Canadian design duo Nivek Remas on their latest work and fall trends

a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Private residence in Toronto's Shangri-La hotel, interior design by Nivek Remas.

© Nivek Remas
Private residence in Toronto’s Shangri-La hotel, interior design by Nivek Remas.

Projects by interior designers Kevin Chan and Samer Shaath, of Toronto-based design firm Nivek Remas , are plentiful and impressive. Their collective design careers span 20 years and include luxury hospitality, residential and retail design, both in Canada and abroad, such as the W Hotel and Rosewood Hotel in Guangzhou, China.

We caught up with the pair to hear about their latest work and what home decor and furnishing trends we’ll be seeing this fall.

Chan and Shaath recently completed a high-end private residence in Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel. The owners are very well-travelled and love the hotel experience, so they tried to bring this into their design concept, says Shaath.

They kept the dining area very small and minimal, he says, and focused on a spacious living room and entertaining area — as the owners don’t spend a huge amount of time cooking at home, but love to entertain.

Because the residence is located right in Toronto’s downtown core, the pair attempted to create as calm and serene a space as possible, he says.

a dining room table:  Planta Queen restaurant in Toronto, with interior design by Nivek Remas.

© Nivek Remas
Planta Queen restaurant in Toronto, with interior design by Nivek Remas.

“Because of the lack of greenery there, we thought it would be cool to do custom artwork on the area rugs. Almost like you’re looking down on all these trees,” he says.

Putting a new twist on a traditional concept is something the pair is known for, and this design style is seen in a high-end residence Nivek Remas recently completed for a client in Oakville, Ontario.

The six-thousand-square-foot home was designed by Ontario architecture firm David Small Designs, and though classic in style, the client wanted a library, with a modern twist, says Chan. What they came up with was a room with custom wall shelving, which appears part library, part gallery, with a combination of modern books and vignettes.

“We tried to figure out, what is our version of a library? Does it have to be fully stacked with books? The approach we took to this project was to keep the architecture very cohesive and minimal and focus on colour. So the library is emerald green, the dining room is blue, and for the living room we went with amber with a lot of plum tones,” says Chan.

Chan and Shaath are particularly passionate about using colour in their projects — like a pink armchair on a pink rug in a room with pink furnishings ticks all the boxes, they say.

a pizza sitting on top of a wooden floor:  Private residence in Toronto; interior design by Nivek Remas.

© Nivek Remas
Private residence in Toronto; interior design by Nivek Remas.

Hospitality design projects really allow for colour use and experimentation and bold design choices, says Chan — from wall coverings to lampshades. It’s one of the things they love about taking them on.

One project they’re particularly proud of, which reflects Nivek Remas’ unique style, is Toronto’s hip, Planta Queen restaurant, which is entirely plant-based and one of the restaurants owned by Toronto’s Chase Hospitality Group, along with Kasa Moto.

“We worked with a local graphic designer who did custom wall coverings for this project,” says Chan.

In terms of home decor and furnishing colour trends for fall, Chan and Shaath predict we’ll be seeing a lot of emerald greens, pinks and plums, which they’re already using in their work.

Amber is another colour they love for fall, says Shaath.

“Amber tones have such great warmth. It’s just such a nice departure from creams and beige linens everywhere. It has a bit of colour, but the warmth aspect feels very comfortable,” he says.


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