Babushka: The brainchild of Sara Sayyar and Mariam Fathi, Babushka started off as a design concept, using recycled ‘stuff’ to make one-off furniture and arty pieces and just a couple of months ago the duo opened their shop selling all sorts of pretty, useful and quirky things for the home, each with a story to tell. Open Sat-Thu 10am-1pm and 4pm-9pm. Building 231, Road 3206 – take Road 3205 off Sheikh Zayed Highway, A’ali (39 294 464/39 944 339).
Bali Angels: As you’d expect from the name, this place has lots of Balinese and far Eastern craft ware as well as some rather gorgeous jewellery. It’s one of our favourite places to go for out-of-the-ordinary gifts. Open Sat-Thu, 8am-5pm, Juffair. Turn right with Al Jazira supermarket on your right and follow the road until you come to another right turning. Take that road until you come to a dirt parking area and the shop’s in the villa on your right.
Casa Lusso: Another relative newcomer offering high-end, fashion-conscious furniture and home accessories which they reckon you won’t find anywhere else. Open Sat-Thu 9am-1pm and 4-9pm, Seef area opposite Mandarine Business Centre (17 305 530).
THE One: Marketing itself as an ethical ‘home fashion’ brand, this chain is a favourite in the region and has some really interesting bits and pieces plus the stores are known as theatres as they really aim to put on a show. Open daily, mall hours, Al Aali Shopping Complex (17 587 178).
Manazel and EQ3: This is a two in one as the EQ3 furniture store is joined to buy-anything home store, Manazel where you’ll find everything from paint and pet accessories to barbecues and Christmas decorations. EQ3 is seriously cool but rather pricey – nice to wander and wish though. Open daily 7.30am-10pm. Off the Esteqlal Highway towards Isa Town (17 786 727).
8 Mansions: The only place to go to get your feng shui fixed. Upstairs in Country Mall, this little haven offers a complete consultation service and carries a wide range of feng shui decorations, both for the home and the body. You can also attend workshops, and buy Chinese-looking furniture and crystal and bead items. Open daily 10am-8pm, Country Mall, Budaiya (17 594 575).
Trousseau: This store could sit just as happily in the Body beautiful or Other awesome things sections because it has a little bit of everything and it’s all delightfully presented in a setting that looks like a fairtytale. Promising the ‘gift of luxury’ there’s a range of lines from linens and towels to robes and loungwear, from classic European-inspired bedrooms to geometric shapes and flirty designs and a beautifully-packaged range of perfumes and cosmetics. Be still our beating heart. Open daily, upstairs Al A’ali Shopping Complex (17 541 041).
Zara Home: Yes it’s mainstream but it also has that certain Spanish something, inspiring window displays and it’s the only place in Bahrain we could find black pillow cases when we were looking – but that was a while ago. The staff are also super helpful, always a good thing. Open daily, mall hours, Bahrain City Centre (17 172 302).