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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Vision Modern Lighting: Cheap, Funky Lights Shop in Maadi
The problem is, if prices at Designopolis and Citystars are to go by, you can't find modern designs without a hefty price tag. This reviewer is here to tell you that this is not the case. There are a few exceptions to the rule hidden throughout Cairo; the trick is just where to find them. Vision Modern Lighting is one such shop, offering ultra modern lighting and accessories at very wallet-friendly prices.
Located on the bright and busy El Nasr Street in Maadi, Vision Modern Lighting looks like the type of place that your mother warned you about: neon blinking signs, strange back entrance, a slightly dicey location with horrible parking; the works. But don't be put off by that or by the swarms of people that descend on your car as you attempt to park. It is all part of the sacrifice that you must make to get that 'great deal'. To enter you need to climb up the stairs of the building above the food court, and take your first right on the first floor.
Vision Modern Lighting takes up two floors and is literally jam-packed with every type of home lighting that you can think of. From giant glass-orbed chandeliers (300LE to 800LE) to smaller, silver side lamps and bathroom spotlights, this shop has it all, and everything is reasonably priced. The service was excellent and this reviewer had a very knowledgeable salesperson, who was prompt and professional.
Now for the trade-off. As everyone knows, you get what you pay for, and this universal maxim holds true here as well. The products are not of top-notch quality and are mostly imported from China. This place is for those who want something funky, cheap and temporary because these products are not what we would call investment material.
Most of the light fixtures are a bit over the top, and with the amount of crystal and chrome packed into such a small space it can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you browse long enough you are sure to find that one perfect lamp or chandelier which, when removed and put in a more neutral location such as your home, can provide just the perfect modern touch. This reviewer surprisingly found two highly detailed, arabesque-inspired ceiling lamps at only 120LE each.
For some reason, this shop also sells original oil paintings. This reviewer was
not particularly impressed but there is a buyer out there for everything, so you
might as well take a look. This is probably a good time to mention that for
such a small shop, Vision Modern Lighting has invested a lot into its website.
Rarely do you find a stand-alone shop in Cairo that has a website with a catalogue
and product gallery.
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.