Nirah’s Cozy Shabby Chic Home

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We are really excited to share a peek inside the home of our long-time friend and client Nirah. Her love of travel, antiques, and her time spent studying costume design, all come together to create an interior decor style that is elegant and cozy with a touch of whimsy. It’s such a lovely place; a true reflection of the people who dwell within.

Thanks Nirah for letting us into your home, and for answering all of our burning questions!


1. How would you describe your decor style? 

I would describe my style as Shabby Chic. I love beautiful old items with history. I tend to go for a whiter palette with pale pink, blue, yellow and pale green thrown into the mix. I love comfortable furniture – overstuffed cushions and couches (you can never have too many pillows!). My husband jokes that I love anything falling apart and it is true – I am drawn to anything with chipped paint. My custom pink armoire from henhouse (pictured below) is a good example of my style.


2. How do you go about finding decor items that are just right?

I look for pieces that remind me of something – a special person or place. For example, I love maps of special places (our honeymoon spot), old china that reminds me of my grandmother, a lamp made out of shells to remind me of the ocean.  I have pretty much scoured every second hand store looking for antique Christmas decorations because it reminds me of my childhood.


3. The gorgeous hutch in your dining room is by henhouse. How did you go about commissioning a custom piece?

Ooh that was such a fun process!  Sappho asked us specifically about the needs of the piece (was it for storage, display, both?).  She knows my style, so it was easy to come up with a design, but we did look on Pinterest to get some ideas for the details.

She brought over different wood finishes and paint options, and we looked at how those would work with our existing furniture in that room. Then she drew it up, we made a few changes, and then they built it!

Originally I wanted a smaller piece, but she convinced us the space needed a bigger piece, and she was right!  It holds so much stuff and is gorgeous! People always comment on it when they see it for the first time.


4. Do you have a favourite furniture piece, or decor item? Why is it your favourite?

Oh I have so many!! I have a desk in my bedroom that was my grandmother’s – I used to watch her put on her makeup at that desk. From her I also inherited a set of Venetian glassware that have tiny pink flowers and green leaves on the stem that I adore (those are showcased in a the henhouse hutch we commissioned!). A turquoise blue mirror I bought on our honeymoon, a painting of a ballerina that my aunt did. We have an art wall in our family room covered in my kids art – that’s very special too!


5. Over the years you have commissioned a number of henhouse pieces, and spontaneously bought others- what drew you to those pieces, how do those pieces and how do they fit in with your style?

I LOVE all of our henhouse pieces.  If they were antiques from the store, I picked things that were a combination of  functional and beautiful.  Our first henhouse piece was an old cupboard with yellow chipped paint, it looked like it was used in an old kitchen.  We put it in our bathroom and it became our “linen” closet.

We have commissioned other pieces from henhouse, usually they are pieces that we want to stand the test of time. Our dining room table is a big dark wood table with leaves that hide inside (function!). We wanted it distressed so that we’d never worry if our kids banged on the table or scratched it when they did homework.

Our hutch that henhouse did is a perfect combination of beauty and function. It has a french country look with gold leaf, and had beautiful shelves to display my china collection, but also big, heavy duty drawers to hold cooking pots and other heavy items.


6. Do you have any advice to share about creating a look that is unique and your own?

I think your home should be a reflection of everything you love!