Complied by Leah Linhares
Photography: Rudy Bouchebel; courtesy V2com
Beirut-based interior architecture and multidisciplinary Roland Helou Design’s (ROHD) latest residential project showcases deliberate artistic novelty in a renovation exercise...
Dissatisfied with the poor structure and choice of furniture of their apartment in Mtaileb, Lebanon, the homeowners called upon ROHD to rejuvenate it with assertive elegance.
Resting on their aesthetic sensibility and design expertise, ROHD envisioned a more spacious interior - using classic and signature techniques such as the bar annexed to the dining table, and camouflaging storage behind wall paneling to maximize space and then accessorizing it with choice furniture and furnishings.
Injecting the classic warmth of wood, continuous panelling connects the entrance to the salon, extending to almost half of the latter, and ultimately transforming into an open library of brass and glass. Doors to the living and bedrooms also open via these panels, lending an uninterrupted ambience not fissured by door jambs and intervals.
Play on surface finishes abides as does the selection of eclectic bric-a-brac. The chimney wall is covered in brushed Spanish Nero Marquina marble standing as a showpiece surrounded by black metal with a designed belt in brass. Lending an aura of homey magnificence are four Tyria coffee tables of different heights and material: base in brass and top of either, back-painted glass, ink blue, or Palissandro wood. The tables are ROHD’s retro-futuristic pieces inspired by cinematic and medieval cults with vintage mirrors on the surface and a metallic base shaped into symmetrical spheres and sticks that look like mappings of the atom. Likewise, a Trinity side table of the first wave collection of Ray Xander, rests between the library wall and the first salon reinstating an eye for the extraordinary.
Not to be outshined, the second salon also features a ROHD creation: the new Oriane oval table. Fashioned in brass with back-painted glass top, its distinctiveness lay in its thinness - and of course, the unmistakable grace of the oval shape. Dialoguing the Oriane in this room are two Fauteuil de salon by Jean Prouve, Bidu side table by Baxter, Sultan Dog side table by Ibride, and coloured side tables.
ROHD’s bar made of black onyx base and lava stone counter-top can be lit up and contributes to mood lighting for this eclectic space. Moreover, part of the bar extends to one end of the dining table, a 320 cm stretch made of palissandro wooden top and black metal base. Flanked by Aski bar stools by Baxter, light-coloured leather break chairs from Bross contribute to a sleek contrast. Similarly, a feminine element, a Hawini artwork, rises behind the dinning bar, contrasting with its masculine air.
The customized Oberya pendant light - three meters long and a legitimate piece of art made of black metal covering stands out as a hanging sculpture and a dominant element, completing the aesthetic exercise.
With more than a 1800 change, this ROHD revival project captures the discerning taste of the homeowners and translates it into a sophisticated and arty interior.