When you arrive in Nouakchott to work for a long period of time, at least two years or so, the first thing you do would be to find a place to live. We were very lucky to have bumped into a house that we liked very much in the first sight. It is a big one, but not like a typical Mauritanian house with rows of salons and bathrooms for men and women and children. The house was unfurnished house because we had our furniture sent by surface from Bangkok. Our previous house in Bangkok was a fully-furnished town house and all the beds and shelves came with the house.
So we had to find some additional furniture in Nouakchott. We were taken to the shops where many expats go to find the furniture. ..like Orcas and Egyptian shops. I found the prices were steep and the choices were quite limited. The beds were always full sets of the bed frame, bedside tables, word lobes, etc. I didn’t want to spend too much money on what I am reluctant to. Buying things from Amazon or eBay was just impossible – they don’t deliver to Mauritania, even a light bulb. Some people bring stuff from Europe but our travelling to Europa was planned in three months. There I started looking for local carpenters.
Thanks to a mailing list called Expats_rim, I was able to get some contacts of local carpenters. So far, I have worked with four carpenters. Here are some of their work samples and their contacts.
The first carpenter I ordered our open word lobes to turn a tiny room in to a walk-in closet was Amadou Samba (46523579). He is one of the oldest (longest-running) carpenters in town. His atelier is across the street from National Hospital. I did the design and the measurement. It took about 2 weeks to be delivered – that’s the normal speed here. He is always in the atelier except Sundays.
The second one, whose atelier is just around the corner of Amadou, was Abou Silla (47435844). Very nice guy. He made our bed frame which I chose the similar design from Pinterest. The material is kind of nice. I had to see the flip-side of the plied board but gray-color paint somehow covers that. With little drawers under the main frame, it is quite useful to store bed linens.
The third carpenter is Med (22165472). He is a smiley big guy always in boubou. He was recommended for his ‘modern’ style furniture. I asked him to do some creative and original pieces like in the photos. Tetris blocks bookshelves for kids library space and another floating block for our books. In the kitchen, he also made floating shelves. I found those designs through internet search as well. I gave him only a week or ten days to deliver because I was expecting the cargo to arrive by then. He tried his best to meet it. Whenever you call him, he will pass by your house within the same day.
Another carpenter is Omar (47778738). He is a Moroccan carpenter making his furniture in the tiny atelier nearby the restaurant Prince, just off the Avenue Kennedy. He can do the nice painting to make it look like an old piece of wooden furniture and his signature finish is the Moroccan emblem accents. Whenever I get in his atelier, he is cooking tajine on the chacoal. He wants to have a nice and cordial relationship with the clients rather than taking quick money from you. Like other pieces, I did the structural design and details done by him.
Some other carpenters I haven’t got in touch with are the followings. Hope you can find one who can makes just what you want!
Manu 46798469, Wouri Diallo 48699946, Diallo (I think it is another Diallo..) 37152567 and 32667497