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Luminosity, generous display zones and creating links between the various floors of this house were key to the thinking behind this design. A central shaft linking the floors together was turned into a vertical garden embedded within Mondrian inspired marble pattern and antiqued mirror panels. The latter allow the owners to look into different parts of the house through the mirror reflections.  An out-dated unnecessary aluminium window was turned into a seamless glass display case, further adorned by the vertical garden in the background.  
The bedrooms were refurnished and decorated to reflect the personalities of the tenants. An intellectual art loving writer, a young teen with a passion for the guitar and a little girl whose favourite colour is blue. The master bathroom was gutted and reconfigured to become more space efficient and practical. 

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Bint Al-Nil (Daughters of the Nile) – Doria Shafik

Bint Al-Nil (Daughters of the Nile) – Doria Shafik

Bint Al-Nil (Daughters of the Nile) – Doria Shafik

 The Bint Al-Nil was originally an Arabic magazine established in 1945 by Egyptian feminist activist, Doria Shafik before it transformed into a political party in 1948. Doria decided to establish a magazine, which intended to focus on women’s issues, nutrition and health and parenting advice in the Arabic language so the magazine could be more accessible to the middle classes of Egypt.

 Doria Shafik portrait

Doria Shafik. Courtesy Rare Books & Special Collections Library, AUC

Bint Al-Nil spoke to Egyptian middle class women, with the intention to awaken the social consciousness of women in Egypt who arguably were classed as second-class citizens.[i] Doria Shafik’s aim when establishing the Bint Al-Nil movement was much the same as the aim set out for the magazine. The aim of the movement was to ‘awaken the desire to attain equal rights in a society that traditionally saw women placed in a secondary role to men and to show Egypt that the modern women was strident, educated, conscious and solicitous of the country’s long history and tradition’. [ii]

Doria Shafik in a meeting with the Bint Al Nil executive council

Doria Shafik in a meeting with the Bint Al Nil Executive Council. Courtesy Rare Books & Special Collections Library, AUC

The Bint Al-Nil Union gained recognition from the International Council for Women in 1949 and set out to reform two Egyptian laws; the law prohibiting enfranchisement of women, and the law prohibiting women standing in parliament. The Bint Al-Nil union also demanded other societal reforms such as allowing women to participate in the national struggle for independence and in politics in general, to have the personal status laws reformed by setting limitations on polygamy and divorce and equal pay for equal work. The union’s beliefs was that men could not speak for women or fully solve women’s issues, and that only women could fully tackle social issues that directly influence women. Doria is quoted in saying:

 “What capable hands can rouse them out of their sleep if not those of women? What heart is more susceptible to sympathizing with the sufferings of the woman if it is not the heart of a woman? Women must not only be present when laws concerning them are legislated; they must be involved in writing them. By demanding the totality of her rights, particularly her political rights, which are the basis of all rights, the woman could bring about fundamental changes in society.”[iii]
 Suffrage protests 1952, Doria Shafik in the middle wearing black.
Suffrage protests 1952, Doria Shafik in the middle wearing a black suit. "Dutch National Archives"

The Bint Al-Nil’s storming of parliament on February 19th 1951 set the movement, and Doria on the international stage and they became famous for their strides towards equality and their initiatives to wipe out illiteracy among Egyptian women. The movement, and Doria Shafik, deserve to be heralded as activists that gave the modern Egyptian woman the right to be their own person and participate in making their country a better place through the right to vote and the right to be involved and stand in parliament.

Doria Shafik & quote: "A nation can not be liberated whether internally or externally while its women are enchained"

At Jam Space we believe that stories like this are of the utmost importance and that everyone should be proud of their heritage. We currently stock prints of the Bint Al-Nil magazine’s 1952 covers, which make perfect home accessories, but knowing the story and the importance behind them makes them truly unique as they tell an important story of not only Egyptian history but also women’s history and the struggle for equality.

Bint al Nil magazine cover February 1952                           Bint al Nil magazine cover April 1952



[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Cynthia Nelson, ‘Doria Shafik Egyptian Feminist: A Woman Apart’, (The American University in Cairo Press, 1996) page 147.

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March Newsletter

New Collection, Styling tips for summer &Competition

We have been so excited to launch our new Spring and Summer Collection : The Safari Collection.

Soft gradations of colour, from subtle greys to washed out blues, juxtaposed against the brightly coloured painterly brush strokes and hand drawn flora and fauna define our new safari collection.

Inspired by the stunning scapes of South Africa, our new collection of natural linens and wallpapers bring together beautifully rendered imagery and textures to any space.

To see more of our safari collection, see our Safari Fabrics and our Safari Wallpapers.  

Three ways to freshen up your living room for summer:
1. Not in the mood to wallpaper your whole room? There are very interesting painterly wallpapers out there that would look stunning mounted onto a panel and hung as art work either horizontally above a seating area or vertically in an entrance hallway.

2. Reinvent your sofa’s look by adding colourful scatter pillows. Two or three pieces will be enough to spruce up your look.

3. Colorful glassware is always a light way to add colour to a space without cluttering it up. Mix and match different coloured decanters and glasses when eating alfresco.

Spring Competition
Win a £250 voucher to shop at Jam Space.
We’re celebrating the advent of spring with our lovingly handmade Lotus flowers.
Pose in front of our window and post the picture on Instagram with ‪#‎JamspaceUKLotus‬
Find us on Instagram: @jamspaceuk.
The picture with the most likes will get a £250 voucher to spend at Jam Space
Competition ends 30 April, the winner will be contacted via Instagram.


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February News Letter

Invitation , New Collection and Fashion Biennale

We would love to invite you to a lecture by Jam Space founder Hedayat:

During the exhibition “Beyond Beauty, transforming the body in ancient Egypt” at 2 Temple Place, several side events and lectures are being organised. Jam Space founder, Hedayat, will give a lecture on the 24th of February 6:30-7:15 pm. Titled:"Evolving from Tradition: Interior and Furniture Design in Contemporary Egypt”

Hedayat will talk about the evolution of contemporary Egyptian companies and products in the modern age. She will discuss designs that either reinterpret traditional patterns or use traditional techniques to create contemporary pieces. Hedayat will also touch on the challenges and opportunities Egyptian Interior and furniture design companies now face.

New Spring 2016 Collection
During the London Design Week (14-18 March 2016) we are very excited to be launching our new fabric and wallpaper collection inspired by the flora and fauna of Africa. Wide brush strokes, bright colours and highly textured linens constitute our hand painted range.

2016 Fashion Biennale
During the London Fashion Week (19-23 February 2016) the West Wing at Somerset House will be transformed in to an imaginary terrain where an emerging generation of international designers and curators invite visitors to share their versions of the Utopia.

Five upcoming designers from Egypt were invited and Hedayat (Jam Space founder) was asked to design their exhibition. For Egypt’s growing fashion industry, ‘Contemporary Rebirth’ is a chance to define the new, post-revolution Egyptian identity. The Tree of Life and the lotus flower stand as metaphors for the young designers drawing upon the region’s rich past in order to look forward to the popular dream of ‘a better life, a better Egypt’.

Briefed that the space had to represent the birth of a new Egypt, Hedayat came up with the concept of filling the ceiling of the display with paper lotuses. Ancient Egyptians were some of the first to believe in the notion of rebirth and the Lotus flower was a symbol for resurrection. The 2011 revolution was all about a new beginning for the nation.

To represent the idea of new beginnings; the 700 paper lotuses – a flower that represented new life in ancient Egypt –were created and signed by children that attend art class with educational NGO Tawasol. Tawasol is an organisation keen to provide a good education alongside vocational training for children who would not otherwise have access to a good education.

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The Lotus and its symbolism

The concept of Resurrection and Re-birth in Ancient Egyptian culture and its significance to Egyptian culture today.

The celebration of the Lotus flower is a thread that runs clearly through our design collection.  On wallpaper and fabric, sofa arms and sofa tables, printed on trays and adorning ceilings. We cherish the Lotus flower and here is why:

 The concept of re-birth and resurrection is a prevalent theme throughout an array of cultures and religions but the themes are absolutely central in Egyptian culture and myth. Two symbols that represent the theme of resurrection and new life that are constant in Egyptian art and culture are the ‘Tree of Life’ and the Lotus flower. Both are symbols of natural re-birth and spirituality and are therefore central themes surrounding Ancient Egyptian myths.Lotus Sofa

Although there are many different references to the ‘tree of life’ in all different countries and religions, the earliest reference is found in Ancient Egypt as the tree is said to represent the hierarchical chain of events that brought everything into existence through a natural method of creation. It is often stated that the Egyptian Gods Isis and Osiris emerged from an acacia tree symbolizing the birth of life itself.

The lotus flower is also a central aspect to the Egyptian concept of resurrection as it closes at night and sinks to the bottom of the Nile only to re-emerge and bloom in the morning. This physical action by the flower makes it a potent symbol of resurrection and is often regarded as the symbol of the sun and renewed creation. It is myth that in Hermopolis a giant lotus blossom first emerged from the primordial waters of Nun and brought forth Ra the God of the sun.

Bronze Lotus Table

Both symbols are prevalent in telling the story of re-birth and can be seen as representing modern day Egypt and Egyptian design as Egyptian artists and designers resurrect old traditions and make them contemporary to create beautiful works of art that connect people with the decadent past.

It could be argued that Egypt as a country has resurrected like the lotus flower venturing out of the ancient times it is most famous for and becoming a hub for multiculturalism, art and an amalgamation of historical tradition and new-age concepts that makes the country iconic for modern design.  


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Ornamental Stories

  IMG_9870 Growing up in Egypt, our mother was determined to expose us to the many different flavours of Egyptian life and the influences of the different eras. She used to take us every week to visit a different historical site. Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic spaces and motifs were engrained in my mind. I was intrigued when people spoke of Egypt’s “bygone era,” it seemed as if they were always nostalgic fora past that I had never experienced. Having grown up with such a rich and diverse ornamental vocabulary I wanted to use that in my professional life as a designer, be it in interiors, furniture or textiles and wallpapers. I wanted to celebrate our rich ornamental past and vocabulary, which appeared to have been somewhat lost under many layers of dust and nostalgia.  Thanks to the help of my design assistant, Yousra Yassin, Jam Space is proud to present its first fabric and wallpaper launch. blog 1blog2               This collection, translates traditional Pharaonic symbols, such as the Falcon God Horus, the Lotus flower and the Nile Zigzag symbol into bold and contemporary designs.  The collection ranges from a colourful chevron design, to a soft and painterly portrayal of the Lotus and an intriguing geometric repeat/pattern of Horus' wings.  The colour palette ranges from monochromatic neutrals, to fresh and tropical aquas and marine blues and exotic and warm earthy tones of tangerine, papaya and terracotta. Textured natural linens and cottons constitute the bulk of the collection. This collection is available through Jam Space UK since May 2015. fabrics wall

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Take your pick

In the interest of economies of scale and mass production, furniture and lighting, the pieces that define a home, are becoming more featureless and repetitive.  Customisation and personalisation of pieces are becoming distant memories with fewer people affording the luxury of imbuing their piece with their personality. Picture16 Here at Jam Space we are hoping to change that. Our sofas are available to be ordered in varying fabrics, textures and colours. The most popular piece is the Lotus Sofa, by Eklego Design. The modularity of the sofa combined with the mix and match quality granted by its stacked mattresses, throw pillows, and graciously curved out 'body', has been a delight for buyers with a keen desire to be involved in the creation of their piece. Soft hand-woven Egyptian cotton fabrics, rich in texture and subtle in colour, have been a favourite combined with tightly woven jute/cotton material for the body. Smooth natural linen is used for the hand tufted top mattresses while applique, patched and embroidered throw pillows line the back. One client called it a ‘Pyjama sofa’…so comfortable you could lay back on it all day long.  All you need to do is ‘Pick’ your look lotus sofa Our Kelos hand blown, hand painted glass lights can come in any shape, size or colour. A collection of twenty colours is found adorning ornate perfume bottles which act as a sample palette for those who want to get that ethereal light to match their colour scheme. One can combine different shapes together, colours and sizes. You can either suspend them as a cluster or hang them individually.  The sky is the limit for all the colour combinations and shapes you can get.  You just need to ‘Pick’ your colour. window lights.2 (2)   colour options lights     DSC_1257

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Egyptian Cotton Linens: Malaika

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.44.38The very best of luxury Egyptian cotton linens are now available at Jam Space from Egyptian company, Malaika. Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.33.01Malaika (which means 'Angels' in Arabic) was founded in 2004 by Margarita Andrade and Goya Gallagher who, after growing up in their native Ecuador, found themselves living and settling in Egypt. With a background in design and a keen interest in hand techniques such as embroidery, crochet and hand-drawn thread work they decided to utilize Egyptian cotton to produce top quality bed linens previously not available in the local market.   Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.39.54Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.42.21                         Malaika’s line reflects the passion for handmade items of both of its founders with an emphasis on quality and “social responsibility”. The collections aim to encompass a range of individual bed linen needs, from classic, delicate hand embroidery to simple contemporary designs. At the top range is the luxury collection, which revives ancient hand-drawn thread crafting techniques to create a distinct Malaika style. Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.43.59At the heart of its business model Malaika focuses on teaching hand embroidery to local women giving them a chance to learn a valuable skill and improve their economic standing. Since the inauguration of its first line in 2004 Malaika has expanded its business dramatically and is proudly producing luxury bed linen with the confidence that they are able to deliver a quality product, whilst empowering the lives of many women. Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.33.32Egyptian cotton is world renowned due to its very long staple that when woven produces a fine, smooth fabric. The finer the threads, the higher the thread count possible. Thread count is the number of threads woven in one square inch of fabric, and is an important factor in indicating high quality bed linen fabric. Additionally, it becomes softer after every wash, and as Egyptian cotton produces less lint, it does not pill after repeated washing either.

A variety of Malaika linen designs are now available at Jam Space,118 Fulham Road, London.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 16.43.07


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Textile Inspirations: Horus

images Today, the day of the first solar eclipse since 1999,  is a fitting day to talk about one source of inspiration for the upcoming Jam Space fabric collection; Horus; the Egyptian sun god. Jam Space has drawn inspiration from the Pharaonic motifs of the god Horus, the Zig Zag symbol for the Nile and the Lotus Flower found in ancient Egypt.  Re-interpreting these iconic motifs within a contemporary textile context, creates a new and fresh approach that is relevant to design and people today. louts colored.psd Mythologically, Horus was imagined as a celestial falcon, whose right eye was the sun and left eye the moon.  The speckled feathers of his breast were probably considered to be the stars, while his wings were the sky that created the wind. (source: Horus Horus within the Jam Space fabric collection is represented as the falcon; Horus is used in it's full form as well as deconstructed with a pattern repeat of its wings. EDFU FALCON  TAUPE.pdfEDFU FALCON  TAUPE.pdf The Jam Space fabric and wallpaper collection will launch in May 2015.  For further information about the collection or to request an invitation to the launch event please contact

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Jam Space Presents: Alef Gallery Fabrics

IMG_0862 Jam Space is excited to present a beautiful new range of printed fabrics from Cairo based gallery Alef. The collection is based on traditional Coptic, Islamic and Orientalist designs, printed on a variety of Egyptian cotton weaves, from airy voile to light-weight canvas. IMG_0861 Alef Gallery share many design philosophies with us here at Jam Space and we are delighted to be showcasing their talents. "The roots of Alef dig deep into all origins: as our name suggests*, we start our journey from the beginning, unfurling the traditional arts of the Mediterranean basin and keeping them alive in the modern age. Alef is more than just a gallery; it is a place where people can wander from reverie to reverie and be transported back to those ancient civilisations that have fascinated us for centuries. We are dreamers and want others to be inspired. We seek to share our journeys into the mystique and diversity of Arabic culture. We draw from this source our inspiration, mixing modern with traditional; luxuriant decadence with contemporary simplicity. The gallery’s main aim is to revive high quality handicrafts and home furnishings; to maintain the highest standards of craftsmanship in all our creations. Our vision into reality." *Alef is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. IMG_0863IMG_0856 The hand screen printed imagery employs traditional Arabic and Ottoman motifs such as pomegranates, lotus flowers, palm trees and the bukhara motif which inspired our own bukhara table. IMG_0857Bukhara Table

The range is available at Jam Space now to order by the metre (delivery time two weeks.)


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