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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Eklego Design: New Branch Opens in Heliopolis
Quickly becoming a household name for a funkier, more modern look, Eklego recently launched their Heliopolis outlet.
A large window display showcases their latest collection, which is inspired by Egyptian styles and designs such as upholstery and curtain fabrics with the lotus flower, papyrus flower and Egyptian cotton plant. While colourful and adventurous, they seem more suitable for an outdoor space or a summer home.
Unlike the Zamalek shop, accessories are scattered around and tucked away in the second half of the shop. Although seemingly small, the shop is actually quite a large L-shape with at least three to four separate living room sets on display. Although the layout of the shop is less homely, it’s definitely easier to see the variety of items on display.
Colourful carafes and funky accessories can be found as one goes deeper into the shop. One of our favourite items was a toilet paper holder and magazine rack in one, tucked away in a corner bedroom display.
Their collection of towels by Aya, and linens by Malaika include duvets, duvet covers, travel bags, blankets, colourful table runners and summer throws. The linen section also included baby cot sheets and covers as well as travel bags and bikini bags for the meticulous.
The shop also has a corner that carries Floors & More products, which include a selection of massive wood flooring and colourful cement floor tiles.
A selection of artistically bold prints on canvas was especially eye-catching. We learned that the prints were taken from a magazine called Bent El Nil; launched as part of the women’s rights uprising in the 1950s.
For those seeking a more contemporary look, a display of ornate light fixtures hangs near the entrance, including a line of silver-plated fixtures by Maha Gharabawy (6,000LE and up). The collection also includes cloth fixtures by Eklego in a variety of sizes, as well as a few varieties with Islamic designs. A colourful dangling spiral fixture makes a perfect corner-piece and will cost you 7,500LE.
The collection also includes a selection of wool and silk combination Syrian-style rugs as well as the latest Drumstick mid-century collection inspired by designs from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s in Egypt.
Dining tables and chairs, bedroom sets, and living sets are all on display in a variety of colours – though the style remains simple and sharp.
Although we were told that the collection is the same as other outlets, we felt that the layout was more contemporary; their modern, minimalistic look is maintained, but a more diverse selection of items are visible.
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.