Social media has the ability to tint most things with rose-colored glasses and pretty filters, making it hard to determine what’s real and what’s not — so when you come across an account or feed that feels genuine and good, you tend to take note. That’s how I felt when I happened upon artist Tahsin Dhirani’s Instagram feed over one year ago.
Fittingly known on the interwebs as Tahsin “the good,” everything about Tahsin radiates positivity and authenticity. From her bi-annual “The Good Exchange,” a gathering of likeminded individuals who meet for an afternoon to swap soups or salads (feeding their bellies and their souls while raising money to support a good cause), to her artwork which heavily features uplifting and positive words, it appears that Tahsin’s mission is, simply, to do good.
It’s no surprise that the home she shares with husband and Toronto real estate broker, Mase, and their two young daughters, Daaniya and Niyya, exudes the same positivity, authenticity, and brightness. “I want it to feel homey, a little arty, light, comfortable, and relaxed… I like clean walls and artwork,” Tahsin says of their home, which is just a short trek north of Toronto in Vaughan, Ontario. “I want it to be a very inspiring place for everybody in the home. I want my girls to appreciate the beauty of handmade things and design, because design and art are extremely important to me.”
While the bones of the house are similar to those of many other suburban homes built in the mid-2000s, it’s the attention to detail, design, and purposeful injection of family memories that sets it apart. The mostly white walls set the foundation for graphic artwork, created primarily by Tahsin, punctuated with colors that carry through the entire home; creating a palette of black, white, shades of pink, gold tones and wood.
Equally as influential to the home’s atmosphere are spiritual routines, like an iPod that softly recites the Qur’an in Daaniya and Niyya’s room throughout the day. “… For us, Islam is a way of life,” Tahsin shares. “My husband and myself consciously make decisions of how we’re doing things. The Qur’an being recited is important — it’s soothing.” Add in a healthy dose of found objects — sometimes literally found curbside, other times collected on family vacations in places like Morocco, Egypt, and Mexico — and you’ve got the makings of a home that’s far from cookie-cutter. And while some spaces like the living room and master bedroom remain unfinished projects, they are well on their way.
What the Dhirani family has created is not only a beautiful and functional home, it’s a work in progress that feels genuinely authentic. It’s a sanctuary that inspires everyone who enters and, most importantly, the family that lives there. —Kisha