Wednesday, June 17

Profile: Arriz Hassam and Suzanne Dimma

Back in February, while surfing the web, I came across the home of Arriz Hassam and Suzanne Dimma. Suzanne is the editor-in-chief of Canadian House & Home and Arriz is a partner in the design firm 3rd Uncle. I was instantly captivated after seeing a few photos of their amazing home. Now having had the chance to see more images and connect with Arriz and Suzanne I am delighted by their responses to my questions and stimulating design aesthetics.

When Suzanne mentioned that her style icons include Muriel Brandolini, Agnes B, Allegra Hicks and Ines de la Fressange, I knew I had met a woman after my own heart. And I love the borrowed quote from Arriz, "A friend of mine once said 'fashion costs money but style is free.'"

I hope you enjoy the photos of Arriz and Suzanne's home and their answers as much as I enjoyed finding out more about this super talented couple. Many thanks to everyone who emailed me information about Arriz and Suzanne after my last blog post.


Arriz:

How would you describe your own personal style?
I like combining contemporary and vintage style together to break the mold of purity. I am not a perfectionist and don’t like a style that appears too prescribed, formal or fussy. A friend of mine once said that fashion costs money but style is free, and I agree with that sentiment.

What inspires your creativity and designs?
I believe that traveling is the best source of inspiration and learning. I often draw ideas from other cultures and how they incorporate design in their lifestyle and interpret them for my solutions on projects. I have always drawn inspirations from other applied arts such as music, film and sculpture. The ultimate design resource comes from observing Nature.

What is your most prized possession?
My experience with designing and building our off-the-grid cottage is most precious to me. Generally I value life experiences more than I do possessions.

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Love.

Who are your style icons?
Charles & Ray Eames and film maker Jacques Tati. I have an affinity for vintage style of the 60’s.

Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
I enjoy collaborating with people who are not designers but genuinely believe in its value. I would be very excited to collaborate with artists like Brian Eno or Anish Kapoor - both of them work with ideas of perception, space and form.


What books are currently on your bedside table?
The Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, A Year and Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino

What is your favorite luxury in life?
Great meals with close friends. Sharing stories by the beach campfire on a starry night.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Living with peace of mind and without worry. Being playful with everything I do.

Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life
?
Joseph Beuys. Marcel DuChamp. Muhammed Ali.

Suzanne:

How would you describe your own personal style?
Like my design style, my personal style is elegant, relaxed and eclectic

What inspires your creativity and designs
?
Nature and culture. Travel and experiencing other cultures are a great influence. My time spent in France and Indonesia has definitely influenced my design sensibility.

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Laughter first and swimming second.



What is your most prized possession
?
Free time. Especially the time we spend at our off the grid cottage in Northern Ontario. It’s on a gorgeous quiet lake with the most unbelievable scenery and almost no one around. We’ve been building it this past year and it should be finished this summer.

The experience of living and working without regular luxuries like hydro, running water, and a furnace have been invaluable to me – putting things in perspective and realizing how easy it is to shift to a greener lifestyle.

Who are your style icons?
Muriel Brandolini, Agnes B, Allegra Hicks and Ines de la Fressange.


Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
Muriel Brandolini. I think we could become fast friends and I know I could absorb so much from her.

What books are currently on your bedside table
?
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, A Short History of Nearly Everything (Arriz and I are reading it together) by Bill Bryson and I just finished A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews.

What is your favorite luxury in life?
Sitting on the dock at the cottage, having a glass of wine, eating a great home made meal while watching the sun set on the lake, then later sitting by a campfire and talking and laughing through the night with all of my favourite people.


What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Feeling connected and committed to something that’s personally meaningful and creative.

Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life?
There isn’t one particular person but possibly Terence Conran for the way he holds so true to his brand and for never resting on his laurels. He got my attention when I was really young and still has it.

Profile by Ronda Carman
Photos: Rob Fiocca
Photos: Michael Alberstat

10 comments:

Meade Design Group said...

As a designer living in Canada - I feel so proud to see Suzanne Dima & Arriz Hassam being featured in your blog. They are definitely bringing a new and needed change in the Canadian Design Scene.

It is incredible the shift on House & Home since Suzanne took direction as the magazine Editor. You can see a fresh approach to the magazine and a very down to earth approachable style - the phrase fashion costs money but style is free - It is a big mantra of mine as luxury should be on the things you touch everyday.

I think their space speaks by itself!

pve design said...

I feel a little closer and more connected to Canad and to Arriz and Suzanne - what style - full of meaning and personality!
pve

Brilliant Asylum said...

Very cool house. I am seeing a few ideas I want to borrow.

Allie in G'town said...

You had me at the Hermes horse blanket....

A Life More Fabulous said...

I love Suzanne's chic, eclectic style! I had posted on her a little while ago, I'm so glad you enjoyed her home too!
Hope you are having a wonderful day!
x

Anne said...

Fabulous home and I love their answers!

mary said...

Great interview! This couple is so real and engaged with the movement of life--what joy. Love both of their design aesthetics and the great mix....so positive. Thanks for this amazing post!

prepschool101 said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today as well as for this wonderful interview...I am officially lusting after their gold mirror...gorgeous!

Can't wait to see who you interview next!
Jennifer

s. said...

I'm always amazed by how much style and elegance exists in Canada. Thanks for the interview; they sound like a sweet couple as well as two talented individuals.

Jessica Claire said...

I agree with the first comment- you can totally see a shift in House and Home's direction with Suzanne at the helm.

I wasn't so impressed at first but this month's issue is SUPERB