As promised, I’m back with a home tour of the Talrejas.  I’ve done many store tours in the past year and half but this would be the first home tour. As always, let’s start at the beginning. The Talrejas are old friends of my folks and had invited us for tea one evening during our trip to Bahrain. We went as you normally go over to friends’; it had been over 15 years since I last met them. I was no longer the skinny, college-going girl they knew, and neither were they young parents of  toddlers.  The years have given way to relocation, kids, grown-up kids, and grey hairs. I entered. I saw and I was floored. Seriously. You don’t plan on visiting someone’s home with the idea of capturing it in celluloid. I was lucky to be carrying my camera. This home had to be shown…so I asked the…

There’s a shop around the corner where my parents live. It’s a plain, white-colored, non-descript building that houses many Indian and Pakistan antique and handicraft shops. But the one on the corner stood out. Every time we passed by that route, I would longingly gaze into the shop for all its colors and variety displayed on the windowsill. Then one day, I went in and regretted why I hadn’t been here before.It’s one of a kind that you fall in love the first time and long to go again and again. Colors have that kind of a magic over me.

The store is called Pleasant Home and it’s in Adliya, Bahrain. The shop has  a wide range of lamps from Turkey, Syria and Iran. Apart from this, one can find quirky items like a old water boiler from Russia with inscriptions in Russia dating back to the 1800s, traditional Arabic incense holders, and dishware called Tajine. So, are you ready for a virtual tour as I take you through the magical world of Turkish and Syrian lamps?

On a closer look, you’ll see these lamps can either be hung from the ceiling or on walls with clamps. Very delicately done with pieces of colored mirrors.

Maha Al-Yousif is a blogger, interior designer and boutique owner. Her blog Bahraini Diva is a mine of fabulous finds. It’s a shame the lady doesn’t blog anymore actively as, in her own words, her business takes up a good part of the day and energy.  She runs a boutique in Muharraq called Diva’s Touch. As a principle, I don’t post pictures anything but interiors on this blog. But I liked the floral patterns on the cheerful dresses, so making an exception today. Though Maha doesn’t design clothes herself, she travels and procures that fit her style and taste. Sometimes to be a successful business person, all you need is a sense of taste, style and most importantly, the will to follow your heart.And, the 1600 odd fans on FB, is a small testimony of popularity. She says she has been into interior designing for as long as she can…

Have you noticed something common in the stores this winter? I did. Accidentally. After picking up two tops and a candle – all in purple, which my son pointed  out to me.  Purple is the rage this season and people are loving it. It is different from the regular yellow, red, orange and white. A few clicks of the stores from my window shopping trips: The purple and white crockery with floral pattern is from REDTAG – a popular retail chain with outlets across the Middle East in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. I’m floored by their home decor products, in particular, lamp shades and crockery. Image courtesy: All images shot by me at the store with permission.

Hope you all had a great Christmas. I’m visiting my parents at Bahrain on a 3-week vacation.   The weather is perfect: pleasant mornings, sunny afternoons cooled by a mild breeze, and chilly evenings. No matter how much you go around a place by car, there’s nothing to beat the sights, smells and sounds one experiences by foot. Don’t you agree? Every afternoon I go by myself with camera for company taking pictures of a new store, huge pots lining the streets and the colorful petunias along the medians. Despite being in the Middle-East, the festive spirit of X’mas and New Year is hard to miss in the stores.  The shelves are filled with tree decorations, stockings, bells, lights, scented candles and holders, incense holders and lanterns. So lovely and so very tempting to indulge in retail therapy… I picked a few lanterns and Arabic style incense/aroma holders.. It is fitting…