There was much excitement a few years ago when H&M first launched its homewares with affordable pared back designs that brought a slightly more rustic feel to the usual Scandinavian interiors fare. To begin with it was all about the small stuff – cushions and chopping boards, bedding and vases etc and then last summer I wrote about the expansion into small items of furniture.
Tomorrow sees the opening of their second full home store on Regent Street (a few steps from Oxford Circus) which means the Swedish brand now dominates that block with the clothes store, Cos and Arket as well as, now, two floors of H&M home.
There are 30 in house designers working on the home collection and the company states that its mission is to create products with the aim of them lasting a long time. While the general current trends include rattan, greenery and 70s shapes, the H&M summer collection will also include blue and white for the classic and lots of Moroccan-inspired colours and prints that will also work with the quieter range of sandy tones mixed with black.
Now, before we go any further – for housekeeping – I have been invited to the launch today and was asked to post on instagram, but they didn’t ask me to write about the opening. However, since I know that many of you don’t “do instagram” and I thought it was news that you might be interested in I thought I would tell you anyway.
So the Concept store, as they call it, will cover 700 square metres over two floors and will sell the full range – including things that you won’t always see online. There will be lighting and furniture as well as all the smaller pieces. And you know you’ve reached that age when you nip into the clothes branch a few doors away at Oxford Circus and find yourself coming out with a new mug and a vase rather than a top to wear out that Friday.
The home range was launched in 2009 in five countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany) with the first standalone store in Westfield shopping centre and the aim of the new store is to offer, not only the H&M brands, but a curated selection of pieces from others. I don’t know what they are yet but we can all go and see for ourselves tomorrow.
There are three ranges which are conscious, premium and classic. The first is about using sustainable materials. Currently 57 per cent of the materials used is either recycled or sustainably sourced. The goal is for it to be 100 per cent by 2030. Most of the conscious products contain at least 50 per cent recycled or sustainably sourced – some have 100 – but there can be technological issues which mean that isn’t always possible. As things stand the most recycled cotton they can use in a garment is 20 per cent but they are working to improve that.
The classic collection is inspired by hotels and stylish grand apartments (think of those large Parisian flats with high ceilings, big window and parquet floors).
The store’s first event will be a collaboration with Christie’s auction house to show customers how to style vintage and modern design, which sounds like a great event and will be on all weekend. There will then be an online auction for the pieces displayed.
Anders Sjöblom, Managing Director of H&M HOME, said ahead of the opening: “The concept stores will complement the digital offering with personal service from the H&M colleagues and allowing our customers to interact with the products in an inspirational environment. We are investing in a next level customer experience, and we could not have hoped for a better location for our upcoming concept store. We are very proud to be a part of the legendary Regent Street.”
And one could say – so he should be – but ultimately I think we will all be pleased that they are there.