sneak peek: shirin sahba + na’im moore


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!

  1. Love the bursts of colour in the living room! And that hot pink headdress. Gorgeous.

  2. Rachel says:

    Beautiful!! I am a fan of your art and I love your style. Thank you Design*Sponge for giving us a peek :)

  3. Cymbeline says:

    Gorgeousness!

  4. Payam says:

    Awesome. I love clutter free!!

  5. Kirstin says:

    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?

  6. shalini says:

    What a lovely home. Loved the artwork and fabrics.

  7. delta moshiri says:

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

  8. Jaja says:

    Great inspiration!

  9. casey says:

    they are adorable!

  10. sharon says:

    What a beautiful space! Love the paintings and blasts of hot color against white.

  11. al says:

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

  12. sarah says:

    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

  13. erin says:

    I love how clean & white that kitchen is!

  14. Luckybeans says:

    It’s lovely, Shirin! I wish I could see it in person. It is such a welcoming, beautiful space.

  15. Layla Moshtael says:

    what a beautiful space – so inviting & charming!

  16. Suz says:

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

  17. Shirin Sahba says:

    Thank you all for the delightful comments!
    @Kristin: you can see my artwork at http://www.shirinsahba.com
    @Al: you’re in luck because the pink bed cover is from Ikea!

  18. Betty says:

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

  19. GB says:

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

  20. Betty says:

    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

  21. kay* says:

    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)

  22. caroline says:

    It’s very very beautiful!
    I love the tree!
    Which is its exact name?
    Thanks

  23. Clare says:

    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!

  24. I love Shirin and love this beautiful home. Totes agree with the Eames philosophy…

  25. Houmed Arjomand says:

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

  26. Chris Mock says:

    It reminds me of your home here….Just goes to show a space is really a just a canvas. I miss you guys!!

  27. Kanabato says:

    What a wonderful nest you have made! Truly enjoyable to watch!

  28. Gail Walker says:

    A truely inspiring home!

  29. Caro says:

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

  30. Victoria says:

    So charming! Delightful! Your space is so bright and cheery. Thanks for the peek!

  31. Parviz says:

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

  32. Shirin Sahba says:

    @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.

  33. Chelsea Munion says:

    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 ;)

  34. yuhline says:

    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.

  35. dianne says:

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

  36. Donald T. Streets says:

    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

  37. Kirstin says:

    I didn’t notice that it was your artwork! I love it! Thank you for sending the link!

  38. mini says:

    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..

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.