Independent Design Magazine

Design to Go | Mona Hussein & Karim El Assal

Design to Go | Mona Hussein & Karim El Assal

Mona Hussein Karim Assal Design to Go

Born with the pandemic, the “Design To Go” initiative is changing the lives of many. This hopeful initiative created by “Esorus” aims to support people during the quarantine. They will be joyfully helping people to create an environment in their homes that will keep productivity level up. To clarify, the designers will be sharing their experience from home so that everybody can benefit from their knowledge.

“The Design Quaranteam” receives requests from clients who want to redesign their spaces and come up with a proposal for this space. On this design request, Design to Go collaborated together with the two renowned designers Mona Hussein and Karim El Assal to transform a girl’s bedroom.

Design to Go | Mona Hussein & Karim El Assal

About Designers

Mona Hussein is the creative force behind her design offices of Mona Hussein Design House –MHDH– & Mahally.  She first launched a lighting showroom ‐Temple of Light‐ in 1992 in the World Trade Center of Cairo. In 1993, Mona established MHDH Office, a 27 years old company by now. Honing her talent for design, she expanded her Interior Design House into Landscape, Architecture, Product Design and Branding.

Karim El Assal graduated as an architect from Fine Arts Faculty. After that El Assal joined Palm Hills Developments from 2002 to 2008. In 2008 he co-founded S E G M E N T S Architects as a managing principal. In 2009 SEGMENTS gained the highly publicized award, “The Best Development Egypt” in the CNBC property awards for Golden Park Resort & Spa. And shortlisted in WAN awards with the unique restaurant design of EATERY CFC.

Client brief

The room owner is a girl who is vibrant, athletic and generally interested in arts and makeup. She likes to work out and do yoga, therefore she wanted to have a sports section in her room, a thing designers saw as a nice challenge. She also likes to entertain her friends at home. That’s why she wanted extra sleeping space to host sleepovers at her house. With the limited space she had, she wanted to beautify and create more functions in her room. After submitting her request to Design to Go by Esorus, Mona Hussein and Karim El Assal rolled up their sleeves for this exciting challenge.


First designers started thinking of smart solutions to get a new furniture layout. They needed to make the room more functional and accommodate for more activities. They also considered the problem of poor lighting that needs to be solved as well as reviving the space with accessories.

Designers mainly tried to work with the existing furniture as much as possible. Therefore, they decided to keep the white placard wardrobe the client already had. The white colour along with the mirrors will make the room look wider.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

New Layout

When changing the layout, they shifted the bed not to be right infront of the door entrance. On the right side, they added a tv unit that can be built in or even movable to adapt to the new position of the bed. Beside the tv unit is the dresser with a chair.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

Designers also wanted to add a playful and joyful element in the room. Therefore, they placed a hammock in the corner under the windows. This new space along with the added plant can be a delightful area for the girl to enjoy.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

The Bed

Basically, the client had one bed and wanted an extra bed for her friends when they come over. She also wanted to have a bigger bed of 120cm width. Designers thought of solutions to get these beds together and make the most out of the space.

Three options have been suggested. First, is a bunk bed where there is a larger bed on the lower deck and a smaller one above for the guests. The upper space can be used as a spare working area as well. Besides the stairs can be used as a storage space and solve a problem the girl was already suffering from. She can also use the space under the bed for storage if she wants.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

Since some people might feel that the bunk bed makes the room smaller, designers gave another option for the extra bed to be under the original bed. However, there wouldn’t be storage space under the bed like the first option.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

The third option they had was to make the bed foldable up against the wall to save space. On the other hand if she will go for that option, there has to be more seating furniture in the room to serve while the bed is moved away.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

New yoga space

Shifting the orientation of the bed provided space of around 2 metres between the bed and the wardrobe. That’s new created space can be used to do yoga or exercise. They also added dynamic shelves on the wall that can be decorated according to the girl’s need.

Design to Go

Colour Scheme and decoration

For the color scheme, designers went for pink, greys and black to add a nice layer to the room.

Moreover, designers added a DIY wall the girl can paint and interact more with her new bedroom. She also wanted a board that can be added behind the door and beside the tv unit. She can even hang her sports tools on the wall as a decorative multifunctional element.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

“When the room is tight, avoid bulky furniture. Add elements you can see through which gives the feeling of lightness.” – Mona Hussein

Desk with Task lighting

Designers suggested using furniture that you can see through to make the room feel spacious. This also applies to the hanging hammock they added in the corner.

Generally, designers thought of having a desk that is not bulky, since it is the first thing you see when entering the room. For the desk they had a nice option to be both a desk and a dresser at the same time. They also added task lighting which is so essential besides the ambient lighting. The designers also suggested for the main ambient lighting to be on a dimmer to adjust its intensity. Since the girl likes to read, they added LED reading light beside her bed to suit her more.

Design to Go

Window and curtains 

They suggested having blinds with the color black that adds a special layer to the space.

Mona Hussein & Karim Assal collaboration with Design to Go

We talked to Perry, the bedroom owner and asked about her opinion of the design ideas

Perry: “I believe that experience as a whole was so easy and professional. Especially that it was all for free. I was even more excited to know I was picked by Mona Hussein and Karim El Assal. They were very friendly and welcoming to answer my questions. I was confident and comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas that we discussed.”

The results were way better than expected. I expected only a couple of advice. However, what I got was a tailored beautiful design. The designers were so welcoming and cared to understand my preferences and needs. They covered everything I want in a very smart and convenient way for me. I was so much pleased that they got me and gave me an amazing design that fits my personality, especially in the window corner with plants. I am so satisfied with this experience and I am already in the process of implementing these ideas.” Perry added

On their experience participating in Design to Go, we talked to the designers’ Mona Hussein and Karim El Assal who expressed their thrill with such a challenge.

“It was such an interesting experience. With collaboration with Karim, we were able to do much more than we could have done working individually. Two heads are always better than one. In the end, I believe we were able to provide the client with useful solutions that can really help her.” Mona Hussein said.

Karim El Assal also found this experience to be very special, helping people out in such a difficult time really meant a lot. “I believe we managed to reach a result that satisfied Perry. We are still communicating with her, helping her out with the suppliers, and advising her on buying the products,” El Assal said. “Working with Mona Hussein, I was truly impressed with the way she was handling the project. She got really into it, working hard on finding solutions. We really enjoyed working together”

On the ongoing discussions and online the designers said:

Mona Hussein said: “These discussions filled the gap and brought the design back to the scene. Initiatives like “Design to go” created new demand, new conversation, and ideas. It proved that we can do a lot using only social media platforms and engaging online events.”

On the other hand, Karim El Assal added, “I believe that collaboration between designers must be more significant in the future. Through the current ongoing initiatives, we are sending a message to the younger generation of designers that we can always collaborate and share experience in a much healthier environment.”

“I believe there has to be a shift in the designers’ mindset to set the ego aside and work together for the public interest. We hope that in the future we can see many designers and architects collaborating on big projects each in their area to get the best product”, Karim El Assal.

Interior design and Coronavirus

Mona Hussein also believes this pandemic will have its effect on the interior design. People will need more functional spaces. They will want to have a gym or office space for instance. Furthermore, she believes there will be a change in real estate. Clients will go more for houses that provide them with outdoor spaces that are part of their houses.

On the other hand, Karim El Assal questioned whether the commercial spaces will remain as much cluttered as they used to be? And if people would again want to sit side to side in crowded restaurants or we will witness a new shift in design standards. “Things are still not clear, but definitely what to come will totally be a different world”, El Assal said. “I believe that this crisis has set the road for much more flexible solutions like working from home. Personally, when I want to expand in the future, I will consider including more freelancers to the team who can join us through online platforms. This will be much convenient instead of having to get a bigger office.”

Read more about Coronavirus and its impact on city design and social behaviors here.

Follow Linesmag on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn to catch up on our recent posts or sign up for our Newsletter for free.

An architect who’s passionate about movies, design, and advertising. Living for the art of storytelling in different ways, and always seeking to write inspiring stories about good things in the world.