Having art passion from her early youth ages, Mahsa Momena became involved in different art media. To pursue her professional artistic interests, she studied interior design at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design that has been named one of the top three schools of its kind. As former Creative Director and President of the Toronto-based design firm MasamoDesign, Inc., Mahsa’s depth of knowledge and expertise in the process of design extends beyond the aesthetics of a space. She is well experienced in managing a team of contractors, craftsmen, and artisans.
She is passionate to share her personal style with people, helping them find theirs and, ultimately, create a space that they will call their sanctuary. She believes authentic design is personal and organic and yet seemingly effortless. It exudes charisma in its presentation. Ideally, an authentically designed space should leave an individual in a relaxed state of being.
Mahsa defends that all designers are problem solvers, so she gets immense satisfaction from discovering successful solutions to complex design problems. She loves the way interior design engages skills of practical knowledge, creative inspiration, and empathic listening all at once. But she gets the greatest satisfaction from seeing her clients truly happy in the places she has created for them.
For her, the most challenging moment of her career was definitely learning how to work and communicate in completely new ways during the first year of the pandemic. She relies on face-to-face meetings with clients, that is how she usually received a lot of feedback. With video conferencing, all the nuance is lost, as she explained, as well as the subtle visual and tactile qualities of materials. “My clients and I had to learn quickly how to best exploit technology to communicate easily and smoothly. In the end, we managed quite well, but it was stressful for a while!” – said Mahsa.
Asked if she already achieved everything in life, Mahsa believes the answer to this question will be changing from year to year, as she gets older “and hopefully wiser.” – said the designer amusingly. She feels that her career is really solid now, so she can stretch her boundaries and explore new ideas while enriching and refining the aesthetic she had evolved over the years. “There is so much to discover – I’m still growing as a professional, as the spaces we inhabit continue to change.” – said Mahsa.
“I love the scale of work I’m currently doing, but there’s always the allure of larger projects offering a broader design scope. This goes along with having clients who are enthusiastic about taking risks to explore new design ideas and materials. And I imagine all this taking place in a workspace I’ve designed; an environment that inspires us and our clients alike.” – Mahsa Momena
Professionally, Mahsa enjoys feeling the respect and acknowledgment of her peers. And the knowledge that so many clients are happy in their spaces of living that she has designed for them. “That’s probably my primary definition of success, not least because I receive nearly most of my new projects through referrals from previous clients. I feel good that I can understand and communicate with clients equally well about the practical aspects and emotional desires they have.” – said the designer. When it comes to communicating with her audience, Mahsa confessed she is not one of those people who are obsessed with publicity. Still, she knows the world needs to be aware of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. That said, she usually uses social media platforms and publishes her projects in journals as they are completed and photographed.
At the moment, Mahsa is working on a very large house, about 20,000 square feet, which has its own amazing opportunities. As she works a lot with black and white compositions. The designer feels that there is so much within and between these two colors: hard and soft, contemporary and ancient, but yet always timeless. She is exploring how to use these ideas in this larger home. “It’s going very well and we’re excited to see it completed.” – said the designer.
Speaking about creativity, Mahsa’s most exciting and liberating idea for the design world today is that there is no single “trend” like minimalism, dominating everyone’s aesthetic. “The “trend” is understanding how many innovative ways to approach a project there are, with inspiration taken from local and regional cultures, social structures, and history. Also, there’s the sustainability of materials which contributes to our overall health and well-being. The creative potential of these is very exciting.” – she said. Currently, she is working on high-end residential projects, and the owners come from all walks of life with amazing stories to tell. This helps her craft designs specific to their lives. And so far, she has been very lucky as they all have got excellent taste.
Asked about her opinion on craftsmanship, Mahsa said that computers have made an enormous difference in the profession, impacting how work is done. However, as she explained, the jury is still out on whether computers are really “leaders” in craftsmanship. In the designer’s opinion, it is very important to understand that there is really no substitute for hand-crafted materials and methods of creation. The trick is to understand where each method can contribute the most to a project. For the future of design, Mahsa Momena doesn’t have a doubt that it would be all about sustainability. Either on materials and construction methods. “It is going to be even more important, affecting every type of our design from vacation homes to skyscrapers. Alongside that, we will be more focused on creating healthy spaces, both for our physical and our mental well-being. And finally, multi-cultural awareness – seeing cultural and regional nuances – will impact our designs more in the future. In the end, I believe all of these will contribute to wonderful spaces both more timeless in design and supportive of our lives.” – said Mahsa.