The Home Front: Canadian design duo Nivek Remas on their latest work and fall trends

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Their collective design careers spanned 20 years and spanned luxury hotel, residential and retail design, both in Canada and abroad

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Rebecca Keillor Private residence in the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, interior design by Nivek Remas. Private residence in the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, interior design by Nivek Remas. Photo by Nivek Remas /jpg

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

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We caught up with the two of them to find out more about their latest work and what home and interior trends we will see this fall.

Chan and Shaath recently completed a high quality private residence at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. The owners have traveled very far and love the hotel experience so they tried to incorporate this into their design concept, says Shaath.

They kept the dining area very small and minimal, he says, focusing on a spacious living room and entertainment area – as the owners don’t spend a lot of time cooking at home but love to entertain.

Since the residence is right in downtown Toronto, the two of them tried to create the most quiet and peaceful space possible, he says.

Planta Queen restaurant in Toronto with interior design by Nivek Remas. Planta Queen restaurant in Toronto with interior design by Nivek Remas. Photo by Nivek Remas /jpg

“Because of the lack of green there, we thought it would be cool to do custom artwork on the area’s carpets. It’s almost like looking down at all of these trees, ”he says.

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The couple are known for giving a new twist to a traditional concept, and this style of design is shown in a high-end residence that Nivek Remas recently completed for a client in Oakville, Ontario.

The six thousand square foot home was designed by Ontario architectural firm David Small Designs, and while it’s classic, the client wanted a library with a modern twist, says Chan. The result is a room with custom-made wall shelves, which appears partly as a library, partly as a gallery, with a combination of modern books and vignettes.

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

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Chan and Shaath are especially passionate about using color in their projects – like a pink armchair on a pink rug in a room with pink furniture, they say, ticks all the boxes.

Private residence in Toronto;  Interior design by Nivek Remas. Private residence in Toronto; Interior design by Nivek Remas. Photo by Nivek Remas /jpg

Hospitality design projects really allow for the use of color and experimentation, as well as bold design choices, says Chan – from wallcoverings to lampshades. It’s one of the things they love about taking it on.

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

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

Regarding the home and decor color trends for fall, Chan and Shaath predict that we will see many emerald green, pink and plum tones that they are already using in their work.

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

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

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