At the center of Birmingham’s bustling cityscape where cultures converge, we visit a top-floor apartment that stands as a vibrant representation of heritage and tradition. Meet Ramsha, whose abode serves as a captivating blend of modernity and nostalgia, a home filled with lush greenery and reminders of her Pakistani roots in every corner.

Gorgeous Greenery

As soon as you step into the open-plan living and dining area, you're immediately enveloped in a symphony of colors, textures, and scents. The space is alive with an array of houseplants, each one carefully selected, and thriving. From a sculptural bird of paradise plant to delicate dangling greenery, Ramsha's love for her plants is palpable, creating an oasis of calm amidst the urban hustle.

“I wake up every Saturday morning, get a dress and makeup on, go plant shopping, and I try to get a new plant each weekend,” Ramsha says. “When you’re renting, you can’t always add wallpaper, or paint, so plants are the best way to add color and character to a space.”

A Fusion Living Room

In just seven short months, Ramsha has turned her rental apartment into a warm and welcoming space that instantly feels like home. But what truly sets her space apart is her thoughtful incorporation of pieces from her home country, Pakistan.

Every item, from the intricately embroidered cushions to the impressive collection of books, tells Ramsha’s story, and the story of Pakistan's rich cultural tapestry. These elements serve not only as decorative accents but also as reminders of her roots, a way to honor her heritage and maintain a feeling of connection.

The living room is a beautiful blend of modern apartment staples and traditional South Asian soft furnishings, where neutral, contemporary furniture harmonizes with traditional Pakistani rugs, cushion covers, and table linens.

“When we were packing to come to the UK two years ago, there was a whole carton of books that I had to bring with me,” Ramsha says. “Every single one comes with its own memory of when and where I got it.”

The Kitchen Gallery

In the kitchen and dining area, decor takes center stage. From cleverly placed cutting boards, picture frames, and painted mirrors, to a curated gallery wall, a bright, colorful, yet cohesive theme emerges.

“My gallery wall consists of pictures from back home, a railway station, a mosque, and even my own living room back in Pakistan,” Ramsha explains. “I’m a designer, so creating my own artwork means everything on the walls has special meaning.”

The most recent addition to her gallery is our Scenes of South Asia Delhi Print of the Lodhi Gardens.

Productivity and Duality

In the home office, a sense of tranquility fills the space. Billowing curtains frame the windows, and sunlight illuminates the room. This warm setting is decorated with inspiring and colorful touches on either side of her desk: a light blue planner and painted mirror with an Urdu quote on one side, and a contemporary red lamp and postcard from London, effortlessly capturing the duality of Ramsha’s Pakistani roots and the British city setting she now calls home.

“I really like to add elements from back home, so we don’t feel like we’re too far away,” she explains. “Almost every single piece, book, soft furnishing, or and the poem you see in my apartment is from Pakistan.”

Celebrating Culture Through Home and Heritage

In the heart of the UK, Ramsha's cultural retreat continues to thrive. It’s a testament to the power of home, wherever that may be, and the profound impact that heritage and nature can have on our lives. As she tends to her plants and nurtures her roots, it becomes clear that her home is a reflection of who she is, and a medium for expression and self-discovery as she celebrates her journey so far.

It is these connections—to our past, to our heritage, and to each other—that truly make a house a home.

Nishaa Sharma