I had to look for the store name twice before stepping into Atmosphere Interior Decorations by Celine. As I entered, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was barging into someone’s perfectly polished home. Then an energetic young French woman greeted me. “Welcome to Atmosphere,” she said.
It was Celine, and this unique boutique is her brainchild. The proprietress has been working in design for the past 15 years, running her own speciality kitchen shop back in France, and then, when she moved to Muscat two-years ago, she opened Atmosphere, jumping at the chance to curate diverse cultural tastes in a modern way. As offered to give me a tour of the place, I eagerly accepted.
The front door of Atmosphere opens into a casual drawing room artfully decorated in shades of white and grey, with a soft slate-coloured sofa set, and a white coffee table, strewn with information on Celine’s designs.
Off to the right I spotted a huge European style dining table, which immediately reminded me of Thanksgiving. I could literally visualise a well-garnished turkey sitting right in the middle waiting to be eaten. As we moved through the space, I had to remind myself that I was in a store, and not a posh European house.
The space was beautifully lit with little LED lights placed strategically to illuminate and highlight the details of the rooms and small accessories. On our way to the kitchen there was small walk-way to the right on which Herve Gambs perfumes, scented flowers, and room fresheners were displayed.
We entered the kitchen. Celine specialises in kitchen design and her passion was clearly reflected here. A cacophony of home accessories, cutlery sets, candle-stands, and showpiece items. Though they were regular household goods, it felt as if each little thing had its own story to tell, as though they were souvenirs from exotic trips around the world. What I’d thought was a work area to the left of the kitchen turned out to be the world’s neatest store room. Featuring a more playful vibe, the black and white checkered floor complemented the mod-looking sets of huge silver and gold cutlery and pretty, floral-designed aprons hanging above an avocado green stove set.
Just before ascending the stairs a huge wire-frame chandelier with little round bulbs caught my eye. I’ve always had a thing for lights, and in this house-cum-store every light fixture was a unique statement piece.
The first floor had a completely different story to tell. I entered a narrow corridor with a built-in, multi-racked shelf. Each rack held home accessories ranging from photo frames to bright-coloured cushion to funky, old magnifying glasses. To the right was the master bedroom, a romantic room she said she designed with newlyweds in mind. A vintage wall clock held court overtop a plush bed, and everything had a precious, hand-crafted feel to it, with even the dustbin seeming too perfect to be littered in.
Another room housed huge booklets of wallpaper and cloth samples her interior design clients can select from. Skimming through them I decided that the art of home is art at its best, and Atmosphere might just be its perfect gallery.
18th November street
+968 2449 6640
10am-1pm & 4pm-9pm
by appointment only