Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bookstore Offerings, and Modern Interior Design in Oman

Trying to find a decent bookstore in Oman is like, well, trying to do anything in Oman when you are used to doing it so much better elsewhere.

...I do love Dar al atta's chairty book shop in the former CCC complex (Qurum complex is it now?). I came away with a couple of novels last visit. And when Al Fair was in Al Bahja mall I came away with a dozen... Why do grocery stores in Oman have better book seclections than bookstores?!

Sadly, I find the magazine section at Spinneys in the Wave, to be more satisfying than visiting the supposed bookstore in the same mall.

Recently there, my husband and I set ourselves in the magazine section of Spinneys. I bought the launch issue of Architectural Digest Middle East. It was disapointing: too much fashion, not enough decor. I do hope Vogue Middle East is better.

I also read the American AD, and the U.K House and Garden, and Veranda. These are my faves in Muscat... Sometimes I can also find a decent archeology magazine but that's rare.

I watched my husband reading over my shoulder. He is attracted to cottage and Country House style.

"How can anyone live in a modern home?" he wondered, and I don't know if he meant me to answer or no.

"Says the man who grew up in a heritage-listed 500 year old house," I remind him.

"Useless Ministeries," I hear him mutter under breath. "It's only 200 most likely."

"Okay, they're not my style either," pointing to a lovely example of an artful and elegant modern room, "but I'd like to stay here, like at a hotel."

"But not live there," he ammended.

"I suppose not. But then, I grew up in old houses too. And I've travelled too much."

Most Omanis believe they want modern due to having grown up in old houses a lot. Most do it terribly, like one is walking into an office, rather than a home.

But I do have one friend, and her style is modern gallery chic+contemporary. I think this is the region's It-girls signature style. Her home isn't for me, but I love to hang out there. It's like, there are no rules, only possibility. Sometimes, soft or sweeping elegance as well. That's the best of modern Arabian design.

Failed modern design in the GCC is soulless and soul-sucking. Or trashy, as owners give up on modern, and put other crap there as well. We end up with bad soap opera homes. This is what my husband means.

He doesn' like me to voice opinions on relatives' homes or friends' homes, even if they ask me, because he is afraid of what I'll say.

Apparently people think I think that I think that I am better than them if I don't like their sofa, or think something doesn't match, strange as that is, lol. As if opinons of people and places are connected at all in my mind...

Of course my style is of a classic bent. It has plenty of rules. There is math involved in furniture placement.  But I like it to have no rules in terms of collections and art. I buy what I like, then make sure it matches or is arranged in formal English Country style to match. Most things in old houses don't match. The charm of Nacny Lancaster's rooms, are of course, the hint of decay lain against modern inviting comfort, and grand everything else.

A lot of Omani girls I know have interesting and rich contemporary taste, and I only think, with a little more design related reading, or travel, especially to international capital cities, then Muscat could hold a very talented interior design set.

Many Omanis I suspect, have a deeply suppressed creative streak;).

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