Interior designing

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.


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  1. Assalam o Alaikum sweetest Shireen
    Glad to see beautiful home build with all the heart and soul. It can be seen. Remarkably decorated.
    You promised to visit nd give me suggestions too.
    Waiting ?
    Loads of love your way

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      My dear Kiran,

      I’d love to visit your home, IA one of these days, we shall plan it out. I’m so glad you liked this blog post on this lovely home. Lets plan something soon. Take care, and stay blessed.

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