Much like her personal style, Mehreen Mansur’s glamorous home does not adhere to a particular decorating style. The eclectic residence takes influences from different regions and incorporates all those elements together, creating a coherent look. As a designer, she isn’t afraid to put it all out there- even if it goes against more popular styles of decorating. On a fine evening, the elegant entrepreneur talks passion and design inspiration over a steaming cup of coffee.
First things first, tell us about yourself! What are you passionate about?
I was born and raised in a town called Potomac outside of Washington DC. It was a blissful town full of greenery and really an idyllic place to grow up. I attended an all-girls Catholic school with strict standards of education and lifestyle; therefore, I am very old fashioned in my personal values. As my parents travelled since I was in the womb, international travel has always been a staple part of my life. I experienced food from around the world at a young age. My parents always kept an extremely glamorous house and personal appearance. They loved to entertain guests. Hence, my home and social life was always very gorgeous with perfect standards of food, entertainment, decor, and socializing. After moving to Dhaka, I pursued my passion for food and embarked on my journey as a restaurateur, bringing forth eateries like Sushi Samurai, Horse & Horse and Shanghai 10, which are now popular food joints in Dhaka.
What is home to you?
Home is where the heart is, and moreover where the heart feels free and content.
Your home design pulls off quite a unique aesthetic. Who designed it?
Thank you! It’s just the right size for my daughter, my pets, and me. I designed every bit myself. It very much reflects who I am as a person.
The lobby entrance is warm with tan marbled flooring and walls. It has an ancient Babylonian and Egyptian vibe to it with a sandstone feel.
How many people reside in this house? Tell us about them.
Me. Well, enough about me! My daughter Adria is 5 years old and a mini femme fatale in the making. She is very active and aware. Marco and Lucca, my 11 year old dogs have been my lots life partners and they protect our domain and just love cozying up in the corners. Tzarina, my husky princess stays inside the cool AC environment indoors and is truly a happy flittering presence that fills all of our hearts with joy and beauty.
How would you describe your home design?
My home has a myriad of international influences from different periods and celebrates colours, textures, lights and art. The 4500 sqft (approx) space carries eclectic style throughout, creating a flow. I wanted to keep it beautiful while maintaining its unique and colourful soul.
Where did you find the inspiration for your home design from?
Deep within myself. We are a collection of our previous generations and present life experiences. I wanted to exhibit that through my home design, so eclectism was the way to go. As with all my projects, I let it guide me. I trust in unfoldment and start with a basic concept and I let the rest of it unfold step by step. It often comes out different from what I could have imagined.
Can you talk us through each section of your house?
The lobby entrance is warm with tan marbled flooring and walls. It reminds me of the inside of something ancient Babylonian or Egyptian with a sandstone feel. The mirrored walls and crystal installments from the ceilings are to bind together the past and the future, as they really are one. Playful touches of velvet furniture in bold blues and colourful paintings accent the walls, in addition to my collection of Egyptian Papyrus artwork. I love the ancient Egyptian overtones!
My bedroom is based on modern luxurious Viking and taxidermy lodge theme. There are lots of plush hides and warm textures mixed with classic French and Victorian mouldings and Parisian chandeliers. Gold, bold, furry! No animals were harmed in its making other than using cow and goat hides from leather tanneries. It pulls off the taxidermy hunt look without the hunt or harm.
The bedroom is based on modern luxurious Viking and taxidermy lodge theme.
My personal study has a lot of charm and people really gravitate to that room. It has a classic British study theme, except it is adorned with colourful Arabian glass chandeliers. The ceiling is topped with stone tiles with Spanish Moor design theme. There are many antiques in this room which I have collected from travels, especially many African artefacts. It’s a fun room all right! My favourite piece is a late 1700s clock from Paris which still ticks and makes noise hourly. There is also a rendition of an elephant which is not entirely accurate but what the artist imagined the creature to be at that time.
My child’s room has a castle in it. Her wallpaper is vintage rose brown and gold and her castle is double-decker with stairs. I want to give her a fantastical experience at night so she does believe in fairy tales in a world which loses touch of love and magic day by day.
Describe the colour scheme and lighting arrangement of the house
You’ll find bright pops of colour everywhere which is bold but always tasteful. In terms of lighting, it is imperative to keep it warm and dim at night – soulful and calming. Daytime is full of natural sunlight and goodness!
The ceiling in the personal study is topped with colorful Arabic chandeliers and stone tiles with Spanish Moor design theme.
What according to you is the highlight of your house?
It has to be the entrance. It has an insane mirrored ceiling which reflects everything. It’s a part of my desire for a trick of the eye/optical illusion experience.
How is your home different from other homes?
I’m different from other people and so my home is naturally very eccentric and not much like other people’s homes. Beauty aesthetics in the home is very important to me. As is comfort and artfulness.