Mazia Irfan calls herself a ‘manager’! With a girl and two boys to look after, this full-time mum is forever busy, organising their school activities, play dates, birthdays and the like. However, that hasn’t taken the sheen away from her vivacious personality nor has it stopped her from following her passions – cooking, following fashion trends and hosting friends! Forever trying out new recipes (‘I am always on the phone with my mum in Karachi, planning menus and jotting down recipes’ she jokes), Mazia loves inviting people over at her tastefully-done up Meadows villa.
And it’s easy to see why her home is her favourite party area. A house-proud woman, Mazia’s personal touch can be seen in every corner of the five-bedroom villa. “I can’t remember going anywhere and not picking up things for my home. I adore everything related to a house. I am also always moving things around and adding new pieces,” she laughs. And it shows! The house has a warm, welcoming and very beautiful vibe that make it an ideal chillout zone.
One thing that strikes you when you enter the villa is the feeling of space. Airy, expansive and with lots of natural daylight streaming in, the house has a great garden view from all the main windows. Plus, it has a beautiful outdoor space where the family spends lazy weekends. Mazia says the house ticked all the boxes she ever wanted in her living space. “It gets so much light throughout the day, we put in the gazebo and enjoy sitting out in good weather, watching the boys play football or swimming,” she says.
To make it more convenient, Mazia knocked down a few walls to give it an open floor plan and added bigger windows for a better view of the garden. She also opened up the foyer. The kitchen, an important space for the family, got special treatment since she and her daughter spend a lot of time in it. “We actually spend a lot of time in the kitchen, all our family discussions take place there, our kids mostly do their homework there as well,” she adds.
Of course, her love for entertaining guests makes her kitchen doubly important. Whether it is breakfast at 8am or lunch for her kitty club or dinner with couples, the most important task is deciding the menu! “Food plays an important part in our lives. I love trying out different cuisines, Thai being my personal favourite. With the lovely weather outside, we have been doing lots of barbecues with friends and kids. Then next comes table setting; from elegant and easy to minimal and feminine blush, I enjoy and love collecting decorations for my dining table. And last but not the least, comes the dessert. It always makes me happy to end my day with a scrumptious dessert,” she smiles.
If the kitchen is important, so is her main living room which is open ended with one space flowing into the next, creating a great energy flow. “I like the fact that it is unrestricted by walls and closed spaces,” she says. “Also, I want to be able to use each and every corner of the house. My husband and I spend time in the TV area so that’s my favourite too!”
On the décor front, the villa is all things classic with a bit of contemporary thrown in. “Every piece of furniture should have its own identity and character,” she says. It helps that Mazia, having worked with an interior designing firm before, has great taste and aesthetics and it’s not surprising when she says she worked on the interiors herself. In her task, she was aided by her sister who has an interior design and furniture business called sketch_workshop. “I was always picking her brain,” she recalls. “But I love her taste, so a lot of my pieces have been designed by her and we placed them together when she was in town.” She further elaborates on her choices. “All my furniture and accessories reflect the classic yet modern look. I prefer putting a twist to most classic things.”
The house is also filled with curios and knick-knacks she picked up from around the world that add a unique character to the space. From ‘happiness pots’ she collected from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan to gorgeous tapestry and fabric for upholstery from London, crockery and dishware (Baccarat and Christofle being top favourites) to coffee table books and art, Mazia’s home shopping spree has resulted in an eclectic and stunning space. Once again, there are some pieces that remain her favourite, especially the ones that hold emotional value. Like her grandmother’s old silver pieces and her mother’s silver tea set. “Those things are very special and close to my heart because of the sentimental value they hold. I have also got some of the very old artwork from her,” she reveals. The art in her home, she adds, speak volumes about her with its radiant colours spreading the mood of happiness.
The focal point though is the foyer table with lots of flowers. Mazia is in love with flowers and believes they can transform a place. “I always have flowers in these vases, even when no one is expected. I just adore indoor plants, they give that finishing touch with warmth and colour.”
With the gorgeous décor, well-appointed rooms and interesting bric-a-brac, Mazia’s home would be considered a dream for many. But her own concept of a dream home is equally fascinating. “I would love a house overlooking a park or a golf course with a nice wraparound garden and a conservatory right in the middle of the house that would make an ideal spot for my morning tea. I can then have as many plants as I want. I would prefer a white colonial style house with lots of pillars. I also love high ceilings, corridors and verandahs, overlooking flower beds and perfectly manicured lawns. Natural light should come in and there should be great ventilation. The most important part of the house is the view because for me, without a view, there can be no house – no matter how functional or spacious!” she declares her wish list.