From Daska with Love: A Mother-Daughter Duo’s Design Journey

In the heart of Punjab, Pakistan, the city of Daska stands as a canvas for stories woven in creativity and determination. As we step into the current year, the furniture design house, Vintage Works, is not merely resting on its laurels; instead, the workshop buzzes with creative energy as Rahat Cheema and her team embark on new collections and delve into exciting projects for their clients. The echo of hammering and the scent of varnish linger in the air, signaling the relentless pursuit of excellence. Specializing in mid-century modern designs, Rahat’s creations are evolving with the times, maintaining a delicate balance between heritage and contemporary aesthetics.

One pivotal moment in 1992 marked the inception of Vintage Works. Collaborating with the renowned artisan in Daska, Mushtaq Mistari, Rahat crafted a wooden swing that transformed her friend’s interior into a sophisticated yet playful space. This collaboration sparked government officials’ interest, leading to the transformation of a golf hut in Gujranwala in 1993. This triumph not only won hearts but also marked the official inception of Rahat’s enterprise, laying the foundation for Vintage Works.

International recognition beckoned in 2002 when Vintage Works sent its inaugural shipment to Wanstead, East London, for the esteemed Lord Adeel Mirza. Captivated by Rahat’s furniture, Lord Adeel commissioned a complete interior overhaul, marking the beginning of Vintage Works’ global expansion.“Its been a long and interesting journey from 90s to the present,” states Cheema.

“The dynamics of art, culture, societal fabric, and individual preferences have undergone significant transformations. Our world, too, has evolved. In this current era, clients exhibit a remarkable awareness of design and furniture trends, expressing their preferences with unprecedented precision. Navigating this space of refined tastes is truly exhilarating. We are fortunate to have collaborated with a dedicated team, many of whom have been integral to Vintage Works since its inception. Standing at the crossroads of the past and the future, I’m filled with immense curiosity and hope for the brand’s progress in the years ahead.”

As we observe the transformation of Vintage Works in the current year, the dynamic infusion of past and present comes to life through Rahat’s daughter, Iman Cheema. By profession, Iman is a banker who has discovered both joy and profound meaning in her collaborative efforts with Vintage Works. Together with her mother, Iman is charting the course for Vintage Works into a new era, seamlessly weaving in technology and implementing thoughtful strategies for global expansion.

The workshop, which once echoed with the timeless hum of traditional craftsmanship, now resonates with the rhythm of modern techniques – all the while remaining faithful to the essence and soul of Vintage Works.

“Our goal is to position Vintage Works as a leading name in the global design arena,” states Iman. “We aim to showcase the rich heritage of Pakistani craftsmanship on an international platform to not only meet but exceed the expectations of a discerning global clientele, leaving a mark in the world of furniture design.”

Under Rahat’s watchful eye, Vintage Works continues to craft intricate, ornate, and delicately carved pieces which are a blend of modern French, Italian, and Baroque design elements. The workshop is a hive of activity, with artisans meticulously shaping wood and hand-painting intricate details, bringing each creation to life. The brand’s design philosophy steers clear of ostentatious opulence, opting instead for a subtler approach. Mindfully sourced materials are entrusted to master craftsmen who skillfully work their magic, creating pieces that seamlessly blend sophistication with thoughtful craftsmanship.

Beyond furniture, Rahat’s commitment to social work and philanthropy permeates the design house. A percentage of profits supports orphaned children in the local area, with Vintage Works actively adopting numerous orphans and providing them with a world-class education and quality life until adulthood. In breaking barriers to education for underprivileged children, Vintage Works has funded a fully equipped school in Daska, offering traditional education and industry-related skills.

At Vintage Works, the commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for the less fortunate is not just a choice; it is the very essence of life’s purpose. Rahat’s legacy, carried forward by Iman, is a tale of design, culture, and making a lasting difference.