High Street Heroes
Urban Outfitters have always been a great go-to for design-led gifts and even a cute record player so you can crack out your vinyl, but did you know they’ve expanded their offering to include larger pieces too? The new range comprises beds, sofas, dining tables and even rugs, so you can bring a touch of that cool-kid style to your interior. My top picks are the velvet sofas in jewel colours, (a huge trend at this year’s Maison et Object furniture fair), and the wooly Moroccan rugs, because lets face it, they never go out of fashion.
Velvet upholstery from £850, Moroccan rugs from £75. urbanoutfitters.com/uk
I have long been a fan of Cornish designer Tom Raffield, who’s pioneering form of steam bending allows him to sculpt strips of British timber into the curviest of shapes. Up until now, he has used this technique purely to create lighting designs, but with his latest range he’s moved on to furniture as well. This Amble hanging seat is made from sustainably sourced Ash and is a contemporary alternative to all the bamboo versions that are so popular right now. Also worth a look is the wonderfully 3D, rippled Gwelson screen.
Amble hanging seat, £1250, and Gwelson screen £1450, tomraffield.com
Up The Stream
Forget reclaimed vintage letters, forget antlers and forget trendy neon signs – paddles are the coolest things to hang on your walls right now. But not any old paddles, THESE canoe paddles by Norquay Co. Seriously the most beautiful things I’ve seen in ages, each piece is carved from solid cherry wood sourced from Northern Ontario, and hand-painted with a gloriously graphic design. Choose the water-ready finish and you can even take it up the Thames (or your chosen local waterway) should your heart so desire.
£299 each plus shipping, norquayco.com
Cut Some Rug
It can be hard to find rugs at a reasonable cost, and particularly cool rugs at that, which is why Floor Story is a real revelation. As well as their own creations, the company has teamed up with some of the hottest young designers out there to produce high quality hand-knotted, tufted and flatweave rugs in a huge range of fantastic designs. Grab a Camille Walala or Darkroom kelim from only £350.
On The Make
If crafting is good for the soul, which I sincerely believe it is, then there’s no better place to indulge in a whole banquet of soul food that at Handmade at Kew. A four-day craft spectacular, more than 150 international makers and galleries will showcase their ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles, metalwork and jewellery, including these amazing ornate flowerheads are sculpted in porcelain by Vanessa at Wallflower London. What’s more, a ticket gives you access to the whole of the botanic gardens, so you can wander through Decimus Burton’s famous glasshouses at your leisure. Should you not be able to make it to the event, get another dose handmade at The New Craftsmen, who’s Mayfair showroom is a joy to behold, and who also sell their highly covetable wares on line.