Join us for a conversation about all things interior design-related.

NIVEK REMAS is a Toronto-based interior design firm with international influence. Today, HOLR has the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with the brand’s founders and partners, Samer Shaath and Kevin Chan, to discuss how they got started in the industry, their favourite projects to date and where the inspiration for their designs and innovations come from.

Tell us about yourselves. How did you both get started in the interior design industry, and how did NIVEK REMAS come to be? 


Samer and I first met in university and were both “studio rats” and shared a similar unique perspective on design, architecture, fashion and art. We were drawn towards the same things, gravitating toward things that are strange, intriguing, but beautiful and always bounced ideas off one another. Coming out of school, we worked on some of the best interior design firms in the world and amazing projects, but I think the goal was always to do our own thing and recreate that studio energy we had in school.


How are you unique in the way you approach a new project, and where do you draw inspiration from when designing a space?


The project is often dictated by the client’s desires, wants and needs, and then you layer on any brand standards if it’s a commercial project. We then digest all of that information and then create something that’s unique to the aesthetic direction and or market. Samer and I often draw upon our travels, but since that’s limited at the moment, we draw inspiration often from the people we follow on Instagram.


NIVEK REMAS specializes in impactful interior design for luxury hospitality, residential, and retail brands. What are some of your favourite projects you have worked on to date?

I’d have to say Dundas Square Barbers has been our most favourite recent project. It’s a surreal and theatrical space that’s right on Dundas Square and is a great representation of NR’s DNA and POV. You can’t beat a location like that for a project. It’s a true testament to a successful collaboration with the client, friend and owner, Tony Sadiku. We all can’t wait for this lockdown to be over so that people can finally experience and enjoy the space.

As an international brand, what are some of the latest trends in interior design you’ve seen popping up recently, or within the last year?

There’s this “shabby chic” aesthetic that’s been around for years, but it’s really everywhere now. It’s like fashion, it starts with the biggest designer setting the trend and then it trickles down to everyone else. It’s this rural, dry, minimal, rustic look. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE it, and love it in context, but it has to make sense to the immediate vernacular- it’s all about time and place.

As experts in the industry, what is some design advice you can offer to those looking to change up their space or give it a fresh new feel?


We often tell people that all we do is curate a look and make sure that we stay on point to achieve that look. People too often mix design genres and that’s where you get into trouble. Also, look at the bigger picture when spending on a refresh and not a particular item – one or two items is not going to help you achieve a look. And when all else fails, purge purge purge!


What does the future have in store for NIVEK REMAS?


Things are looking really exciting at the moment and we’re really lucky to say that so early on in our careers. There’s a 100-acre residential / showroom/gallery in Caledon, Ontario that will be complete at the end of this year. We’re also working on some other large-scale, high-end residences that are in the concept phases but look very promising. There’s one that we’re doing in Lawrence Park that’s particularly exceptional. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it. Commercially, we’re doing a couple of projects: an exciting collaboration with a famous internationally renowned firm on a high-end condo in Hong Kong, and also a 5-star hotel in Vancouver.

Visit NIVEK REMAS for more information about the brand, to learn more about the duo, or to check out the brand’s latest designs.


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