From Accounting to Arts and Antiques

An Interview with Nagwa Gomaa – By Hanan Awaad

Q. Nagwa, you were an accountant almost for your entire career life, how did you become an entrepreneur and interior designer?

When I moved to Canada, I had a moment with myself , I found that although I’ve been satisfied being an accountant all those years, it’s time now to do something I really love and pursue my dream working with arts and antiques. I always had a passion to  antiques and home decor, especially that my father is a collector of fine arts, and he has a good taste and appreciation to good craftsmanship. He taught me everything he knows and I picked up from him and widened my knowledge.

Q. How was your journey from being an accountant to being a business woman and interior designer?

It was tough. I started as an entrepreneur from scratch, knowing no one,  in a new country … but I was determined to succeed. I started slowly to participate in every show and event I could go to. Then people started to know me and trust me.

Nagwa Gomaa showcasing her antiques and crafts
Nagwa Gomaa showcasing her antiques and crafts
In addition to determination, what else does it take to turn a hobby into a business.
I built  my knowledge and skills with reading, studying and attending many of workshops and educational seminars in the fields of crafts and interior design as well as entrepreneurship. I started my business 2 years ago, dealing with antiques and home decor then I added interior design.
Q. Who are your clients?

My main customers are women who like to decorate their homes the DIY-style, but also, a big segment of my clients are working women who need assistance getting their houses organized and designed. Those women do not have the time to do their house make-over by themselves.

In terms of geographical location, I mainly work in the GTA area where my main costumers are located.

Q. What is the process of decorating a house for a client?
It usually starts with me visiting the client’s home , take notes and pics , knowing the style & colors that the client likes, try to use whatever they have and put it in the right place , then discussing the budget .. And I always assure my clients that whatever their budget is ..they will have a nice comfortable house with it .
It starts with me visiting the client’s house and taking notes and pictures. It is very important that I totally know and understand the style and the colors that the clients likes. I always try to use whatever they have and redesign the space relocating their favourite pieces in the right place.
Also working within the client’s budget limits is very critical in my work. That’s why I spend some time with the client discussing their budget and establishing strategies to maximize their benefits within the budget.
Q. What is the starting point in redesigning a room?

I always start with studying the functions of the room by asking questions, such as: who will use the room and for what activities or functions. Then I focus on color coordination as it is one of the most important elements in interior design. Lighting is another important element along with the design and size of furniture.

In many cases, I start by creating a theme inspired by one item in the room either to construct the color palette or to choose complementing decorations.

Color coordination is very important factor in interior design
Color coordination is very important factor in interior design


Q. How to add elegance to space without spending tons of money?
Nice  pieces of decor, like throws, is a good tool to add more elegance to the place. Decorating the wall behind a sofa can be done in many ways, like hanging a big tapestry, or a hand painted frame, or a collection of plates. Choosing the right curtains is a good way to enhance the beauty of your room and adding some small touches, like tassels, plates, scones make it more glamorous and luxurious.


Originally posted 2016-03-13 17:50:31.

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