Sunday June 16th, 2024
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Opulence Galore: Giving This Cairo Home a Face-Lift With Design Point

A masterclass of maximalist curation comes as a result of a visual dialogue between the designers and the homeowner.

Karim Abdullatif

While some give in to the abstractions of minimalist design, others look for the manifested delights of life. To each their own and, for some, more is more - which is very much the case in this tasteful 6th of October city home.

Cairo-based studio Design Point picked, painted and covered the face-lift project, using the owner’s personality as a foundation for every choice they made. A cubed and waffled dining room were given a bold blue new look with an ever present art deco table, as well as new artworks that range from romantic to cosmopolitan.

If you’re familiar with the designer co-founders, Nehal Leheta and Karim El Hayawan, you’ll know that they are people’s people, and not just because they’re fun at parties. Listening to their clients is a central part of their design process, and one they engage with enthusiastically. In this project, it was all about understanding what an art collector was looking for.

“There’s added value when a client has ownership over their house,” El Hayawan tells SceneHome. “Oh, she was very much involved. This is a curated house, both in terms of art and furniture. The homeowner is bold and appreciates the value of designer furniture and artworks.”

Big rugs and memorabilia, as well as floral chandeliers, combine to set the home’s tone. “The owner is an art collector with a very specific and personal taste,” El Hayawan says. “She’s not influenced by anything other than her character and personality.”

Mathew Williamson fabrics from Design Emporium cover two of the chairs with wildlife, while their wallpaper gives the door a whole new dimension. “We put pieces together to attract attention,” Leheta explains. “For example, the blue ethnic chests juxtaposed with the main door, which looked bulky, so we added some wallpaper fun to it.”

“This dining room has three main art pieces that entice the whole mood,” Leheta says, pointing at Hady Boraei’s intimate visual lange, Mohamed Abla’s boats by the Nile, and Chant Avedissian’s portrait of Gamal Abdel Nasser. The aforementioned artworks were some of the only additions to the room, along with the gutsy blue that soaks the room with a royal feel. Pre-existing wooden floors and a chandelier further work to exude a regal air onto the owner’s original art deco dining table.

“Decorating becomes a completely different experience when the homeowner has a strong character,” Lehata admits. “It becomes about creating dialogue between what exists and what you’re adding. What’s there is part of her personality and you’re only continuing the conversation.”

In the living room, Samy Elias’s blurry wooden artwork centered the room. Two natural stone pedestals on each side host sculptures by Maged Mekhail that overlook Jonathan Adler sofas. Natural light saturates the scene through a large window leading to a garden that El Hayawan previously worked on.

“I designed her garden in the past and she asked us to face-lift the interior,” he recalls. “The biggest challenge was how would we conceal in a smart and subtle manner.” For example, Design Point  couldn’t remove natural stone and instead had to use wall cladding.“Instead of working on a clean slate, this was a touch-up. That’s the beauty of this project.”

Photography Credit: Ehab Beheiry


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