and joy.



AVM Qasim and Munazza have been known to my husband and myself since 1992. (I’m sure my husband has known bhai for a much longer time.) But I met him and his wife when we were in Badaber, Peshawar. This colony had been originally built by the Americans, but when they left, it was taken over by the air force.  In those days, Waliya was just a baby, and I was a freelance journalist in Peshawar. My articles often got published about Peshawar, in  Tuesday Review of daily Dawn (newspaper) and Women’s Own magazine.

Continue reading “An Elegant Home in Islamabad.”

  My friend Unzila’s home

Unzila has a lovely home in Islamabad. I often drop in at her place and feel like sharing what I see. So, this time I thought I better go ahead with it.


We both enjoyed ourselves, as I sipped the tasty lemon grass green tea. Hurriedly, I snapped away with my mobile phone’s camera and then it was a quick trip through her home.

Continue reading ”  My friend Unzila’s home”

How I built a Studio apartment in my house.

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–          The synergy factor!


Sometimes, you are faced with a situation which feels overwhelming, and quite impossible. But the fun part comes, when you end up doing something even more ‘impossible’ due to it. A synergy takes place, and you come up with an idea, which is completely new and thrilling.

That is what happened in my case.

All the rooms in my home were taken up, and I wanted to make a special room for my Nadiya. How to do it? At that time, my tenants were the wife of a Shaheed officer, and there was no way, I was going to ask her to leave. So?

I looked at the floor plan of my house. I found two store rooms and part of a small veranda in the basement, which, if cleverly used, would make a lovely studio apartment. It was a risky plan, as the entire house rests on the basement. So, I went to my architect Mubeena Nasir. She liked the idea. I had said, that when we break that load bearing wall, for the doorway, we can build it with an arch. An arch is the strongest opening.

No more foundations could be made, so we just built the walls with the huge cement block ‘bricks’, which she said were just fine. We kept the marble floor. I wanted a rough look to give it that special texture on walls. I had planned the interior already.

One store room wall was already, in a terra-cotta color, so that terra cotta set the main theme color of the studio apartment. I did offer my daughter a small kitchen and laundry area, but she refused, as she would be using our kitchen and laundry anyways.

My daughter loved the walk-in cupboard which came out of the shelves which were in one of the store room walls, so we left it as it was, and added rods underneath to hang clothes. Later I added a dressing room area, also. The upper shelves could be used for off-season clothes and items.

My father funded the whole project. My old team of workers on my house, the architect Mubeena Naseer, carpenter Haji Sharif and plumber Nazir and Nadeem helped build the bathroom and walls. We all worked with great zeal to finish this project within a month or so.

The washroom windows were made with help of glass bricks. I tried to have plenty of natural lighting, by putting clear glass over the doors.


The Nayatel system and internet was connected. A television added along with the furniture, and accessories. Nadiya got together with her sisters to add her charming style.

This is how the studio apartment in my home was completed. Now it serves as my guest room.

It seems, my experience and knowledge of Interior Designing had come to my rescue.

Stay blessed my reader. 🙂

Warning: Only try such a project by consent from your architect and interior designer.