Designer Mona Hussein: A trend cannot erase the identity of Arab decor

The stages of the transformation of a rigid space of bricks and glass into a house that has a soul and is suitable for housing is a special and very complicated task, despite the apparent simplicity of its requirements Use, which the task is what the Egyptian interior is. designer Mona Hussein was known for, and she specialized in all its branches and details for almost 30 years, during which she designed high-end spaces for housing, work, treatment and shopping decoration, lighting and selection of furniture, from chairs to spoons ; To provide a holistic experience, to turn stone into a home, where you can live and work comfortably.

Designed by Mona Hussein

Your studies were far from engineering and decoration, so how did you change your career?

I studied art and business administration at American University, and I had a great taste for art. Then, after 7 years of work in the field of marketing, I started to design special products, which were lighting units. This project took me on a journey in which I explored the world of workshops and factories; Looking for the materials I needed from marble, iron, wood, crystal, glass and pottery in Egypt, I then set up my first exhibition, and from there I got my first job as an interior designer in a project in El Gouna. My art study helped me to draw designs, and then the study of business administration helped me to establish my companies, manage and develop the financial department of my project, expand my specialist field and work in interior design decoration, hotels, hospitals and commercial centers, in addition to providing home furnishing services, manufacturing decorative and lighting units, and creating a whole world Every detail from scratch.

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Interior engineering and energy sciences

Photo courtesy of Delta Lighting Company

We follow many energy experts on the Internet who give dozens of tips about the location of the bed that causes marital discord, and the colors that cause depression in the house. Do you believe in energy science or apply any of its rules in your designs?

Of course I believe in the science of energy, the energy of the place and its impact on man, and from my experience the most important stages of interior design are the planning of the horizontal planes and the distribution of the furniture in a correct way according to to the activity of each place. And the bathroom door should be avoided that faces the bed, as well as paying attention to the entrances to the houses and their lighting and not crowding them with a lot of furniture, and to put mirrors between the windows used to give them depth.

Stone Park Villa designed by Mona Hussein

Are there certain scientific rules that make some homes more pleasant than others?

Sure, there are certain elements that change the whole spirit of a home, making some places more joyful and inspiring than others. Here are some examples:

  • Use white, cream and beige as primary colors, then introduce energetic colors such as pastel shades (light blue, light yellow and light green).
  • Relying on natural lighting and good ventilation is one of the most important reasons to bring joy and positive energy into the home.
  • Add plants to use in interior coordination.

We notice your great interest in adding plants to interior designs at home. Do you have a special philosophy for this?

That’s right, I love adding plants and using them as a decorative unit within the home; Because it brings a sense of comfort and joy to the soul, and gives the houses a soul and life, as if the outer garden has penetrated and spread over the ground of the house. This is a well-known philosophy in decoration, which has important criteria and determinants, especially when choosing natural plants to decorate the house, and not to use artificial pieces, in particular: the type of plant, the needs of each plant for ventilation and sunlight, and the temperature at which it grows in a healthy way, and these requirements match The residential unit that we want to decorate with natural plants.

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interior design profession

Stone Park Villa designed by Mona Hussein.

The profession of interior design is a male dominated world, do you agree with this statement?

Yes, I think that the number of male engineers is more in general, but in the field of decoration, I think that the percentage is on the way to balance, especially after many girls started to find their way into the field, where decoration affects women’s passion for details and the long patience of women, but women designers need courage. Bigger to introduce themselves to the community of designers, and avoid self-doubt, which is the problem that drives them not to take on big tasks and mega-projects.

What advice would you give to every young designer?

  • My first advice: to know how everything is made, where it is sold and what its cost is, the more you know about the sources of raw materials, their types and properties, and all possible solutions for their production, before the final product what you use in your design reach, your imagination has expanded and you have become familiar with all your tools and market capabilities. In the environment you work in, I see this as one of the most important experiences that help any beginning designer to create original pieces that express their environment. and unforgettable.
  • My second advice: to start training in the company of a great designer, to take advantage of the study period in training, and to work in a successful and large team before thinking about independence and opening his personal office ; Because in this way he will get rid of frequent mistakes without losing his time or reputation during the learning period, which increases his chances of success later.

What details do you consider your signature in all your designs?

Simplicity is the most prominent factor among all my designs. I aim to achieve a space that serves all the needs of its inhabitants, and to provide smart solutions that facilitate their daily tasks in the place, but without annoying details or decorative tools which have no use behind them except to show off, my designs are similar to their inhabitants and solve their problems, elegant but simple.

Which projects are you most proud of among the 400 projects submitted by your companies?

I have enjoyed every project I have presented, but in my heart there is a special place for “Women’s Hospital.” This was one of the most challenging projects I have undertaken on the designer’s abilities. I came out of my safe space, I wanted to create a space where women feel safe, calm nerves and whose colors are radiant. Optimistically, she challenged the stereotypical shape of hospitals, provided a familiar space for women, and chose soft, cheerful shades.

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Studying the energy of the place and its sources of joy is one of the most important steps in designing your home decor

Arabic houses and decoration

The three photos of MHDH Mockup Badya

In the designs of our Arab houses, what are the habits that annoy you the most and that you want to change?

In our Arab culture, we allocate the most expensive, largest and most expensive rooms, to be the guest reception room or the salon, which is a room that the owners of the house themselves do not use or benefit from, except in the case of to receive a guest, and this is what I try to change through my designs and years of work in the Egyptian and international market, where we pay a lot of attention to the spaces that the family uses and lives in most of the hours of the day , and we give it budget, precision and imagination.

Fashion and trendy lines unite the shape of modern houses between countries. In your opinion, will there come a day when a trend will cancel the Arab identity of homes and decorative lines?

Whatever the strength of the new decoration lines, and what is developed every year in art, no modernity or innovation wave can cancel the identity and personality of countries, and here comes the role of the designer, who always his creativity of the heritage of his country and it is always his reference for development and innovation. He must always feed his imagination with the colors and lines of his country, and be an avid reader of science, history and art history.

What is the room or piece that the Arab home owner neglects if you consider it very important?

Without any doubt: the office room, in my opinion, the house is the place where we live and work comfortably, so I consider the office room to be the most important room in any house, but the designs of Arab houses do not give priority to this room, and its absence affects concentration and production from within the home, it is not necessary to allocate an entire room for work, and even allocate a space within the home as an office used for another task can be used besides work, such as a dressing table, and not to choose large furniture that can be seen through; It’s easy to have a desk in small spaces.

What is your advice to every girl who wants to furnish a luxury home?

First redefine the word “luxury” The real value of a thing does not come from its price alone. Many of the food components that are most beneficial to the body are available at cheap prices; So don’t just look for expensive pieces, choose the thing that suits you, your taste and use, don’t choose a luxury thing that swallows up a large area of ​​your home with the aim of showing off, while it doesn’t provide you with any real service, and you won’t use it, it becomes worthless in your home, no matter how expensive it is.

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