Lebanese interior designer Maggy Monsef has established an international reputation for her combination of trendy design and luxury materials. Her incredible work ethics and creative style have garnered attention from notable clients around the world, who recognize her attention to detail and appreciation for the highest quality materials. From commercial and residential properties, to architectural or hotelier projects, she maintains an unmatched energy in her work, striving to create imaginative, entirely customized spaces. Monsef also offers architectural and landscape designs to residential and commercial compounds, executed to maximize the overall experience of the space. She completed stunning designs for private villas in Equatorial Guinea and Dubai, to add to her long list of global and interdisciplinary projects.
Monsef’s passion for the field of design was present from a young age. Her father Camille Monsef is an internationally reputed architect who completed projects worldwide. Monsef’s flair for design runs in her genes, but, at the same time, she has worked incredibly hard to achieve the reputation and success she now maintains. She is an example of why talent is only perfected through hard work. Her perseverance and dedication to her craft has allowed her to rise to the top the field, becoming one of the regions most respected interior designers.
Among Monsef’s notable success stories is the “Art of Dining”, an event designed in June 2018 for Architectural Digest. Her table was designed around a ‘tropical-glam’ theme, featuring captivating dishware and imposing plants that transported guests to a high-end tropical paradise. Every element was carefully designed and produced from the décor to the functional pieces, including the vibrant, multi-colored dishware, curved wooden tabletop, and woven chairs crafted in a botanical shape. Colorful tropical plants mirrored the wall décor, both featuring wide green leaves and flourishing pink flowers.
Hospitality design is another specialty of Monsef, her attention to detail ensuring that every piece of lighting and cutlery, every napkin or glass, is selected purposefully. Her comprehensive design of La Creperie, a reputed restaurant located in the coastal city of Jounieh, Lebanon, showcases her impeccable eye for both the macro and micro levels of the space. The design brought together elements of a classic French provincial style in the velvet and cotton backed chairs and candelabras, while respecting local cultural elements like handmade glassware and stone archways. This design is the perfect example of Monsef’s ability to capture a particular concurrence of different stories into one incredible spatial and visual experience.
Monsef was also the designer for Home Sweet Home, a cozy, yet elegant restaurant and concept store located in Mar Mikhael, one of Beirut’s most trendy neighborhoods, and two locations of Diwan, a traditional Lebanese restaurant that continues to be a national favorite. Monsef elevated all three restaurants from typical to exceptional through her selection of furniture and décor. While Home Sweet Home is plush and whimsical, the two locations of Diwan are elegant and sophisticated, with urban gardening on the walls and contrasting colors integrated into the furniture selection.
Most recently, Monsef completed the SAX lounge in Egypt, a relaxed space for exceptional dining and live music. As with all her designs, she uses trendy elements, and elevates them to a high-end level. Monsef envisioned the venue as a reflection of the natural surroundings of the location and the history of the country. The hanging brushed brass lamps and green pressed marble surfaces reflect local crafts unique to Egypt, while the selection of mustard yellow and blue-green fabrics bring in the colors of the coastal environment. Monsef put a twist on a traditional terrazzo using large pieces of broken marble to create an elegant new design. The tables and chairs create patterns and shapes on the floor that mirror the darkened herringbone flooring Monsef choose for its association with coxy, residential spaces.
Monsef’s success lies in her ability to combine functionality and with luxury, to create spaces that are welcoming, yet visually stimulating. Her eclectic style has put her on the map as a designer who not only understands how to select the practical details needed for a well-functioning space, but also as a creative who can design a unique atmosphere to accommodate her clients’ needs. Through her choice of material, décor, lighting, and even dishware, she can create a harmonious combination of varied colors and textures. In each of her projects, Monsef produces a cohesion of different elements, which are singularly striking, but also blend smoothly within the overall space.
Photo credits: Jean Claude Bejjani