All Images: Voula Monoholias
In a new weekly series, photographer Voula Monoholias goes behind the curtain to see where and how creatives live.
This week, Monoholias is invited into the home of Armin Martiros, interior styling visionary, designer and propreitor of Ma Zone Home Decor.
Favourite “at-home cocktail hour” recipe:
Armin: Keep it simple: a vodka martini with a kiss of cranberry juice. It’s called a “pinky,” and if you come across a seasoned bartender, they should know it. I like TAG Vodka, which goes to prove that it doesn’t have to be the most expensive to be one of the best. Always served in a proper glass, with some ice shavings and a pinch of lime, it tastes better.
Best neighbourhood bar?
Armin: Love Kultura on King Street, and Byzantium in the Village. Great staff and consistent with their service.
Why do you love coming home?
Armin: It’s hard to control the world, and I am very particular, so it’s nice to have a space that you can come to where everything is exactly the way you like it…. That is home for me.
Guests sometimes complain that I don’t have a couch, but instead, I have a daybed in the living room. It is a great place to just relax and unwind. I think it is a wonderful way to incorporate a multi-purpose piece in a multi-purpose space, plus you never know exactly how to sit on it with someone else, so it ends up making you engage in cozy conversation. You never know what comes next.
Favourite piece in your house:
Armin: My most favourite piece of furniture has to be what was given to me by a dear friend – my two French Bergere chairs that are finished in white lacquer. Go big or go home. Often I see small rooms with a lot of small furniture, all that does is make the room look small, but if you anchor the room with a few larger pieces, the space looks more grand.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Armin: Look to nature as a source of inspiration, especially for colours. Showcase some culture: books and items collected through travels can speak volumes. Make it personal; add framed photos of the ones you love and hold dear.
Favorite at-home pass time?
Armin: To entertain close friends, get them to dance, laugh and have a good time.
Most fun you’ve ever had at home?
Armin: Just the other night… Hosted a big party, with lots of cocktails… I turned my garage into a lounge for the night, and had everyone wear hats. It was a magical evening.
Armin: The written word does not captivate my imagination as much as images. I must admit that I draw inspiration from Andy Warhol that way.
I was enchanted by Savage Beauty; Alexander McQueen’s Book by Andrew Bolton, an amazing story about a gifted individual with spectacular photography. A must read/glance over is Sunday’s [Star Tracks] in the Toronto Star. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh out loud!
Most important thing to remember when you are redecorating your home?
Armin: Surround yourself with everyday objects that uplift your spirit. A home has to reflect the individual, it cannot be a page out of a magazine. Your space has to embody a soul and spirit. There needs to be living things around, like plants and flowers, to change with the seasons; it needs to be inviting and exciting, to be like a sanctuary at times. A home should have colour and character, to be contemporary.
Voula Monoholias is a contributing photographer for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter @voulavous.