Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab is popularly known for his red carpet gowns and drool-worthy wedding dresses that are revered by millions around the world. However, like any other celebrity, Saab prefers to stay in privacy.
"I don't go out a lot. I like to receive people at home," said the 51-year-old Saab. His Lebanese mountain home is just proof of his not-so-humble abode.
Wall Street Journal's Brooke Anderson describes the kind of greeting guests receive at Elie Saab's Faqra mansion:
"His mountain home is at the end of a long, winding and breathtaking climb to the town of Faqra, an hour's drive northeast of Beirut. A visitor is rewarded for the journey with a cockpit-like view of a valley and rolling hills. Mr. Saab takes in a similar view from his breakfast table, seated in his garden across from his wife of 25 years, Claudine, and offering plates of local cheese, olives and sweets."
The home has an open floor plan with a two story ceiling. The top floor houses five bedrooms as well as five bathrooms. Meanwhile, the ground floor is sunken into the mountain and features a large kitchen and a game room.
The center of the house boasts of a wide foyer with and indoor courtyard area that features large square planters filled with orchids. The courtyard is meant to be a modern interpretation of the traditional courtyards in Arab homes.
The home also has two fire pits: one for the pool area, and another for outdoor cooking during the summer. There are also numerous fireplaces both inside and outside the home: in the bedroom, the library, living and dining area (shared), multipurpose room in the basement, and at the garden wall.
The 16,140 square foot host - costing approximately $20 million - is where Saab and his family spend time in around two months a year: summer and winter. Mr. Saab mostly stays in the family's Beirut home for work, although the family also has houses in Geneva and Paris.
Saab also claims that he will be spending a lot more of his time in London, since he plans to open a store in the city this spring.
Saab's longtime friend and architect, Chakib Richani, designed the Faqra mansion. The two have worked together several times in the past, designing his other homes and boutiques.
The two work together to collaborate on Saab's home interior designs. "The coordination was easy because we both think in the same way. He loves my clean lines," Richani explained. "This is the reinterpretation of an old Lebanese house done in a modern way."