Note: Home Tour is a new series where we’ll go inside cool homes, condos and apartments and learn from their owners how they approached designing the space. If you’d like to let us into your home, please send two photos and a sentence on why to [email protected] with subject line HOME TOUR.
A French-Lebanese couple with an eye for contemporary design offered Agenda a peek inside their ultra-modern Myers Park home.
Here’s a quick look at their favorite showrooms and shops, and how they used small touches throughout the design to celebrate their home countries.
Who: Ziad Hage (39) and Murielle Hage (35), their sons Christian (6) and Alexander (5), and dog Zoe (8 months)
Jobs: He’s a cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon, and she’s a conversational French tutor and skincare consultant with Rodan & Fields.
Their story: Ziad and Murielle met in Lebanon before moving in 2006 to Chicago for Ziad’s neurosurgery research and training. In 2016 Ziad’s job moved the now family of four south to Charlotte.
After initially renting a SouthPark condo, their realtor, Mary Beth McIntyre at Belle Properties, found a home that Howey Co. was constructing in Myers Park. The Hages fell fast for the floor plan and the neighborhood, and by purchasing early in the process, they were able to choose all the finishing touches before moving in last April.
“We decided that it was just perfect for us,” says Murielle. “We got to be involved in every single detail of the process.”
The home: The 8,000-square foot, five-bedroom home sits on a hill and includes a walk-out basement into a backyard oasis complete with a pool and splashing waterfall.
Feeling blue: “In Lebanon we lived on a mountain with a big view of the sea,” says Murielle. “We’re Mediterranean—we were always at the beach. So, having a pool was a must. And that’s why I included so many shades of blue in the home. It reminds me of the sea, the beach, summer.”
Coolest kid’s space: The original floor plan included two additional bedrooms upstairs. However, the Hages opted to turn that space into one oversized playroom for their sons. The colorful room includes an art station, reading area, desks, television, and even a teepee.
Ultimate retreat: The basement of the home is a grown-up playground. Designed by House of Nomad, the room features a custom under-lit bar by Long Arm Renovations on one end. The other end includes a home movie theater complete with an old-fashioned popcorn machine and a 160-inch projection screen. Just outside the room’s glass doors are the porch and pool area. “I wanted it to look like a little retreat,” says Murielle.
Shops and Inspiration
The look: Murielle scoured local showrooms for many of the home’s finishing touches including its lighting, cabinetry, and even tile. Much of the home’s lighting, including the dining room’s silvery bubble chandelier, is from Lee Lighting. The kitten’s chic cabinets are from Distinctive Cabinets and its tile and countertops are from Tile Collection.
Mix it up: When it comes to decor, Murielle loves the look of Restoration Hardware and many of the home’s statement pieces such as the living room’s L-shaped white sofa and the dining room’s concrete base table are from the store. But she also incorporated some less expensive items. “It’s a mix of pieces,” says Murielle, who points out that some items like the kitchen’s bar stools ($169 each) are actually from IKEA.
Art smart: For the home’s art, such as paintings like the Lauren Reddick nude in the entry and the abstract works flanking the fireplace, Murielle went to Judith Zehmke with Charlotte’s Art House. “Judith came to the house and looked at the colors and the vibe,” she says. “Then she was able to select a few art pieces for me.”
French connection: In the home the couple speaks French to each other and their children all the time so that they’ll also speak it fluently. “We wanted to introduce the French culture into the home,” says Murielle. Around the home their are touches like oversized photography of Paris and French decor in the bathroom. “We also always have classical music playing. It reminds us of shops in Paris.”
Homage to home: The Hages recently planted a cedar tree in the backyard, a nod to Lebanon’s traditional tree, which can be found on its flag. Another memory of their past can be found in the ground floor guest room, which features oriental rugs and Lebanese decor. Murielle says these are items from the couple’s first Chicago apartment. “My husband is a self-made man,” she says. “Sometimes I cannot believe this house. This room reminds us of where we came from.”