From colour consultation and custom furnishings all the way to complete overhauls, Yaali Designs brings simple, sophisticated design ideas from around the globe together to create functional and individualised spaces. Square Foot talks with founder and creative director Rashida Hashim.
What’s your background? How did you get into interior design?
I was born and brought up in Pakistan, so vibrant colours and rich culture has always been part of my life. In the last twenty years I have lived in various parts of Asia, as well as the UK, which had given me lots of opportunities to learn and experience different cultures. While in the UK I began studying interior design, and started my career working for a home furnishing retailer. After working for a couple of years in the UK, my family shifted to Hong Kong, where I started up Yaali Designs.
Is there a designer, style or type of design that inspires you?
Different cultures and their contrasts inspire me greatly. That is why living in various parts of the world has really been exciting and a fantastic experience. My clients are all from different parts of the world and when we are working on a project, they open up their homes and I really encourage them to show me their personal identity through pieces of furniture and art work they have collected. That helps me create the perfect environment for them in which they can feel comfortable. I am a true believer of what Sir Terence Conran said: “What inspires my work is the pleasure of creating an environment that I hope will charm and amuse people and make them feel good about themselves.”
What have you worked on that really stands out for being challenging or exciting?
My most exciting project so far in Hong Kong was a flat in Chianti, Discover Bay, where we tried to recreate the living room from the set of the movie, Sex and the City 2. It was very pleasing for me and for my client, because we worked closely together to create the perfect living room environment for her.
Are you noticing any interiors trends that are really catching on?
I think going green is a big trend in interior design of late. Clients are much more concerned about the material used in the designing process, in order to stay eco-friendly. In Hong Kong, the usual trends are based on having a clean line, natural finishes and few quirky or colourful accents to create an aesthetically appealing home.
What would you like to try your hand at that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Opening my own store with furniture and artworks from different places is something I hope to pursue, because I would thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge of cultures through selling artwork. I would also love to renovate and restore a period property. Seems quite impossible in Hong Kong though!