Liza Beirut‘s interior designer Maria Ousseimi is… not an interior designer. Confused? So is Maria, evidently, as she arrived at the role as a skilled amateur having completed a Master’s in economic development, as well as degrees in philosophy and film. Make up your mind Maria! Still, no matter the roundabout route, she is clearly where she’s meant to be, and even attributes her design success to her lack of formal training, which adds an extra responsibility that manifests itself in an obsessive attention to detail.
The Liza Beirut restaurant occupies the first floor of the Metropolitan Club in the Lebanese capital, and the traditional 19th Century building was once the private residence of the city’s governor. It’s the brand’s first outpost in the area; previous projects have been centred around Paris, but the owners have roots in the Levant. A grand old building deserves a grand occupant, and Liza obliges in style, with gilt frames, bold wallpaper in The Banana Room from Italian designer Idarica Gazzoni, and lighting by Tom Dixon. A splendid place to repose in refinement.