In the Mountains of Lebanon, a Centuries-Old Guesthouse Welcomes New Visitors


The morning is very simple: I shower and wash my face with the Deep Cleanse exfoliating cleanser from Tatcha and, once a week, I’ll use this Sisley-Paris Exfoliating Enzyme Mask. That has been great for the discoloration on my skin. On my body I’ll use the Grown Alchemist Intensive Body Exfoliant followed by the Tatcha Hinoki Body Milk while my skin is still wet. Unlike a lot of creams that just sit on the skin, this really hydrates and sinks in. I wear the Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair serum during the day, because I have eczema and it’s really protective, and EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46. I just got back from Japan and discovered this really great gender-neutral complexion line called Iroiku. It helps neutralize the undertones of the skin and gives you this really beautiful, balanced complexion, so I’ve been wearing that when I’m on camera. And I have a few things I always carry: Honest Beauty Magic Beauty Balm, I use it as a highlighter, elbow cream, everything. On my lips I use the Sisley-Paris Nutritive Lip Balm, which is heavier for winter. Lastly, no one seems to understand Tatcha’s Serum Stick — you can slather it all over your skin or on top of makeup if it’s starting to dry out, but I use it any time I’m feeling a bit dry or am getting flaky skin around my nose. A few times a week I’ll use 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond mask or Jaxon Lane’s Bro Mask, which has a lot of caffeine and niacinamide in it. I tried the Theraface Pro after giving one to a client who loved it, and I’ve noticed it really de-puffs and the LED lights help with breakouts. I also see Joanna Vargas for Triple Crown facials. The first time I saw her it changed my skin. I’ve been bald for so long and I’m very particular about my head-shaving ritual. I always use this Gillette Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel, but the trick is that you need to exfoliate the skin before and after. I’ve been using Tatcha’s Texture Tonic as an after-shave and I don’t get any bumps or razor burn — and it doesn’t sting. I even tell my clients to use it on legs or underarms where they might get bumps. The first fragrance I bought in college at the Nordstrom in Seattle was L’Eau d’Issey and it’s still the one I go back to.

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Lebanon is one of the few places in the world where you can ski in the morning and be on the beach that same afternoon, and a new boutique guesthouse is perfectly positioned to offer visitors prime access to both. Indira (which means “splendid” in Sanskrit) is a nine-suite property in an over 200-year-old home in the mountain town of Kfour, less than an hour from the Mzaar ski resort and only 40 minutes from both the beach resort town of Byblos and Beirut proper. This one-time private residence was the childhood home of Carla Baz, a 37-year-old lighting and furniture designer now based in Dubai, who led the team tasked with restoring and re-envisioning not just the spaces but also her parents’ extensive collection of art, artifacts and sculptures from the Middle East and Asia. It was, she says, “important to honor the house’s identity and revisit its journey while keeping the original idiosyncratic character.” She turned to Maison Tarazi, a 160-year-old Beirut-based studio that specializes in historical restorations and its own handcrafted creations. At Indira, they focused on several rare mural panels and woodwork from Damascus, as well as ceiling cornices and intricate inlaid furniture. Carole Tarazi Nasnas, a fashion editor turned interior stylist (and partner in Maison Tarazi), worked with Baz to furnish the guest rooms and public spaces. In the end, Baz believes she succeeded in creating a “beautiful place with a soul to it … a house that is inviting and meant to tell a story.” Rooms from $280,

The New York City-based designer Giancarlo Valle has a way of infusing spaces around the world — from Hotel Esencia in Mexico to Joseph Altuzzara’s New York boutique — with a sense of warmth and refinement. “We’re trying to create emotion and bring a feeling forward, more than a style,” Valle explains. “You could say that we have a set of ingredients, but the recipe’s always different.” After spending the past seven years creating pieces to fill these spaces, Valle’s second collection of furniture, lighting and objects represents his design philosophy thus far. “It’s like a very slow-burning set of ideas and experiments,” he says. Among the offerings are the tortoise-like stoneware tile Jane Table, made in collaboration with the artist Matt Merkel Hess; the oversize velvet Tapestry Daybed; and the Liza Stool, which takes Donald Judd’s preferred medium of Douglas fir and softens its effect with slightly splayed legs and a wavy seat that’s designed for optimum comfort. “Some of these pieces have a sort of quietness to them,” Valle says. “They’re not necessarily the showpiece, but I think when you put them all together, they also have an impact.” For those who want to see how the furniture works together in person, the full collection is on display at the designer’s recently opened showroom in SoHo. “Even though these pieces are tailored and bespoke, you immediately kind of want to sit down,” he says of the reception they’ve gotten so far. “That’s a great feeling — just come in and sit down.”

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The founders of the Danish design studio Space Copenhagen, Peter Bundgaard Rützou and Signe Bindslev Henriksen, have worked with a number of exceptional chefs over the last two decades, fostering an appreciation for spaces that showcase the culinary arts. They designed the first Noma in Copenhagen with René Redzepi, and Sergio Herman’s Le Pristine in Antwerp. So when the Swiss chef Andreas Caminada approached them to renovate his latest project — the takeover of Mammertsberg, a six-room inn and restaurant in Freidorf that’s sandwiched between the picturesque Lake Constance and the Swiss Alps — they immediately said yes, despite the challenge of getting it done in six months. Caminada is based in the village of Fürstenau, an hour’s drive south, which over the last two decades has been revitalized with his three Michelin-starred restaurant Schloss Schauenstein and the culinary enterprises that have grown out of it. For Mammertsberg, he brought on the chef Silvio Germann, who is known for modern dishes inspired by the traditional Swiss kitchen and Alpine landscape. Germann worked closely with Space Copenhagen to make the public spaces of the 1911 villa feel as though they belonged to “a sophisticated European collector,” as Bundgaard Rützou put it. They focused on a color palette of rich petrol blue and dusty rose, as well as modern sculptural furniture and lighting, including mobile chandeliers by Michael Anastassiades and vintage pieces from the Klingnau-based manufacturer DeSede. “We always try to evolve spaces by adding evocative and curious contrasts,” explains Bundgaard Rützou. Mammertsberg reopens on Feb. 1; rooms from $421,

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“I think there’s a definite shared ethos in the way people live in Britain and New England that plays into the design of our homes,” says Sue Jones, the co-founder and creative director of Oka. “For all of us, it’s about comfort, family life and entertaining, inside and out.” This month, the British housewares and furniture brand opened its first East Coast location and largest store to date in Westport, Conn. The two-floor space includes a dedicated area for its Tailored by Oka made-to-order seating range. Customers will be able to see the complete assortment of styles offered — from roomy chairs and a half to classic full-length sofas — and feel fabric samples, including a range the Oka team calls “clever”: velvet and Belgian linen that can withstand water and marks. “With muddy paws and family life in mind, we did a lot of research around performance fabrics to find options that looked and felt as close to their natural counterparts as possible, rather than looking like pieces you might find in a pristine hotel,” Jones says. Other highlights include a host of mix-and-match lamps and shades, and throw pillows in eclectic colors and fabrics, from Ikat print Tussah silk to rose-colored stone washed linen.