Those of us lucky enough to have seen some of Egypt’s treasures in its own museums and temples know what a rich cultural heritage it has – so it seems odd that so little contemporary Egyptian design reaches Europe. Egyptian-born Hedayat Islam Taymour, who lives with her husband and children in London, has put that right. In November she opened Jam Space, in Chelsea, a shop selling delightful household objects and accessories, many designed and made in the country of her birth.
Every item comes with a card explaining what the product is, who made it and anything else of interest. Take, for instance, the lovely handmade coloured glassware (decanters, from £78; glasses, from £18; second picture). The card talks about the ancient Egyptians’ passion for glassmaking and reveals that this range comes from a company that started out making traditional hookah pipes. There are some enchanting cushions (from £85) made by villagers in remote rural areas using appliqué, patchwork and beadwork. Acrylic tables are embellished with laser-printed classic Egyptian patterns (from £895; example in first picture) or embedded with handwoven tapestries inspired by suzani textiles (from £995). I like, too, the Nuniz handbags (from £195) in soft leather and simple shapes.
Jam Space, then, is great for pieces for the home and superb for sourcing unusual – and not outrageously priced – presents.