When Elie Tanous wanted to renovate his eponymous hair salon at The Shops at Riverside, to make it both safe and welcoming during the early days of the pandemic, he turned to an interior designer he noticed on Instagram. “I loved MJ’s style and his work,” said Tanous, “We immediately became very friendly.” MJ was an up-and-coming designer at noted Manhattan firm Robert Passel Interior Design, with clients like the CEO of Gucci and fashion mogul Marc Jacobs. “He did phenomenal work at my salon, refurnishing, making the spaces more private and attractive and choosing colors.”
Tanous was so impressed that when MJ expressed an interest in going out on his own, he suggested a partnership. They formed EM Interiors with Tanous as business director and MJ as creative director. EM Interiors—E for Elie, M for MJ—is based at the salon, where current and potential clients who are building or renovating homes can meet with MJ to plan residential interior design projects. “He’s young, fresh and energetic,” said Tanous. “He’s eager to show his work so he’s reasonably priced. His work is the equivalent to what he was performing at Robert Passel.”
EM Interiors recently completed a redesign of several rooms in a Closter home for a client who enthusiastically endorsed the firm. “It was a great experience,” said Nathaly. “They were very conscious of my budget and super-punctual.” In the living and dining rooms, MJ worked within the budget to give the spaces a whole new look without purchasing expensive new furniture. He cheerfully worked with pieces Nathaly wanted to keep and moved things around for a new perspective. “He changed the whole style by painting, refacing and updating the décor,” said Nathaly. “I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted, but putting it into place was difficult.” MJ brought in rugs and other fabrics, and changed colors.
Nathaly admitted that when she first saw some of the pieces, she was skeptical. She would not have made those choices on her own. But when it all came together, she was amazed; it was perfect. Although not in her original plan, MJ worked his magic on her kitchen, which needed updating, without major construction. “What they did with color, refacing and décor made a huge difference.” She enjoyed the process of working with Tanous and MJ. “I loved how they made me feel, like I was working with family. I hired an interior design firm for my previous home on Long Island, and I felt they were very detached. They weren’t as detailed or patient about listening to everything I had to say. This was more personal, and I didn’t feel rushed.”
Here’s a sneak preview of a new project by EM Interiors: Elie Tanous Salon-La Maison on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Tanous said he recently visited salons in France and loved the smaller, high-end salons that offered a more exclusive experience. A friend told him he had just purchased a brownstone in a location where the concept would fit perfectly. Elie Tanous Salon-La Maison will have a Parisian setting, designed by MJ, with a private wine bar and other accoutrements for VIP members. A September opening is planned.
EM Interiors is located at the Elie Tanous Salon in the Shops at Riverside, Hackensack. For a consultation, call/text 201-281-2454 or email [email protected].