20 questions with Negar Reihani
1 If you could shadow any designer for a day, who would it be?
Negar Reihani: It would be Sarah Richardson; I like her sense of style and its diversity very much. I also find the work of Alda Pereira and Robert Bailey very inspirational.
2 Where do you look for an obscure source of inspiration?
NR: I roam around flea markets and antique shops. I love finding pieces that I can build a story around.
3 Favourite restaurant?
NR: I can narrow the list down to Viji's and Market both in Vancouver, Sant Ambroeus in New York and Aubaine in London.
4 What’s your favourite room to decorate?
NR: I don’t have a favorite room. I like all the rooms because they each offer different challenges and excitement to work with at the same time. For example, I love working on living rooms or bedrooms because of the numerous ways I can come up with to transform the space from using crown moldings to paint, wall coverings, lighting, furniture, fabrics, etc. At the same time, I can’t wait to get to the powder room where I have to be very specific and efficient about each and every element that I use in that small space to create an impact. Kitchen design is also fun; I can spend hours planning and picking different materials and finishes and make them work together. To me, every room in the house has its own charm to work with.
5 What’s your current paint colour obsession?
NR: Different shades of white. I love how diverse this colour is; you can use it for an ultra modern space or have it work in a shabby chic, rustic, classic or traditional space and they all look good.
Mixing traditional with contemporary
Negar has used clean lines and contemporary furniture in a traditional space to create a warm and welcoming environment. The neutral color palette of the furniture blends with the architectural details of the house to create a timeless look. 6 If one song could be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
NR: Emmenez-moi by Charles Aznavour.
7 What’s the one store you could spend hours browsing?
NR: I can spend hours in any store that sells vintage Danish furniture. It’s my wonderland.
8 London, Paris or New York?
NR: Paris, Paris and Paris!
9 If money were no object, what one thing would you buy?
NR: A painting by Paul Klee; it’s my lifelong obsession.
10 What do you consider to be the most iconic design piece of the past century?
NR: Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi.
Small space therapy
Negar thinks that any small area in a house that looks wasted can be brought back to life by using the right type of furniture. This foyer is a great example of both form and function. 11 Favourite movie?
NR: Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett.
12 What’s your favourite movie interior?
NR: Gone with the Wind. I love the layers of lush fabrics, colours, patterns, architectural ornaments and decoration you see in this movie. The funny thing is that this is so not my style!
13 What do you think is the easiest way to update a room?
NR: Putting a fresh coat of paint, reupholstering the furniture and using the right amount of accessories
14 Best coffee table book?
NR: I like to leaf through photography books or look at works of different painters. It’s like visiting a gallery while you’re sitting at home.
15 What’s your fave way to spend a lazy Sunday?
NR: Sleeping in, going for coffee to my favourite coffee shop with my husband, walking on the seawall and enjoying the view, organizing (just a little bit), watching a good movie and going to bed early.
By combining soft shades of blues, greens and gold undertones with contemporary furniture, Negar has created a space that is sharp yet very feminine. The different textures that she has carefully picked and thoughtfully used in the space run the gamut from leather to silk, chrome, glass, wood and copper. Combined, they create visual interest throughout the space.
16 Do you like to be the entertainer or be entertained?
NR: I definitely prefer to be entertained but as an Argentine tango dancer, I also enjoy performing for friends once in a while!
17 What do you think is the best renovation you can do to your home?
NR: Adding a walk-in closet to the master bedroom
18 What is your fave space that you’ve designed?
NR: I always refer to the last project I did. If I want to pick something from the past, it would be a small powder room in one of my old projects. I picked a large-scale patterned wallpaper in a deep colour and combined it with glass tiles, used an oversize mirror, crystal sconces and a wall-mounted glass basin. The space looked contemporary yet glamorous.
19 What’s the biggest design faux pas?
NR: Using fake antiques (and knock-offs in general). I think if you can save and invest in the real deal, it’s great. If not, it’s not a big deal because today, there are so many resources available that you can still create a similar look, feel and ambiance without breaking the bank. I always tell my clients that creating a beautiful space with a million dollars is not a hard task; the success is if you can create a 'wow' factor within a modest budget.
20 Marilyn, Audrey or Jackie?
NR: Audrey. I think she had a timeless style and elegance about her.
From drab to fab
Negar turned the ordinary second bedroom of a condo into a space that exudes luxury.