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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
High Home: Home Accessories & Custom-Made Furniture in Heliopolis
Located on Triumph Square in Heliopolis, High Home is a small but brightly lit furniture shop. As you make your way down the few steps and small garden area at the entrance, you will be greeted with a small fanfare of music set off by the sensor at the door.
High Home specialises in all types of furniture and home accessories, the latter of which are all imported from the Philippines, Thailand, Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan and India. With regards to the furniture, the shop customises pieces according to your specification at their workshop in Ain Shams. They have a range of catalogues that you can choose from, and you can bring your own catalogues, photos and ideas from which they can work off.
Open since 2005, the shop area is quite small, yet it packs a large range of different models showcasing the diverse accessories and furniture that High Home can manufacture.
The staff at High Home is talkative and friendly, and an attendant will be happy to stay close by as you browse through the displayed items.
The range of accessories is huge, and is best exemplified by the price range; the fact that you can spend anything between 50LE and 5000LE on one piece is testament to that. A one-piece wooden tableau with carvings sells for 3750LE, while wooden cat statuettes inlaid and grafted with metal sells for 50LE a piece. Other animal statuettes are available inlaid with copper. Another thing that High Home has in abundance is decorative wall prints and stickers.
One of the pieces of furniture that caught this reviewer’s eye was a large L-shaped couch upholstered with a velour-like material. It sells for a costly 10,000LE. The shop’s owner would be happy to recreate a similar couch to your size, material and price needs.
One thing that pleasantly surprised us is the quality of service at High Home. They aren’t just carpenters; they have a decorator’s eye. During a consultation, the staff will inquire about the interior of the room that the furniture is intended for. Although there‘s a budding interior decorator in all of us, it’s always nice to get a professional’s point of view.
The Cairo shopping scene is mixed bag, but hidden gems can be found all over the city, especially if one’s following the fashionable, vintage trend. Wandering down quiet Hassan Assem Street in Zamalek, we stumbled across O-M; a unique shop displaying some dusty, vintage and very beautiful pieces – namely home accessories. The shop is small but covers two floors and the glass front exposes the entire space.
After brushing off the wave of dust that hit us as we entered, we felt as though we’d been transported into a spectacular Aladdin’s cave of sorts. The owner and artist, Mahmoud Abdelwahab, was sitting at his desk, busily transforming an old metal shisha into an ornate light fitting.
Other lighting creations were hung from the ceilings, made from copper and metal with beads, alabaster or glass shades. A vintage oil lamp, transformed into an electric table lamp with an alabaster shade, was priced at 400LE, whilst its twin, with an unusual salt shade, was 500LE.
We enquired about having a large custom-made lighting fixture for a stairwell, using 20 assorted alabaster shades and Abdelwahab quoted between 4000LE-5000LE, ready in two weeks and handmade of course. The choice of material and chaining was offered, as well as the promise that modifications could be made later, if we so wished.
Every inch of the shop is used to display his astonishing products; mirrors, antique tapestries and art work (200LE+) line the walls, whilst even the beautiful mosaic display tables are for sale.
A giant, hand-sewn, black and gold tapestry was priced at 700LE, despite its slightly fraying edges – tell-tale signs of its old age. The largest mosaic-topped dining table was priced at 5400LE, however, Abdelwahab assured us he could make any shape, size and design that we required. The same applied to an elaborate Oriental chest of drawers (4000LE) made from vintage balcony balustrades.
Several different styles of coasters were available (30LE/each), too; some were funky mosaic designs, whilst others were made from wood encased with glass. There was also a collection made from photographs of iconic actors and actresses. Unique gift cards made using vintage photographs of Egypt were for sale at just 10LE.
Hand-crafted, beaded necklaces, bracelets (25LE+) and earrings were also on display. A chunky red, turquoise and silver, statement necklace was priced at 125LE. Upstairs we found more of the same, including hand-decorated ceramic plates and tiles, several hippie-type material pouches, some designed to hold sunglasses whilst others would be better suited to make-up or toiletries (40LE-75LE). We even noticed some old journals from the 1970’s, priced at 30LE.
Quality, vintage, handmade products like those sold at O-M are considered both beautiful, precious and a rare commodity in other parts of the world. Mahmoud Abdelwahab certainly has talent and is able to dedicate his life to his passion, every piece slightly different from another, resulting in exceptional, decorative and functional home accessories.