Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kargeen Cafe, Madinat Qaboos, Muscat

Of all the women I know in Oman, the owner of Kargeen's, Mdme. Hana is the MOST effortlessly stylish and I feel it a great privellage my friend K introduced me to her and their family [Ramadan Kareem M. H and mini M. F!: sorry it has taken me MONTHS to return the books I borrowed].

In a plain white linen Dhofari father-of-the-tail gown (though if you spy her at her restaurant Kargeen's she'll most likely be sporting a modest black abaya) M. Hana has no problem jumping from Islamic history, to selecting designs for elegant cupcakes, managing her multiple restaurant locations, and raising her family.

I want to beg her to let my photograph some of the interiors she designed (which is the model for how I want to design my future home: we picked out the same tissue paper cover holders and cushions at centerpoint before we ever met lol). Anyways, I really love Hana's love of mud and straw walls, old shutters and traditional doors, cushions leaned up against the walls, and traditional fabrics and materials for building.

Hana's interior design (architecural style?) summed up in one sentance: "I feel I was born in the the wrong time period; I like to wake up and feel I lived back then [in the same time period Islam came to Oman] and prefer simple things made from natural materials over synthetics."

TIP: Many of Kargeen's features came from Omani sources you too can peruse. The Souqs have tailors that make traditional masada (cushions for leaning against the wall) and mats in the same fabric lining Kargeen's Madinat Qaboos garden location, Mutrah souq sells the handwoven backets and mats used to service food in the restaurant, the traditional woven textiles can be purchased in villages near Jebel Shams (worth the drive), and old architectural features like antique doors and shutters are worth saving from houses being torn down.

Note to M's family in Mutrah : I want your old roof beams when the Gov. gives you your new home. No one else I know still has their original woven palm roof and it is worth saving the history, at least to me.

For the website follow Gary's link

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