Cairo is never short of home accessory stores, many of which seem to be dotted around the Zamalek island. Opened across from the Fine Arts College in early June 2010, L’Oiseau Du Nil (Bird of the Nile ) is the latest elegant Zamalek gallery to offer a diverse collection of paintings, accessories and furniture pieces in a spacious and elegant setting.

There’s a certain cluttered and sporadic sense to the store in the way the items are randomly positioned and displayed. The store’s large windows carry an attractive arrangement of pepper-red cushions with vibrant flowers under an equally vibrant leather bag, both of which contrast nicely with the bright blue, wooden child’s desk and its quaintly matching stool. Oil paintings and silkscreen prints adorn the walls, all by local artists for prices ranging between 3000LE and 15,000LE.

Perhaps it’s the chilli pepper curtain hanging behind the storefront window, the sand beneath the window’s displayed items or the long wooden and cream chaise longue temptingly reclining in the store’s corner, but the items invoke a certain summer house vibe. If this reviewer had a beach house, the round, wooden four-seat table would fit perfectly on our terrace. Two eight-seat oblong lacquered wood tables (15,600LE) in either black or white are displayed on either side of the room, both of which are modern, sleek and graceful additions to a spacious and well-lit room.

For something a little fancier, a His-and-Her set of black wooden cabinets (9100LE each) carry portraits of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. A display shelf in the centre of the room holds delicate ashtrays, mugs, teapots and vases in china, glass and silver. On one end of the store, a white cast-iron bed (2200LE) is decked out in 100% cotton sheets and a quaint, handmade quilt in bright pink with flower patchwork (around 400LE). Bedding and cushion covers by local brand Malaika are stocked on a shelf next to a selection of delicate notebooks.

On the other side of the room, display shelves carry a collection of leather bags and fabric clutch bags by Vika and Nuniz, including a snakeskin clutch bag with an Arabic calligraphy slogan in silver (400LE) by Vika, and a canvas brown and beige clutch bag by Nuniz for 600LE. A golden cabinet displays large stone rings and golden drop earrings by Dina Magawry, while a separate cabinet contains delicate gold-leaf necklaces and bracelets with the kaf symbol as well as several large stone rings. Prices range from 300LE to over 600LE for the jewellery.

While many of the store’s items were quite aesthetically pleasing, the shop’s formula of combining home accessories with jewellery, bags and paintings is far too familiar. Too many galleries and stores have recently tapped into this trend and display the same styles, if not the same labels.

Nonetheless, L’Oiseau provides elegant and chic home accessories and gifts just in time for the summer season.