Lebanese graphic designer Rana Salam is the queen of contemporary Middle Eastern design. Salam has honed a unique skill for craftily combining Arabic pop art with whimsical prints and eye-catching colors to create a unique style all her own. As loyal fans of her work, we were super excited to find out Salam has recently opened up her own shop (finally!) on the ground floor of the same building her studio is located, tucked away on Adul Wahab Englizi Street in Achrafieh. The designer calls the shop an "unplanned mission to toy up and promote the office better," as she tries to handle the high demand for her chic line of home decor and gift items.

So while the Rana Salam studio continues to buzz with design and art direction work for restaurants, interior design firms, print exhibitions and more, the boutique is dedicated to selling quality home interior items like film posters, kitchen towels, place boards, aprons and paper cups.

Through all its ups and downs, Salam is one of those rare, forward-thinking Lebanese who truly believes in her country. After spending 25 years in England, the designer decided to move back to Beirut in 2010. "A lot needs to be done and it can't be done elsewhere but here," she tells Beirut.com. When asked about what's missing from the Lebanese design scene, the graphic designer confesses that its mainly about quality, saying: " We need to provide more quality and less inflated egos! We're pricing things as if everything we do is a Hermes piece."

While Salam advises up and coming designers to "play, play, play," it's clear much of her success has come from working hard and executing a solid business plan. "No one helped me with my start, it was just me. But in the business I had a very good friend, Abed Bibi, and in the design world, my father was a great help and an inspiration being an architect as he was."

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects about visiting Salam's design shop is seeing how her style has evolved over the years. Her work is more confident, sharper. "It's also more stripey," she tells Beirut.com, adding,"it's practically a part of my signature [design] now." And this is exactly what stands out at Salam's boutique: from the towels to napkins and gift baskets; the stripes elegantly and firmly dictate what we all know by now, that this is Rana Salam's design world and we are all just living in it.

"My work is very spontaneous and unplanned" Salam says. "My natural passion for creating and experimenting tends to give my pieces this 'outside of the box' identity."

On the local level, Salam says she admires the work of PS Lab; and on an international level, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto from Eley Kishimoto design house.

So what would the queen of Beirut's graphic design world be doing today if she hadn't taken this path in life? "I would've been a fashion designer who would want to be a cook," she says. Judging by her recent Instagram escapades, maybe the chef part isn't too far fetched after all.

To visit Rana Salam's new boutique head to:

Bohlock Building, Ground Floor
After Albergo Hotel, Abdel Wahab El Englizi Street
Tel.: +9611217244
Tel.: +9611200180

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