For Azar Sabzevari, the journey from studying interior design at Yorkville University to having her work featured on such hit HGTV shows as Property Brothers and Love It Or List It was a whirlwind one.
“It was amazing. It’s a dream come true for every designer, I think, to have such big TV shows reach out to you and approve you,” said the Class of 2016 Bachelor of Interior Design grad.
A 31-year-old native of Iran, Sabzevari was still a student working on completing her Yorkville thesis project when she decided to launch her own business, Tango Design Studio – a boutique firm specializing in the design, supply and installation of custom kitchen and bath cabinetry that quickly caught the eye of the popular home improvement shows.
It was just two months after Sabzevari opened Tango’s showroom at 7001 Steeles Ave. W. in 2014, in fact, that she was first contacted by Love It Or List It producers.
“They were in the area, saw our sign and came in,” she said of that first fortuitous meeting.
Impressed with both the brands of cabinetry they stock and rave reviews from satisfied Tango clients, Love It Or List It quickly commissioned Sabzevari and her team to work on 15 episodes of the original show here in GTA, as well as a pair of its Vacation Homes spin-off episodes filming up in Barrie.
Shortly after that, Drew and Jonathan Scott came calling, too.
“During those projects, I was on the top of the world,” Sabzevari said of her eight-episode (so far) run helping the Property Brothers design and execute kitchen renovations in homes all around the GTA for their Buying + Selling show.
“I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to sit down with them and work through the design process from the very beginning – from designing the kitchen and choosing the cabinetry, colours and countertops, through the process of the renovation and slotting the cabinetry. It was amazing.”
Also rewarding was seeing the identical looks of sheer happiness on the twin brothers’ faces when they saw the fruits of all Sabzevari’s hard labour in their clients’ kitchens.
“And when they saw the end result, they were so happy…it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in my life,” she said.
“For me, it shows that the path that I chose is a good path. When I saw that first episode, it was like a proud mother watching her child grow up and see them now – it was a great experience.”
Sabzevari – who studied Architecture in Iran before moving to Canada with her family 10 years ago – credits much of her interior design success to the strong connections she forged and business foundations she learned during her time at Yorkville.
“Those three years were some of my best experiences since I moved here. One thing that makes Yorkville so different from other universities is that the environment is so friendly,” she said, crediting her instructors with helping her grow her business while she was still a student.
“There aren’t hundreds of students in one class, so we could really connect with the teachers and other students, and the teachers could come to us and teach us individually, which was a great experience for me.”
Looking forward to the future, Sabzevari said she is hoping Tango will continue to grow and evolve – including a potential relocation to a larger showroom closer to the downtown core, as well as an expansion of its stock of cabinetry to include more European styles – to serve an even wider client base.
“When all the work is done and you see the face of the client…that’s why I chose to be an interior designer – because I want to see that happiness and excitement in my clients’ eyes,” she said.
“Home is a place where you have to feel comfortable… so, as an interior designer, I want to make that a space that’s enjoyable for my clients when they are gathering with their families.”