What influences the influencers? When it comes to design, we asked Mazen El-Abdallah, Creative Director of Mazen Studio, what fuels the spaces he creates. The designer, who studied architecture, has focused on interior design since 2000. His projects - both commercial and residential - revolve around a design aesthetic that values structure, flow, texture and material. With a philosophy based on the premise that the places we inhabit should encourage us to live fully and freely, Mazen and his team avoid stylistic trends or periods and focus on creating interiors that are timeless and intelligent, and that ultimately reflect the values of his clients.
HG: How would you define your style?
ME: My approach has always been about understanding the architecture of a space and really getting to know the client before crafting a narrative for the project. It’s important to me that the work is a response to the context in which we are working. I'm drawn to rooms that are beautifully put together with art, great textiles, a good mix of old and new, and focused on comfort and how people live in a space.
HG: When did you first become interested in design?
ME: From a very young age I was fascinated by all the different ways that people lived, and I remember trying to make sense of their personalities based on their homes. I would obsessively study magazine interiors at a young age, and try to imagine living in those spaces. I ended up studying architecture at university, and was always drawn to the human centric elements of design. There's nothing I'd rather be doing
HG: Who or what inspires you?
ME: I find myself drawn to designers who work on multiple levels, balancing out an intellectual approach to design with elements that resonate on an emotional level. My favourite interiors are those of collectors - interiors that are deeply personal and meaningful to the people that inhabit them.
HG: Where is your happy place?
ME: Any place with sun and water..
HG: What are the benefits of working with a designer?
ME: I think a good designer is able to offer you a different perspective on your space or life, and is able to look at the entire project at every level - both macro and micro - to ensure it results in a cohesive whole. The best compliment I got from a client was when they walked into a space and said “This is more me than me!”
HG: Any tips for tabletop styling?
ME: Don’t be afraid to change tabletop vignettes often as it helps you see the room with fresh eyes and keeps it interesting. Fresh flowers and greenery make a world of a difference. A couple of broad leaves in a beautiful vase next to a stack of new inspiring books always looks great on a coffee table. For dining table settings, I think its interesting to break up sets of dishes and re-combine them with accent pieces to create a different experience.