When Noura Sakkihja founded Toronto-based jewellery brand Mejuri in 2013, her mission was simple: she was determined to create high-quality, fine jewellery that would last a lifetime. Fast forward nine years and the third generation jeweller has kept this ethos close to her heart and at the forefront of her mind not only in relation to her burgeoning business, but also during the renovation of her family home.
Noura Sakkihja’s newly-renovated townhouse, is exactly what you’d expect from a creative with eye for design and detail. It’s cohesive, refined and sophisticated but there’s nothing too perfect, pulled together, or – in Noura’s own words – “precious” about it either. Awash with natural light, neutral colours and natural textures, the interiors exude a sense of serenity and warmth, making you feel right at home – and that’s exactly what the designer intended.
“I love refined designs that are approachable, so it was important to have that as a design principle,” Noura says. “I wanted a design that feels aesthetically beautiful and elevated but at the same time, very inviting.”
Purchasing the property just over three years ago, the industrial engineer turned entrepreneur and her husband, Majed Masad, fell in love with the Victorian townhouse and were instantly enamoured by its beauty. “It felt very unique,” Noura says. “It’s an old home that’s been recently renovated so it has the convenience of the new elements and the charm of the old build.” The interiors, on the other hand, needed a bit of work to bring them up to scratch. And that’s where the couple called upon the creative expertise of Canadian designer Sarah Birnie.
Tasked with designing a family-friendly home fit for entertaining, Sarah shared Noura’s vision for the design – a sign that led Noura to believe the pair should work together. “I had a mood board before we began renovations and Sarah and I had some common elements in there which was a huge sign.” Spacious and airy, the interiors mirror the aesthetic of the Mejuri brand, which is celebrated for its every-day cool style.
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The space affords the couple with an ample yet intimate room to entertain and also raise their twin toddlers, which was paramount to the design. “The safety and functionality of the space for my twin girls was non-negotiable,” Noura says. “We incorporated arches and soft curves throughout the home to encourage a comfortable vibe, but also to help with the girls running around and not risking getting hurt on sharp edges.”
Using neutral hues and textures, the home reflects a balanced flow of energy, an invitation to relax and retreat from the outside world. Maximising natural light through light fixtures and dynamic shapes was crucial to illuminating the space. “Many of the homes here lack natural light in the centre of the home, so it was important to incorporate lighter tones throughout to make everything feel less heavy. “, says the designer. “The large arched mirror in the entry helps bounce the rays streaming in from the street around the space, which is beautiful towards the end of the day when the light is just right,” she adds.
Upstairs was where Sarah had her work cut out for her. Formerly an attic space, Noura needed the third floor to function as a guest room, a dedicated workout space and most importantly, a home office. “I really wanted an off-white space; one that is peaceful, easy on the eyes and where I can go to decompress,” Noura explains.
“I asked Sarah to incorporate light and neutral coloured furniture, as I like to play around with accessories, cushions and gallery walls.” Adding white paint and neutral furnishings ensured the room was multipurpose, distraction-free and of course, Zoom-meeting approved.
Much like the jewellery she creates at Mejuri, Noura Sakkijha’s home is elegant and elevated, but with subtle touches of playfulness throughout. “Similar to our designs, our home is designed for every day with quality pieces that can stand the test of time.” As a result, she and her husband have created their dream home, one that will continue to evolve with them over time. “I want it to feel welcoming for everyone and most importantly, a place to relax.”