Shabby-chic Dutch home
With over 51,000 followers on Instagram, Souraya Hassan has been a home inspiration to many in Egypt and Holland, where she operates. We all ogled pictures of her shabby-chic Dutch home, with a mixture of lush bedcovers, intricately placed plants and tons of personalized items, including various photographs she took of Cairo.
The 28-year-old behind Binti Home, an interior styling company and personal blog, started her business in 2009 after graduating from Artemis Styling Academy in Amsterdam. Having travelled to beautiful places and worked on amazing projects, devoting her energy to Binti Home full-time seemed like the best decision Hassan has made so far—except maybe for marrying the love of her life Mahmoud Sherif, a filmmaker and actor, in early 2017.
Hassan is half-Egyptian, half-Dutch, and she and Sherif recently moved to Cairo after having lived in Amsterdam. Recently married, the world of social media followed the makeover she gave her Cairo apartment, transforming it from a dreary red-windowed and black-tiled apartment into a dreamy, pastel-colored, plant-filled haven. Hassan describes the renovation as a heavy, yet inspiring journey—one she is immensely proud of today.
Hassan has several connections in the Egyptian creative field, and in collaboration with local craftsmen, she has designed cushions, vases and kilim carpets. She is particularly inspired by colors, history and details, and some of Hassan’s favorite things are coffee, music and travelling.
What are you inspired by this summer?
When I think about the summer, I think about travelling. Travelling is a big source of inspiration. Discovering places in Egypt, Europe and my first home, Holland. Getting inspired by color palettes of the street, creative arts of the city and bringing beautiful souvenirs back home as both memories and decoration.
What color palette, patterns, materials or textiles are in fashion right now?
Pure materials such as marble and glass combined with brass. Gold is big this year, combined with soft pastels, green tones and layers of neutrals. In our home, we use all of these colors. My husband and I love this bright modern and Scandinavian style, which is also a big trend right now. But I’m also so proud that oriental and authentic influences are still visible in collections worldwide. The best is to combine the two worlds.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for summer home accessories?
I love to shop at bigger stores as well as small boutiques. In Egypt, I love PopUp Shop, Caravanserai, Inca&Co and Ikea. But also the online shops WhitemosDecor, Etsy and Anthropologie are amazing.
How do you give your home an easy and cheap summer overhaul?
It’s all in the accessories: This is the perfect way to change the feeling of your home. Create a color palette of two basic colors and three accent colors. Try to avoid dark colors and work with soft materials such as linen, cotton and light woods. Combine different light tones together and add some pastels for a real summer look. What accessories can you change? Think about the rug, cushions, paintings on the wall and vases. And definitely bring flowers into your home, they are a beautiful addition to every room.
Do you have any tips on how to make a home look clean and fresh? What kind of furniture, color palette or art would be a good choice?
As I said before, bright and light colors are the best. My whole house is painted white (Classic White by Jotun) and I add some accent colors on the walls; Minty Breeze in the living room and Pale Green in the office, all by Jotun. These soft colors combined with white give the space such a bright and uplifting look. We chose simple furniture, for example the big, white sofa combined with small, round tables. Also, the big dining table in oak combined with the ahwa (coffeeplace) chairs we painted ourselves: simple but cozy.
What do you do to prepare your home for summer?
Inside the house, just make sure you have a good AC! Try to avoid heavy curtains, but work with light linen curtains to let the daylight in. I have to admit I am not really a garden person, but I love to do some styling in the garden every now and then, like when I did table styling for an online Dutch magazine. By day, it’s too hot, but at night, surrounded by plants, it’s amazing to celebrate summer nights with family and friends.
Check out more of Souraya Hassan’s work on her blog bintihomeblog.com and @bintihome on Instagram • Follow Binti Home @BintiHome and @BintiHomeShop • Products available at BintiHomeShop.com and latest cushion collection sold at Inca@Co showrooms in Zamalek and Downtown Mall in New Cairo