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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Sheffield: Classically Designed Home Accessories Maadi
Located on New Maadi’s Laselky Street near Falasteen Square, Sheffield is a large, two-storey shop that contains a lot more products that its inconspicuous exterior would have you believe. All you see through its glass windows is a collection of tea seats, chandeliers and a few vases. Step inside, and you’ll find a much larger range of diverse furniture, kitchenware, lighting fixtures and ornaments.
The shop is dimly lit, which matches the classic atmosphere of the displayed products. The first floor contains a large collection of china and silver sets, as well as tea cups and trays. Some products are silver-plated while others are made of crystal. Prices range between 300LE and 800LE for a set. You can also buy individual pieces instead of the whole set.
Kitchenware such as cutlery ranges between 400LE and 600LE, in various designs and of good quality. A set of knives with wooden handles in different sizes costs between 150LE and 340LE. The collection of crystal figures and ashtrays is more expensive than we’d expected. A small vase costs over 200LE, and a medium-sized fruit bowl costs 335LE, down from the original price of 550LE. This reviewer felt that such items were overpriced despite their admittedly good quality.
The second floor is allocated for the large furniture sets such as living room sets, which range between 4000LE and 6000LE, in addition to steel cupboards, tables and desks. The floor hosts a few couches and corner seats in bright colours such as red and orange. Several white and black leather couches are displayed for around 8100LE, down from 16,000LE. A smaller red couch costs 1750LE.
At the end of the second floor is a collection of chandeliers in classical designs, as well as artificial fruits and wall ornaments for between 200LE and 1000LE, depending on the size.
All products carry the Sheffield logo, including the German, French and Japanese tea sets. Handmade bohemian crystal and antique wall clocks are also displayed.
Despite its large and diverse collection, we were disappointed by Sheffield's persistent attendant, who followed us around too closely and was not that friendly. That being said, it’s worth checking out Sheffield if you have a home to furnish and prefer classic designs.
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.