By Aabiya Baqai and Nafeesa McDowell
Details, authenticity and art.
Built 136 years ago, the Salloum Residence, also referred to as Bayt Jeddah, was established in 1880 by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Obaid Salloum. Being one of the most beautifully prominent houses in the Balad District, it consists of furniture dating back to 120 years, imported mostly from India because of its durability.
After the death of Sheikh Abdullah, his son Sheikh Ahmed took ownership of the residence followed by his daughter Asma’a, after his own passing, who owns it till today. The residence was refurbished and renovated in response to the “Jeddah Our Days of Establishment,” therefore being titled the “Jeddah Our Days of Bliss Residence.”
Bayt Jeddah is house to many vintage pieces that have been carefully looked after for generations. In the ground floor’s living room, you will come across an antique wall clock that needs to be turned manually, and a unique vintage brass rotary telephone. As you head inwards towards the back of the house, you will feel a breeze of fresh air, provided by natural ventilation; a larger than life chimney that all rooms lead to.
As you head up to the first floor, you will enter a majlis; a carom board, a vintage gramophone playing Abdul Basitt’s recitation and a manual fan that surprisingly works better than its contemporary versions. In the master bedroom, you can see the bridal trunk, home to a Hijazi newlywed’s new clothes, her jewelry trunk and the must-have sewing machine. During the university bloom, studies became essential. The study in Bayt Jeddah showcases a desk with all the necessary stationery such as a compass set and pens.
MacKintosh tried to buy Bayt Jeddah’s, over 100 year old, vintage Quality Street boxes, but the family refused to part with their well looked after treasures.