We like décor here at MO4 (we also rhyme all the time), and we like looking at and sitting on pretty things. We'd much prefer our homes to have a younger, more chill vibe than your bog-standard Egyptian household. Think gold chairs with birds on the cushions. But Egypt is also home to the Mardinis, a family of veteran Egyptian textile-weavers, who have been redefining the art of textile and fabric designs since the 1940s. And as design trends evolve seemingly on the fly with the passing of time, a new generation of Mardini has stepped up to combine decades of the family's textile expertise with a healthy dose of modern chic from around the globe. 

Naseej, spearheaded by young designer Mohamed Mardini, is an Egyptian textile-weaving company with a fresh take on home aesthetics, offering a quality selection of Egyptian textiles for the modern homeowner. Combining tribal elements, classic contours and minimalist flair, Naseej aims to bring a more hip school of thought to the predominantly grandma-esque feel you're used to here in Egypt (respect your grandma though). Building on the psychological impact that design and choice of colours can have on homeowners, employees, and pedestrians at large, Mardini told me his take on décor and the human psyche “the gradient and tone of a colour and the geometry of any design has a notable effect on mood and disposition, the right combinations can do anything from making you feel at peace, hungry or even more productive.”

Mardini's new-age approach to textiles draws heavily from his keen eye for detail and how he can find inspiration in the most inconspicuous of places, something he hopes more artists can develop, “I can sometimes find ideas for designs from odd places, I once saw something that inspired me on my nephews’ T-shirts, and at one point, a relative of mine was wearing a dress with a particularly interesting layout, so I borrowed it just to study the design. It’s important to try and find inspiration wherever you might be.” Mardini also makes it a point to collaborate with local artists and designers, giving them more exposure and benefiting from melding different perspectives. “There is a wealth of ingenuity in the Egyptian market and landscape and we, as Naseej, routinely make an effort to collaborate and share ideas, such as our recent work with Artistri.”

Naseej and Mardini along with the myriad other aspiring Egyptian creatives scattered all across our happy little country are the kinds of examples we need to wise up to the fact that we're not inferior to any foreign brand when it comes to design and art in general, that just because whatever you're buying is local doesn't mean it's instantly low quality. “It’s important to show Egyptians and the world that we are no less than the foreign brands everybody touts. Just because something is Egyptian does not have to mean it’s low quality, I am actively fighting against that and so are any others, we need to bring Egypt and its means of production back to its former glory.” Mardini concluded.

For more information about Naseej and their fine textile work, check out their Facebook page here and their Instagram here.