Photo: Joann Jovinelly

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Home Decor Furniture


For a touch of the exotic in Central Asian and Middle Eastern imports, look no further than Sheherazade, an exceptional and affordably priced boutique located on New York’s Lower East Side. For the last eight years, owner Rachid Ouassil has been working with notable designers, celebrities, and other New Yorkers interested in bringing spectacular Moroccan and Middle Eastern furnishings, décor, and rugs into their homes.

Items are sourced from as far away as Morocco, Turkey, Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Sheherazade also specializes in working with customers and designers to create customized pieces like chandeliers, accent furnishings, and other one-of-a-kind art objects that have been featured in Elle Décor, In Style, and House and Garden as well as in the New York Times.

One stop into Sheherazade’s magical showroom is enough to captive shoppers interested in mixing bold color and ornate detail into any room. Elaborate room dividers, accent furnishings, Moroccan and Syrian tables, lamps, and mirrors are available in abundance, as well as a fine selection of luxury rugs, bedding, and pillows.

Check out Sheherazade’s collection of vintage silver trays for a heart-stopping gift of beauty and practicality, priced from $195. Gorgeous hand-carved Moroccan and Syrian tables, priced from $250, are available in sizes that are small enough for the tiniest dwellings. Overstuffed Moroccan poufs also make great accent pieces and are especially popular for their beauty and versatility. Pick one up for as little as $140 to use as a vanity bench, the base for a tray table, or as a second seat or ottoman. Islamic rugs including kilims (prayer rugs) are available in a variety of sizes and prices and they make lovely wall hangings and look rather exotic when used as bed coverings.

Hand-carved walnut jewelry and keepsake boxes, made in Damascus and inlaid with Mother of Pearl, are priced from $100. They make beautiful, artful gifts for either gender when given singularly and a wonderful housewarming gift when paired with a set of ikat pillows, $45. Another gift idea is contemporary Moroccan and Syrian lamps that feature iconographic Arabic patterns like intricate floral and scroll designs, priced from $146.

Shoppers not yet ready to recreate a full Moroccan fantasy in their living room can browse Sheherazade’s vast selection of handmade terracotta pottery ($18); Moroccan tea glasses ($7); and colorful hand-stitched silk slippers ($50). The store also carries a limited selection of personal fashions, including hand-stitched caftans and bags. Open weekdays except Tuesdays, 11AM-7PM; Weekends Noon-7PM

  - Joann Jovinelly

121 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 539-1771