37-39 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell
Flowers in antique glass jars, succulents large and small, steampunk kids clothes, pressed flowers, it all may sound a little Etsy-esque, and well, it is, but it's so well achieved and so aesthetically pleasing that it's hard not to fall for. Botanique, both a florist and a shop for artisan wares, opened up its sprawling, wood-lined space on Exmouth Market in October and already promises to be a fixture on the local craft scene with a series of seasonal workshops for those interested in picking up a few skills.
57 Amwell St., Clerkenwell
From the team behind Ochre, makers of objects, lighting, and furniture of pure beauty, Canvas is their showroom for basic household items like serving dishes, utensils, and vases, turned out in muted tones and delicate finishes. After launching first in the US, Canvas has finally opened its doors on a quiet street in East London, a perfect spot for a brand as elegantly understated as this one.
155 Farringdon Rd., Clerkenwell
This concept store/restaurant/martini bar/wine cave/piano lounge/women's store/men's shop/gallery is pretty jaw-dropping: It does so many things—all in one location—and so well. This shop is a world unto itself, mixing design objects, antiques, fashion magazines, and home accessories high and low in a sprawling space in its namesake neighborhood. You might find a nostalgic and scrappy old pencil case appealingly arranged next to an antique brass protractor, right next to a Palomino pencil. There are also ceramics, glassware, throws, and pillows—all at a surprisingly affordable range of prices (you get the sense that everything here is priced for exactly what its worth and no more). The clothing array revolves around mostly British heritage brands like Olivia Von Halle, Zoe Jordan, J.Lindenberg, Troubador, and more. They're basically out to outfit all the hardcore design types who live in the neighborhood, of which there are many.
52 Lamb's Conduit St., Clerkenwell
Primary colors, geometry, and the Bauhaus prevail here. This is a full-on lifestyle store for the geometrically obsessed. There are handcrafted leather goods, hand-bound notebooks, colorful pillows and throws, all within the very tasteful bounds of the owner's aesthetic. Expect to find many a British brand you haven't heard of yet.
46-47 Britton St., Clerkenwell
Ochre's furniture, custom chandeliers, lighting and accessories add an ethereality and rusticity to any room. They make beautiful pieces in all categories, from small details to the thematic pieces that make a room. The London location is a showroom so be sure to call in advance and visit with an interior designer.
Pentreath & Hall
17 Rugby St., Clerkenwell
Located in a tiny Victorian shopfront in the heart of Bloomsbury, Pentreath & Hall sells carefully chosen homewares and an ever-changing variety of unusual delights. Many of the objects, like co-owner, Birdie Hall’s decoupage plates, and Eric Ravilious for Wedgewood ceramics, satisfy the "look well under a glass cloche" category requirements. Photo: Simon Bevan
Present & Correct
23 Arlington Way, Clerkenwell
Started by two graphic designers who use the store to present their own designs as well as favorites from others, Present & Correct stocks everything required for old-school correspondence, including stamps, shelves and shelves of stationery, and boxes of specialty pens and pencils. There's also star-shaped erasers, vintage calligraphy sets, brass paperclips, and wooden tape dispensers. It's perfect for grown-up back-to-school.
1-10 Summers St., Clerkenwell
The knowledgeable, friendly, and design-obsessed staff at this Viaduct showroom will introduce you to the work of all the up-and-comers, as well as the more established designers on the scene, like Patricia Urquiola and Japer Morrison. If they don't have what you're looking for, they can probably track it down. They're great for outfitting modern offices and much of their stock transitions easily into the modern home. GP's architect Al Martin even used Viaduct for the modern renovation of his London home.
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