The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


O-M: Cosy Zamalek Home Accessory Shop

reviewed by
Melissa Howell
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O-M: Cosy Zamalek Home Accessory Shop

Some shops in Cairo
are so warm and inciting that it’s difficult to walk by without popping in. Such
is the case with O-M, one of Zamalek’s many home accessory shops.

Located on Hassan Assem Street around from the corner from Mandarine Koueider, O-M
is an abbreviation of the names of owner Mahmoud Abdelwahab’s two children. Described as an
art gallery on the shop’s business card, O-M is divided into two levels that carry unique home accessories. The soft lighting and dark
mashrabeya screens give the shop such a homey quality; you can immediately
envision the products decorating your own place.

Inside the tiny space, the shopkeeper is friendly and just
as happy to answer your questions as he is to let you browse in peace. Despite O-M’s size, you could easily spend an
hour inspecting the collection of merchandise ranging from jewellery to art and
a multitude of decorative pieces.

Red kheyameya-print photo frames and small wooden jewellery
boxes with faded portraits line the surface of an old and heavy mashrabeya
wooden trunk at the centre of the room. A large and elaborate oriental
chandelier hangs low to your right, as various tables and surfaces lie filled
with small trinkets and accessories.

Paintings and framed mosaics line the walls of both floors. Ranging
from 95LE to 600LE, the styles and concepts of the art vary immensely. The same
goes for the jewellery displayed at the front desk. Necklaces are all hung
together, making it difficult to browse through the collection without the shopkeeper’s
assistance. The necklaces are mostly made of colourful stones, and while some
are simple pieces, others are more intricate and priced as high as 450LE.  

As you make your way up onto the mezzanine level, be sure to
check out some of the brass antiques displayed on the staircase. Upstairs is
more artsy with uniquely painted ceramic bowls, trays and boxes (125LE). Some
of the most beautiful prices in the shop are the large round trays that double
as table tops and art. Similar to the engraved brass style common in Egypt, these
trays are painted with intricate floral patterns. The re-mastered antiques at O-M
sell for around 600LE.

More moderately priced items can also be found at O-M. Coasters
were spotted for 35LE and many of their smaller ceramics are very well-priced. There
is also your standard collection of mother-of-pearl inlaid decorations, but
they were a little heavy on the plastic and they don’t add much to O-M’s otherwise
beautiful and unique selection of products.  

360 Tip

Hassan Assem is home to several gift shops that are similar in concept, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for here, try walking down the street to Moon Flower or Mamelouk.

Best Bit

The shop feels cosy and welcoming; so it’s a great place to browse through.

Worst Bit

It is difficult to see some of the individual pieces of jewellery.

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