Monday, May 28

Celebrity Home: May Daouk's Beirut home

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This is the closest someone can get to my dream home, and I am positively consumed with envy as I type. Historic building - check, hand crafted details - check, mix of east and west - check, antiques - check! This home has everything I have always dreamt of. 

It is the home of Interior designer May Daouk. She returned to Beirut after a decade in New York, bought this stunning historic mansion and proceeded to fill it with her collection of antiques, a collection which she has acquired over a lifetime and is a testimony to her good taste.

What I think is unique about her style is that although her house is chock full of antiques and beautiful objects, she has managed to create a very relaxed and warm vibe. It is not a museum, it is a home, and you get a sense of that by the eccentric and highly individual way the objects have been arranged by her. 

This thought is echoed by May who says, “I use antique fabrics, but if they get damaged I just replace them,” she says. “The black sofa in the dining room? It’s used mainly by the dog, who likes to be able to see what she might get for dinner.” A house should be as comfortable as it is beautiful—that’s the message from this stylish designer. “Because I don’t want to live in a showcase, I want to live in a home.”

A trio of stone arches creates an enclave at one end of the living room; the antique chimney piece is Italian
Arrayed in the living room are an antique toile peinte, custom-made lacquer bookcases, and a pair of vintage chairs

The dining room features an English Arts and Crafts table and chairs from Ann-Morris Antiques; the calligraphic panel above the door is Syrian, and the carpet is 19th-century Persian.

Displayed on the far side of the room is a set of architectural prints of the ancient city of Baalbek. The sideboard, table, and chairs are all from Ann-Morris Antiques.

Luna the English bulldog in a passageway connecting the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. The lanterns are from Damascus.

The antique lantern and the brass stool in the master bedroom are Lebanese. The ebonized slipper chairs are Italian, and the club chair, by O. Henry House, is clad in a Robert Kime ticking stripe; the bedside tables are from John Rosselli Antiques.
The master bath includes inlaid-wood pelmets and embroidered-lace curtains custom made by local artisans. The mirror is a Flemish antique, and the ’50s Nagasaki chairs are by Mathieu Matégot.

Two of Daouk’s sons share a bedroom with a 1940s French desk, a chair from Design Within Reach, bedcovers by Chelsea Textiles, and a striped kilim

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