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French Version

Jean-Louis Mainguy and the World of Interior Design - Space for Minds and Bodies

Photos by : Albert Saikaly
Text by: Stephanie Saldana

Jean Louis is more than an interior designer. Like a psychologist, he sits his clients down and probes into their dreams. And then he makes houses of those dreams.

Known for a phenomenal depth of imagination, Mainguy has gained fame internationally for an uncanny sense of vision and an ability, above all else, to encompass history.

His projects have included everything from baroque style villas with classical painted ceilings to contemporary lines residences with a touch o fusion-styles, passing through the very traditional refurbished Lebanese old houses, furnished with the genuine oriental taste of combinations.

For the last twenty years, he has been creating a new wave of expressions for the inner world space, including hotels, restaurant and modern office building with expansive and retro furniture. Fusing the past to the future, his aim is to create spaces not that humans adapt to, but that adapt to humans. In the spatial world of Mainguy, interior design provide an opportunity for human beings to live in the world while leaving inside themselves.

‘ The interior reflects the truth, dreams, desires, and deep beliefs; the interior is not this superficial layer, commonly called ‘décor’… The idea is that every project must steak totally to the character of the client, and each client is fortunately different,’ Mainguy says from his office in Beit Mery. ‘ An interior designer must look at the deep inside; he makes the heart of a work and it has to be vibrant. This heart has to beat at the rhythm of he who dwells in it’.

‘Every project is a new dream because your client is guiding you through his own personality – his own space with his own needs. Interior design is the right word, because the interior is the inside – the inside of a space has to reflect the inside of the mind and of the body. If you reach that point with a client, then you have succeeded, and your achievement will be the exact reflexion of the owner’s soul,’ he said.

Mainguy’s challenge is to unravel his client’s emotional chord and to funnel it through his own creativity. The final result is a dual creation – a work that results both from the clients’ personalities and Mainguy’s ability to fashion them into a physical space. As one client put it, the result is that one feels as through he is walking into his own dreams. ‘ You have to go with the dreams of your client and pass them through your mind,’ Mainguy said. ‘Then you have to synthesize all of that.


Beirut,10 06 2003
Stephanie Saldana
Cedar Wings
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