Home to some fascinating home décor pieces, Mandarin Home is Mehreen Farooq’s brainchild known for its elegant yet contemporary appeal. As we take a tour of her studio, she talks to us about her professional journey and some of her most precious pieces from the collection
Walking into the studio, we are met by our charming host, Mehreen Farooq, who gives us a warm welcome. We are immediately drawn to the statement furniture accents and decoration pieces displayed ahead of the foyer. The pieces are a combination of rustic and contemporary, with many extravagant and unorthodox pieces that are designed to create visually striking homes.
With her first source of inspiration coming from her mother, Mehreen always knew interior design is the path for her because she grew up in a household where décor had an important place. Mandarin Home is a result of her mother’s constant encouragement to pursue interior design and an outlet to express her creativity. “She has been my backbone for enhancing my talent and creative side. In fact, she is actually the one who pushed me to pursue my Undergraduate and Master’s in Interior Design, which eventually led me to chase it professionally right after I graduated,” she confesses.
As we casually stroll through the store, our attention is immediately drawn to some unique pieces on display. From the caged chandelier to the Asian armoires, to the rustic cupboard and ceramic pots, they all have our attention. We make our way further into the studio and take a seat on a striking chevron striped chair. (Very comfy we must say!) The chair, complete with gold trimmings, is a statement piece that can give any room that edgy vibe.
Talking about her travels and her search for stand-out pieces, she shares with us her riveting experiences from her visit to East Asia. Deeming it as home décor’s Pandora’s box, East Asia opened a vast sphere of treasures for Farooq when she visited various marketplaces there. As she shows us around the studio and talks about her favourite pieces, she sheds light on two pieces that are extra special for her.
“While I was travelling around East Asia, I came across a marketplace. It was sweltering hot and I still had to visit a couple of other places and I had no energy to carry any more items with me but when I saw this absolutely exquisite hand-painted stool and a jar, I immediately fell in love and picked these up on a whim. I have now displayed them in my room and whenever I catch a glimpse of them, I’m reminded of ‘the day my body went sore’, all for the love of ornamentation,” she recalls fondly.
We then stumbled upon a gorgeous figurine and couldn’t help asking her to share the story behind it. She immediately tells us that it, like many other pieces, holds a pertinent place in her heart. “Again, travelling to these remote villages across East Asia to acquire my collection, I ventured off to a neighbouring town, which was four hours away from where I was staying. I stumbled upon a shop selling brassware, where a beautiful object caught my eye and completely captivated me. It was an awfully graceful yet fierce looking panther figurine – I immediately inquired about the price and after a few minutes of haggling, the panther was mine,” she says.
As our time at the studio comes to an end, we take in the view of the store one last time and it goes without saying that Mandarin Home is one of the most fascinating home décor stores, and a place to watch out for if you’re looking to create the home of your dreams!