FashionLife & Style

Villa Baboushka: Pricey glamor behind a pink door

A vintage 1930’s Zamalek villa is painted and molded to accommodate progressive art and designer clothing. Villa Baboushka is the ultimate blend of the classic and the contemporary; where high-end fashion, modern artwork, and international design are unveiled in a villa built nearly a century ago.

Waking past the villas in Zamalek, one tends to imagine majestic ceilings, flamboyant gowns, grand staircases, and fine-art. Walking into the pearl-white Villa Baboushka with its striking pink door, these expectations are met and exceeded.

Like walking into the ultimate modern fairytale, where the castle is nothing but fresh and contemporary, the wardrobe (which is lined up across most rooms) is extensive and hip, the furniture is unorthodox, and the art is alluringly progressive.

New light is shed on the phrase “shopping experience” by simply walking into Villa Baboushka. Names like Vivienne Westwood, Robert Rodriguez, Badgley Mischka, Elizabeth and James and many more hang teasingly on racks, their price tags exceeding half your salary and yet still tugging on your pocket.

French, Brazilian and Argentinian artists have their paintings on the walls, accentuating an equally impressive interiors selection. BOHO Candles, Spanish and French chandeliers, and vintage furniture all give Baboushka more depth, enriching the shopping experience.

Surely appealing to the crème de la crème of Egyptian society, this concept store was conjured up with a lavish experience in mind. “It’s a promenade through art, design and fashion in a single space,” says the Villa Baboushka company overview. It’s also a promenade through pricey apparel, paintings and furniture in a single space.

Amir Mostafa is the man behind the Baboushka. Twelve years of introducing style through relatively original store designs produced popular shops such as 69, L2, 24/7, and Friction. But Villa Baboushka is a whole other story.

“The story begins with the client approaching us with a fresh new concept,” starts architect Mohamed Meshref, chairman of Circle Designs. “They wanted Villa Baboushka to stay true to its name, and turn it into a whole villa of shopping rather than your average store.”

Circle Designs was established in 2005 by Meshref, with the objective of providing contemporary architecture, interiors, and furniture. Working within a completely bare, classic 1930s villa was thrillingly challenging for Circle Designs.

“I had a completely plain, white-walled villa with many rooms inside, and I wanted to make it more dynamic,” says Meshref. Like working with an empty canvas, Meshref had the opportunity to toy around with tints and materials to create a modern retail villa.

“The concept behind Villa Baboushka was to transform a villa to a retail shop and at the same time, maintain a homey ambience.” Once the concept was clear, the designs flowed right out of Circle Designs.

“So we kept all the rooms’ circulations as they were, while making some modifications to the opening heights,” describes the architect. “We added wooden cladding on walls to give the sense of old decorations.”

Villa Baboushka’s walls are restricted to white and grey, with simple pink and orange outlines on the walls. This was purposely done in order to contrast with the apparel which is assorted in the modern display units, to flaunt its colors and style.

“As people walk through the door, we want them to sense the classic 30s essence, yet feel the modernity of the place.”

Walking out the pink door, you are reminded of its pure eccentricity. “Ah… the pink door,” starts Meshref. “The door was painted this striking color so that it would stand out against the white that permeates the villa. And it’s meant to shock people.”

The pink door leads you into the discovery of a unique amalgamation of art, fashion and design.

Villa Baboushka is located at 31 Ismail Mohamed Street in Zamalek.

Related Articles

Back to top button