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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Home Sense: Kitchenware & Gifts in Sheraton Heliopolis
On the busy Khaled Ibn El Walid street in Sheraton Heliopolis, lays a colourful cosy shop with a house logo drawn on its sign that says it all.
Before you enter Home Sense, the eye-catching window display warms you up with the colour-coordinating items showing off the variety of products that have still to be seen inside. At the time of this reviewer’s visit, the main colour theme in the display was pink; a set of mugs and a tea set with a large teapot were sporting lovely, tiny, pink floral design all sat on a matching tray. Among other items, the display was decorated with a vase of big, fake, white flowers and another small vase with pale pink flowers. It’s not very often that you find such attention to detail and colour coordination that is so pleasing to the eye.
The shop, though small, is cleverly filled from top to bottom with hundreds of items. On the left they have a display of crystal items, mainly Bohemia crystal, from vases to ashtrays, candle stands, fancy sets of glasses and even boxed sets of the above items which work as a perfect wedding or a house-warming gift.
On the right there are a variety of tea sets, dinner sets, and condimentary canisters with their stands (225 LE) all with very colourful and pretty designs and good quality porcelain.
What this reviewer loved was a collection of white and bamboo tableware, including salad bowls and ovenware with stylish stands for those special family dinners as well as salt and pepper shakers. Other than being adorable, they could easily go with any of your dinner sets because they’re simply white!
On a little corner, you can find funky items like wavy straws, very bright serving spoons and forks with a funny curve to them as well as strangely-shaped plastic plates to match.
Then we come to real kitchenware with renown brands like Pyrex, Luminarc, Pyro-rey, Ocean, Hisar and much more offering everything from glass cups in all shapes and sizes (35LE – 75LE), to sets of pans, cutlery sets, stainless steel professional serving plates that you would find in hotel buffets for example.
Even after all the above, there are still goods further down in the shop, with smaller gadgets like bottle openers, zest graters, fridge magnets, and even a kitchen apron (7LE – 14LE) .
If you’re suddenly stuck to buy a gift for family or friends, or you would like to pamper yourself with that extra set of tableware, then this is the place to go. Home Sense is convenient for its variety of items and its location.
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.