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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
House & Garden: Landscape, Design & Home Accessories in Zamalek
Located on Ahmed Heshmat Street in Zamalek, House & Garden is a charming furniture, gardening and interior design shop all in one. A blue post with small colourful wooden houses attached to its supposed branches indicates its location from the street, however one will have to dig through a cove of greenery, along a maze-like path to reach your final destination.
The shop instantly pleases the eye with generous bursts of colour; every section of the space is painted in a different bright colour and the outside area filled with plants for landscaping purposes feels like a secret garden.
Within the shop, there are a variety of items ranging from full-on furniture, such as dining tables and side chests, as well as accessories for the house that include lamps, flower pots, mirrors and even towels.
The overall style is clean-lined, earthy and cottage-quaint. Incorporating a lot of wood and basic colour schemes largely play into that image; the prominence of garden accessories also adds to the countryside feel. Small, locally painted flower pots go for 100LE, while small paintings of flowers ranged 1200LE-1500LE.
Lighting fixtures are aplenty, mostly with round lampshades made out of fabric; the designs are colourful and generally quite simple. A ceiling light with several dangling lamp shades goes for about 1200LE, while a larger but simpler one was priced at 600LE. Table lamps range at 150LE-250LE.
Larger furniture items are not largely on display, however, a dining table available at the time of our visit stood for 6000LE, while a banquette carried a price tag of 2900LE. House & Garden also carries a lot of other items such as mugs (50LE), teacup sets (300LE) and bags (180LE), as well as handmade notebooks and pouches. Handmade leather wallets, designed by the shop's assistant, go for 80LE.
House & Garden also carry a selection of items by Ikea. Blankets (190LE), lanterns, pots with artificial flowers (50LE) and candle holders (120LE), are all available by the Swedish brand.
The location is shared with George Hathout's interior design and landscaping studio, and artist Mariam Hathout's work is also featured there. The whole atmosphere is one of creativity and exudes an undeniable peacefulness.
If you're looking for quality, simple home accessories, at reasonable prices – compared to other Zamalek shops – then House & Garden is a very promising place to start.
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.