Next in this mini directory series, we come to the boutique stores, which is a fancy way of saying those shops that sell a mix of vintage and modern, electic and unusual and can’t really be defined as any one particular thing. Their personality is usually down to their owners who curate their collections with a clever eye to find just the right mix of pieces to sell. These are my favourites, feel free to add yours at the bottom.
Many of you will already know about it but for those that don’t, head over there quick. There’s a great range of furniture both old and new with an emphasis on vintage industrial chic, but then just when you think you know what they’ve got, they start stocking Lee Broom’s fabulous decanter lights. There’s always something new to look at. My son has the book wallpaper in the picture above on his bedroom door , the zinc mailboxes are in the kitchen and there are plenty of other bits and bobs dotted around.
Another of my favourite stores, owners Karine and Elodie have a great eye and have brought together a great range of products from wall stickers to contemporary chairs with a couple of great handbags and t-shirts thrown in. There’s a great blog too with lots of ideas to help you recreate that seemingly effortless French style.
If you don’t live in London but just come visiting then this store, on Regent’s Street is well worth a browse. From the famous living wall of plants to the sheer amount of stuff (masses of stuff) that you can wander round and see. Yes it’s expensive but they do have sales. And if you aren’t anywhere near London, then you can browse the site online. No parking or tube tickets that way.
The Homewares department of Liberty is one of my favourite places on earth. I love the way it is arranged so that you can wander about each section which has a different feel to it. And it goes without saying that I love almost everything they stock. I would actually quite like to live there. And then, what’s even better is that on the way out, if you take the stairs, it’s basically impossible to avoid the handbag department.
Founded by Antonia Graham in 1974, Graham & Green is a part of the establishment these days. Antonia describes the collection as “global, glamorous, individual and hopefully life-enhancing”. Her son, Jamie, trained as a furniture designer and now works as the company’s creative designer. They now sell furniture that he has designed as well as pieces that he has his wife have found on their travels round the world.
Etsy is like a giant shop full of tiny departments. It gives small businesses a place to sell their wares in what they call a handmade market place. It was launched in 2005 in the US and now has more than 15 million members. If you can’t find it on here it probably doesn’t exist. The other great thing is that you can talk to the sellers which brings back that old fashioned relationship and there are masses of blogs and stuff to read too.
Similar to Etsy, a vast online store where you can find all those gorgeous handmade things you find at local markets and fairs. It can be too big to go for a random browse for presents and works best if you have a rough idea of what you are looking for. But you can be assured that whatever you buy will be well made and unusual. Founders Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, who set the site up in 2006, insist on that. This is also the place to come if you have a gift idea and want it personalised.
Launched by Brent Hoberman (he of lastminute.com fame) when he was, in the best entrepreneurial tradition, doing up his own house and couldn’t find what he wanted. This time it’s interiors boutiques from around the world brought together on one site so here you will find Danish furniture, British designers, French cushions and Moroccan pouffes. Their manifesto is that shopping should be done in your pyjamas with a glass of red wine to hand and that being a little bit braver with your home decor will make you smile every time you walk through the front door.
And I say cheers to that. And here’s another because nine is a better number…. what are your favourite boutique shops?
There’s always something interesting to catch your eye on this site and it’s all beautifully styled as well. A mix of one-offs and pretty vintage pieces, there’s not a vast range but what is there is well chosen and has been thought about. And as a bonus Hannah is a stylist and stills producer so browsing through her blog is a delight too.
For more shops try:
Eight of the best vintage
Eight of the best salvage