The Transitional Style of A Pakistani Residence

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

Of the many design styles that exist, the transitional style is often favoured by many designers due to its versatile nature in blending both traditional and contemporary styles, and in mixing lines, colours, furniture, approaches and materials. This eclectic approach to design is getting more popular amongst residential and commercial spaces in recent years. Indonesia Design has recently visited the Pakistani Ambassador's residence that beautifully captures the essence of the transitional style.

Built as part of the Pakistani embassy complex in 2007, this house was designed by Indonesian architect Adhitya Sasongko after extensive consultations with Pakistani architects. The result is a two-storey L-shaped house that is connected to the embassy.

The house is inspired by Islamic architecture, with mosaic-tiled round domes and geometrical samples popular during the Mughal era in the 15th century. The facade of the house features a round dome silhouette by the entrance. To give that modern feel, this residence uses a beige and white colour palette that brightens the entire ambience.

The layout of the house itself is dominated by a large sitting area that opens to a high ceiling dining room and a guest room. The sitting area is divided into three separate islands and is filled with natural light during the day, thanks to the skylight in the ceiling. Not only that, this area is also one part of the residence where we can see the transitional eclectic interior style combining various items from Pakistani fine artworks to Indonesian and oriental-themed bric-a-brac. Ambassador Mohammad Aqil Nadeem and Madame Tahsina Aqil conduct many of their social affairs here.

Being a career diplomat, Ambassador Mohammad Aqil Nadeem joined the Pakistani Foreign Service in 1984 after acquiring his Masters in International Relations. He arrived in Indonesia two and half years ago with Madame Tahsina Aqil, who is a passionate follower of art and interior design.

“I have always loved art, which resulted in my early entry into painting. Later, I fell for interior designing, which led to my admission for graduate studies in the US. Due to vagaries of diplomatic service, I could not complete my studies but two years were sufficient enough to add to my interest in the subject,” says Madame Tahsina Aqil.

With a penchant for interior design, Madame Tahsina Aqil did the whole interior work inside the house with some suggestions from her husband. She has quite an open mind and gets inspiration from many things. “My style of decorating is more transitional eclectic. But being an artist and an interior designer, I like many other styles of designing and decorating, like minimalist and modern styles. I want occupants to be seated comfortably in eye-pleasing environments. I leave sufficient space for easy movement in the house.”

The couple has been an art collector for quite some time now and most of the artworks inside this house have been chosen as they allude to social or cultural aspects of Pakistan and its political struggle. One of the most valuable highlights is a canvas print from the famous artist Sadequain. He was highly acclaimed for his large murals and calligraphy which he often made integral to the painting. The house is also decorated with two exquisite pen and ink sketches of another famous Pakistani painter Abrar. The series of artworks within the house achieve a harmonious contrast.

To the couple, the key to designing a home is to find the balance between comfort, elegance and style. Few meaningful decorative items continue to follow the journey of this two to wherever country they get posted to, including handmade Pakistani rugs, paintings of famous Pakistani artists and pieces reflecting their great heritage.

The transitional eclectic design in this home gives its own originality and uniqueness. It is a style that works for both of the owners being in diplomatic service, where they have to move every three years from one country to another. “My transitional style of decorating also enables me to meet the challenge of merging the furniture acquired and left by previous occupants of the residence,” says Madame Tahsina.

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Erza S.T.
Erza has pursued his great passion for opera and classical music for over a decade. His brainchild, the Indonesia Opera Society, has produced many classical music concerts and operas, and recently marked its 10th anniversary with a gala production. He is also a journalism lover focusing on luxury, lifestyle and travel stories, which he files from datelines around the globe.
Bagus Tri Laksono

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