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Wandering around Maia Aoun’s home on a bright Friday morning, I’m finding it easy to slip into a daydream that I live here myself. ‘Do you ever rent it out?’ I venture hopefully. No such luck. The reason I ask is that Aoun is actually based in Dubai with her family, where she relocated in 2006, so I thought it was worth a shot.
Aoun first trained as an interior designer in Lebanon, and then for several years in Paris. In the vast living-cum-dining room (1), her style easily, and organically, blends modern and vintage – orange plastic chairs from Kartell (01 446222) sit next to a 1930s spotlight found in the attic of a palace in Brussels, or an antique desk phone which used to belong to her father across from an artwork from New York-based ‘photograffeur’ JR. A recent addition is the François Bard painting, ‘L’Orateur’, which feels very much the focus of the room.
There’s a nod to her brood, too, with an illustrated cushion showing the whole family, purchased from Irap (04 910866, 03 271881), the charity and audio-phonetic school for children. As for Aoun’s favourite piece in the whole apartment, it’s the leather lounge chair from Herman Miller, designed by Ray and Charles Eames in 1956 – although her preferred place to sit is on the concrete-coloured Moroso couch (Vivre, 04 520111) because there – as befits the lady of the manor – ‘I can see the whole house. I can have a global view.’
The light-filled kitchen, meanwhile – decked out in retro-style orange light fixtures also from Kartell – looks out onto a huge, overgrown garden, and again is one of Aoun’s favourite spots due to the light that streams in. Go through to the study – past the kitsch collection of Blondie and Village People vinyls, and the Mao statue (also from Vivre) – and you’ll discover a cooler, more peaceful place, with a vintage radio and banker’s desk lamp sat on the desk.
The living and sleeping spaces feel entirely removed from each other, bar the beautiful garden terrace, lined with olive trees, lemon trees, geraniums and basil plants, which the master bedroom leads out onto – easily accessible when you want to pad out in your slippers first thing in the morning (again, daydream stuff).
Courtesy: TimeOut Beirut
Photos by Maia Aoun http://www.maiaaoun.com/