For the last few years we have been told that buying online keeps prices low by cutting out the middleman and all the costs involved in running a site but I’m beginning to wonder if we are seeing a swing back to the idea of the traditional shop. Or, as someone said to me the other day: the new debate is about clicks versus bricks.
The latest design company to venture into a real life space is the glorious Pinch Design who I know many of you are fans of. This means that when you are contemplating those big purchases – sofas, desks, armchairs etc – you will be able to go and touch and feel and sit and there really is no substitute for that.
Oona Bannon, the creative director of Pinch, says: “We have always been very product-focused but a little bit under the radar. Having a shop will allow us to lift our furniture off the pages of magazines, to let customers get close and to feel and appreciate them.”
Pinch specialises in simple designs that will endure for ever – classic, fashionproof and beautifully made. And yes, you have to pay for that craftsmanship so a store makes sense. But we’re talking about future heirlooms here. To paraphrase the old adage of buy cheap buy twice (so true) this is more buy it once love it for ever.
The shop, which once belonged to the cookery writer Elizabeth David, is in Pimlico, one of the capital’s burgeoning design districts, and will show a constantly rotating collection. That does mean it might be worth ringing first if you’re thinking of visiting to see a specific item.
Until now it has only been possible to visit their Clapham studio by appointment. The new shop means you can also discuss bespoke pieces as well as see the rest of the collection.
Here is a selection of image from the new shop to give you an idea of their style if you are not familiar – for those of you who live outside London – yes I do know there is a big place outside London called The Rest of The World, you can still buy online so do visit the website for more images of what husband and wife team Russell and Oona do. In the meantime, I’m leaving you with this sofa, which is the most perfect shape and design if you ask me.
Why? Because it has narrow arms so there is more seating space and it looks more refined. And because it has legs which means you can see more floor space, which, in turn, makes the room look bigger. And, finally, because it has a high back but you can also rest a small cushion on top of the existing back cushion to make a head rest for those that like more neck support (I’m talking to you Susan there by the way).
The shop, for those of who don’t live in The Rest of The World, is at 46 Bourne Street, London, SW1W 8JD and the nearest tube is Sloane Square or Victoria station.