Sometimes it feels like interior designers get stuck in ruts. They find a formula that works and then stay safely within the confines of a familiarly popular aesthetic. But then there are designers who are constantly evolving and landing on new methods and styles.
Toronto designers Samer Shaath and Kevin Chan are the duo behind upstart firm NIVEK REMAS, and all their projects take on distinct forms to fit the specific situation. Shaath and Chan cut their teeth at Ryerson followed by renowned firms like Yabu Pushelberg. They have worked on projects all over the world and developed a reputation as risk-takers in the design world.
One of the most stunning examples of the risks the firm takes is the massive floor-to-ceiling fireplace they put in the Terrace Residence. They had to look around extensively for someone who could actually install the huge block of stone that provokes contemplation with its lightning-like veining.
They also rely heavily on colour blocking instead of just using splashes of colour. When it comes to the tones and shades of a room, they commit, which has the effect of creating houses that read a bit like mood boards come to life.
The almost aggressive use of area rugs allows for a holistic approach to colour that gives the rooms a somewhat out-of-this-world ambiance.
Besides rugs, Shaath and Chan focus on other areas of design that can be neglected, such as corridors and scents. They work with high-end incense designers like Cinnamon Projects to create scents that go with the room.
“When we work with clients, it’s important to vibe with them and understand their personalities,” Chan says, and that means moving beyond just the eyes and working with scent and texture.
The relatively new firm also uses a repertoire of international cultural influences to resonate with the desires of the clients. This can be seen in the amazing work they did for Planta Queen in Toronto, which takes the elements of a communal, airy Chinese restaurant and throws in delightfully ostentatious splashes of colour.
We’re excited to see what NIVEK REMAS comes up with next.
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