Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: shirin sahba + na’im moore

by Amy Azzarito

I’m super excited to end today’s peeks with our first sneak peek from Beijing, China. We’re glimpsing the home of artist Shirin Sahba and her husband, Na’im Moore, a consultant. During their six years of marriage, the couple has moved six times. (Shirin blogs about their adventures here.) They moved into this flat in Beijing only a year ago with (literally) just a couple suitcases filled with their favorite personal possessions. Shirin has become an expert at making their latest residence feel like home as quickly as possible and with as little as possible. It’s part of Shirin’s philosophy — no matter how temporary your home, make it feel like it’s yours so that you can focus on living life in the present. She uses the Eames “select and arrange” philosophy, which allows her to view each home as a work in progress and a field for experimentation. And the huge positive to this lack of stuff means there’s less clutter to deal with. Thank you, Shirin & Na’im! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: I commissioned this large painting of an elephant by a miniature artist in India. He was completely willing to do a huge painting even though he usually does tiny little manuscripts. The antique suzani was a gift from my sweet sister-in-law from her trip to Turkey. The bolster cushions are my own design. We keep snake plants in the bedroom to serve as a natural air filter, a big consideration in Beijing!

Image above: I have been painting a lot of circular paintings recently; I find the shape so calming, like you are peering out of a boat window. Due to my occupation, there is no shortage of paintings on the walls and in every corner of the rooms.

This seven-foot tall fiddle-leaf tree makes me so happy! Notice how packed the place is with paintings! Anywhere they can fit, they shall go! We also adore all things Eames! My mama taught me to only use fresh flowers, and the flower markets here are so fabulous. I’ve never seen such variety in all my life.

The rest of Shirin’s home tour continues after the jump!

Image above: We have this wild collection of leather juttis, chappals and babouches from India and Morocco that were either bought or gifted to us by our loved ones. We wear them all the time. The Moroccan pouf and babouches are from our incredibly talented cinematographer friend who is always traveling to shoot movies and brings us fun loot!

Image above: Our favorite part of the flat! We both adore cooking and hosting dinner parties. I love the streamlined minimalism of the cabinets and fixtures, so we bought appliances to match the look. My favorite part is there is a washer/dryer (both in one machine) in this tiny kitchen, but you wouldn’t know it because it’s sleekly designed. The coffee makers are Alessi & Rancilio.

Image above: I love the natural light that floods in through the big windows. We kept the furniture quite modernist but then added the eclectic bohemian bits that reflect our personality to soften the look. The red otomi is from Mexico, the vase from a local antique market, and I designed the cushions.

Image above: More circle paintings! We collect headdresses from around the world. This one is a Cameroonian juju hat. This pink mixed with a bit of orange is the stuff of my dreams. Thank goodness my husband adores pink, too! The Buddha is from the antique market here, and I’m always adorning him with my jewelry; it suits him!

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  • Great space!! Who is the artist who painted that beautiful blue/violet horizon with the single tree? In the living room behind the white chair?

  • Shirin joon, I wish I had two of a Each piece of your Art…Amazing they are, and so hard to choose….!

  • lovely! i have fallen in love with your pink bed cover and am keen to know where i may find one.

  • To Kirstin: It’ll be shirin who painted that circle of lovelyness. just discovered her work and its gorgeous. love the flat. Read the first para which inspired me to have a hard look at doing something with my temp surroundings, I may need a skip

  • I love spaces that shout “Shirin Lives Here!” It’s you and it’s beautiful. I love the circle paintings.

  • What a beautiful and cozy home!!!! Now you need to invite us to your lovely home:-)! xoxo

  • Love the flow of light and energy in the space! And I have to agree with Suz above: Shirin totally lives here! Gorgeous home!

  • I love your home! It is so beautiful and cozy! Now you need to invite us all to your lovely home for some coffee:)! xx

  • so happy and excited to see one of my favourite artists featured. loved getting a glimpse into her home – i adore all of the colour! shirin’s art is a breath of fresh air and i can’t wait to get home to invest in one to adorn my walls (and remind me of my time in india)

  • That elephant painting is great! Did you commission it online? If so, could you provide the artist’s info? I would love to have something similar!

  • Gorgeous!! Love the space- it’s as beautiful as you two love birds:) Adorable!!

  • Oh my gosh! What a lovely place! And your art is so wonderful! Is there anywhere I can buy prints?

  • The beauty of your spirites have been reflected in the beauty of your home, so cheerful and delightful.

  • @Caroline – the tree is a Fiddle-Leaf Fig!
    @Clare – the elephant was commissioned in person by a street artist in Delhi.
    @Caro- please feel free to contact me at shirinsahba @ gmail.com for more info about my artwork.

  • Shirin! what a delightful surprise to see you and Na’im on my weekly look see of Design Sponge! Hope to run into you again, perhaps back in Haifa ;)

  • na’im is wearing a tie and flowers in his hair! fancy! hope you guys love china! if you go to shanghai, lemme know! I’ll hook you guys up.

  • aaahhhh… lovely! colorful but well-balanced. pick-me-up but not shout at me. and some special photographs on the table. ¡qué lindo!

  • Dear Shirin and Na’im,

    First of all, since visiting Scandinavia in 1959, and through about 20 subsequent visits to Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Finland, with a short couple of visits to Norway, I am addicted to modern design. So when saw these pictures I really was so completely impressed with the beauty, the simplicity, the clean, straight lines, the lovely colors, and the artistic orchestration and arrangement of everything, including the orderly arrangement of the shoes! What came to mind is a quote from the 20th Century scholar Alfred North Whitehead: “Order is the lure of beauty; and beauty is the teleology (or purpose) of the universe.” There simply cannot be beauty except upon some foundation of order, not for its own sake, but rather in the creation of beauty; and that both are prerequisite ingredients to gaining an understanding of the purpose in all of creation. Prophet Founder of the Baha’i Faith is often referred to as “The Blessed Beauty.” And that “Beauty” is being achieved through the establishment of His World Order. So, here is theological support for the insight of the relationship between order and beauty, and between beauty and purpose stated so many years ago by Alfred North Whitehead. When one sees a lovely thing–a painting; a sunset; a stunning mountain range, etc.,what one senses either consciously or unconsciously is the underlying order that must be present for its accomplishment. This, dear friends, you have achieved to a spectacular degree. Thanks to dear Faribouz for sharing this with me. Much love, Don

  • i was just browsing through the comments and was wondering why no one has commented on the circle paintings..i haven’t come across any and it is so very novel idea..really wish painters would start painting more on circular canvas..