Noha Mohsen and her husband Mohamed Salah El-Din are the dynamic duo behind Mono Design House. Headquartered in Cairo, their work has garnered a lot of admirers and clients across the region, from El Gouna to Jeddah and beyond. Despite the couple’s constant travel, eniGma’s Farida El Sayed was able to grab coffee with Mohsen and to chat about the budding design house.
With a degree in architectural engineering from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Noha Mohsen had a fascination with the arts long before her university studies. Her husband, Mohamed Salah El-Din, graduated from construction engineering a few years before she did. “He was the one who gave me opportunities before anyone knew me or knew my work, so it just made sense for us to work together,” says Mohsen, explaining how it made perfect sense for her to join forces with her husband. “Once I graduated in 2014, I immediately decided to work with him,” she adds.
Enjoying the creative side of architecture, Mohsen is responsible for concept creation, mood boards, and preparing technical drawings, while Salah El-Din is tasked with the hands-on execution of these grand concepts into reality. This doesn’t mean, however, that Mohsen stays away from project sites. With an avid attention to detail, she is always there to make sure everything is just as she envisioned it. “Sometimes we need to get an exact replica of the colour in the 3D drawings, so I would be the one mixing paints and getting messy to create those distinct hues,” she explains.
Established just five years ago, Mono Design House has already managed to stand out in a crowded market by listening closely to clients and offering an international sense of comfort. Mohsen explains, “I like to explore my clients’ lives in order to create a fulfilling design for them. Most of my clients these days want something international.” Indeed, it is the worldly appeal of her designs that has attracted a bevy of supporters from across the region.
Besides the many residential spaces they’ve designed, Mono Design House recently completed a series of commercial projects, ranging from a nail salon with brightly cushioned swings, to an edgy coffee house. There is nothing Mohsen and Salah El-Din can’t flawlessly accomplish. The design house also plans to expand a step further by starting a distinct line of products and furniture for contemporary spaces.
Of course, with success comes a hectic work schedule. And like other working mothers, Mohsen, who has a three-year-old son, has to manage her time carefully. She admits that it may seem like a lot to handle at first, but she finds that a positive perspective helps her maintain an appropriate work-life balance. Mohsen explains, “From the start I did not allow my pregnancy to slow me down. It was hard at first, but eventually everything went well. I truly believe that with the day consisting of 24 hours, there’s enough time to balance it well.” This can-do attitude undoubtedly explains, not only Mohsen’s success as a working mother, but to a large extent, the success of Mono House Design as well.
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