Monday, 8 September 2014

Saudi-izing My Lounge.

I'm planning on Saudi-izing my lounge.  Hubster thinks I've been affected by the sun since my return to Riyadh two weeks ago.  Maybe he's right. 40+ temps take a little bit of adapting to.  But seriously, on looking at our little place, I've decided a bit of a refurb is required.  And a Saudi style salon seems apt in Saudi Arabia, don't you think?

Hubster has agreed that one corner of our apartment can be Saudi-ized.  He has issues with reaching the floor comfortably so intends to keep a couch in the house, just for him.  A friend has already laid claim to the other couch - though I've had to reiterate he's only borrowing it temporarily for the day I tire of having a Saudi style salon and want our couch back.  And of course I will tire of the refurb - I'm a woman.  We always refurb!

So the other day off to Dirah souq I went with The Hubster in tow.   Mr Noor dropped us off outside the souq and we strode our way past the igal and ghutra shops with Hubster mumbling about my sense of direction being off because these don't look anything like Saudi salon furnishings.  Of course, once we reached the section with Saudi cushions, carpets and other Saudi Salon necessities he was like 'Oh....I didn't know this was here!'.

If colour is what you are looking for in Riyadh because you're tired of the dusty brown that tends to envelop this city, with the odd black and white shape drifting through it, this part of Dirah souq is a place you should visit.  The colors are bright and the patterns bold and it all jumps out in complete contrast to the rest of the souqs surroundings of white washed cubicles with fawn colored roller doors.  There are cushions, mats and seats, machine made cotton carpets from Turkey with the most amazing designs and hand loomed wool wall hangings reminding one of simpler times.  And the blokes working there are rather friendly - one gave up his seat so I could pose for a photo when I pulled out my camera.

We passed by a couple of stalls just taking every thing in before deciding to accept the beckoning welcome being extended at one shop, mostly because this guy could speak good English.  Over the next hour we learned a lot about Saudi-izing our apartment (or a small slice therein).  First we were shown carpets and told that once we chose one we could turn it into our seat covers, cushions, seat dividers or anything else we wanted.  Discussions then covered the choices of filling - cotton, foam or polyester and any combination there of and the depth of cushions - again any combination we fancied, from 5 centimeters to 15, depending on how soft we wanted our end product to be.  'We can make whatever you want', our friendly adviser said.  There were also wooden seats of various heights, all with hand painted designs and metal decorations, that Hubster tested out.  Given that he finds long periods of ground dwelling rather uncomfortable, these would provide some necessary elevation for our lounge set.

There is a lot more involved, we discovered, in designing a majlis set for our small corner of the apartment than we first thought.  (A majlis set is the proper name for the mats with matching cushions and arm rests that we are planning on purchasing and sounds a lot better than 'Saudi-izing our home, doesn't it?)  And the myriad of designs to choose from is simply mind boggling to a husband who is hoping this phase shall pass and a woman who, let's face it, didn't know what she was getting herself in for.  I did use the day to attempt to learn some Arabic though!

We decided to go home and think on all this information.  A week or so later, I'm still thinking.  Eventually a little corner of our apartment will be styled into a Saudi salon, I just don't intend to rush the idea.  And besides, our friend hasn't come to pick up the couch yet and, given he's rather hopeless at getting himself organised, I'm guessing we still have plenty of time to think about Saudi-izing my lounge.

Ka Kite,

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