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Cairo-Alex Desert Rd, Cairo, Egypt.
Zimmer: Classy, Contemporary Furniture in Cairo
With the opening of Designopolis and the introduction of international furniture brands to the Egyptian market, local competitors have been forced to rise to the challenge.
Zimmer at Designopolis is a well-stocked showroom of household furniture and accessories ranging from indoor furniture and lighting to outdoor furniture, rugs and accessories. Zimmer holds what is referred to as contemporary furniture; a fusion of classic and modern furnishing styles.
Furniture brands such as American Leather, Della Robbia, Julian Chichester, Val-Eur, Vanguard and Verellen Home Collection are represented in the spacious showroom. While the selection of furniture is not very large, individual items can compliment a space if well-placed. Prices range between 12,000LE and 22,000LE for coffee tables, which come in Plexi, high and regular glass, mirrors and wood. Sofas and beds – which come in both cotton and leather – are priced in the range of 30,000LE and upwards.
Pieces can also be upholstered by order and take about three to four months to deliver; a full selection of fabrics (US$ 24per yard to US$300 per yard) by international brands such as Beacon Hill, Fabricut, Innovations, S. Harris, Vervain, Trend and Robert Allen are available at the shop; payment in US$ is accepted.
Colourful cushions (200LE to 700LE), table runners, napkins (66LE) and napkin clips (30LE to 50LE) from Shades of India are also available. Outdoor furniture by Kevin Cobonpue ranges from 3000LE to 21,000LE. A selection of colourful tableware by Guzzini that is perfect for patio use ranges from 80LE to 600LE.
Textured wallpapers from Philip Jeffries Ltd. and Maya Romanoff range from US$40 (232LE) per yard to US$370 (2152LE) per yard and can be used to accentuate a wall or ceiling. Lighting from Arteriors home, Currey Company and Tozai Home is also available, ranging from 3500LE for a lamp or pendant to 23,000LE for a chandelier.Zimmer also holds a line of modern rugs by El Kahhal – one of the oldest rug weavers in Egypt. Designs for modern homes are available and customisable, with a few selections by local designer Hassan Hassan on display. A range of patterns, swatches and materials are also available if you’re adventurous and want to make your own rug. Rugs are woven in acrylic, wool and cotton-silk; pricing is per square metre and delivery takes four weeks. Turkish patchwork rugs are also available and can be customise-sized to your house.
The common notion in the Egyptian market that the word ‘Imported’ stands for good quality has lead many business owners to neglect Egyptian-made products and even take pride in offering the costumer the imported ones. Now that almost everything we buy has been manufactured abroad, one can’t help but be impressed when finding quality products with the label ‘Made in Egypt’.
Among the local brands that are swimming against the tide, Inca & Co. offers a variety of furniture textiles and fabrics, which are designed by Egyptian artists and mostly manufactured in Egypt. Located on 26th of July Street next to Drinkies in Zamalek, the spacious shop well-organised and efficiently set-out. On the left, is a collection of fabrics is displayed on wall-mounted metal tubes, while other products, like cushions, are shelved on the other side. At the centre of the shop, a number of swatch books are displayed on a rectangular island.
One of the collections that can be found in the swatch books is ‘The Road to Marrakesh’, whose relatively light fabrics can be perfect for beach house furniture. From this collection, we liked a white fabric embroidered in black with a simple floral design (340LE per metre).
With a more complex design of flowers and birds, ‘Mexico Passion’ (460LE per metre) boasts a heavier material, durable for daily-use furniture. Not as heavy is the curtain-suitable ‘Winter Dust’ (325LE per metre), whose geometrical patterns come in various colours, including beige and light blue.
Besides fabrics, Inca & Co. has a versatile collection of products, including cushions (medium 325LE / Large 375LE), poufs (1150LE) and mattresses of different shapes and size. From the latter we liked the over-sized squared mattress (1980LE), which can comfortably take two persons, as well as a more firm mattress for a single person (890LE).
And like any Textile shop, none of the displayed items are available for instant purchasing; while the fabrics are received four days after placing the order, other products take to 10 days, which you can customise by choosing the fabric and adding tassels for an extra fee of 65LE.
In the textiles business, both durability and design are of great importance. And while Inca & Co. designs mainly cater to modern settings, the diverse collection promises good quality and taste – but at a price.