Now I will put my hand up and say I love John Lewis, I even secretly love Ikea but the trouble is everyone has their stuff. You walk into your friend’s house and they might have the same lamp, the same rug or the same flat packed furniture as you. Suddenly you realise you’re not quite as individual as perhaps you would like to be. I love my friends very much but I don’t want to have the same things as them, where is the fun in that? I will be inspired by them but I will try not to copy. So what can you do to make sure your home is just a little bit different. Well you just have to search a little further and dig a little bit deeper. But the good thing is it’s never been easier with wonderful sites like ebay and online shops that specialise in one offs.
So I’m going to share a few of my favourites with you.
Run by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, a couple who have made a career of sourcing amazing vintage finds, limited editions, or the next range of trendy homeware to sell on their site and in their London shops. They live in the Highlands of Scotland, run The Hawarden Estate Farm Shop and The Glynne Arms in North Wales, they are organic farmers, have published a book and oh yeah…they have 6 children. I need a lie down just thinking about how they manage it all but also desperately want to be adopted into their family! You can find some amazing things on their site like 1950’s advertising posters or origional antique lighting fixtures or vintage Pepsi crates. You can also find new and more accesible items, but they are the kind of things you won’t find in every department store. They were one of the first places to champion the whole ‘Keep Calm and Carry’ on craze, but as soon as everyone started doing it they slammed it all into their clearance sale stating that they didn’t want to be selling the same thing as everyone else and wanted it all gone! My only tip for you is that if you see something that you really like and it’s a one off or limited edition don’t think about it for too long because someone else will nab it. I made that mistake and missed out on the ‘You are Awesome’ poster below.
Next up it’s….
This is another ‘couple run’ website but based in Falmouth Cornwall. Sarah Willshaw left her secure job, working for an architectural salvage company sourcing and selling antiques, to take the leap and start Willow and Stone with her husband Nick J Williams, an artist. Their goal was to ‘Sell and source period fittings and traditional products of the highest quality along with stylish contemporary pieces suited to eclectic & characterful homes’. They have definitely acheived this, so have a nose at their website and see if you can find that perfect period piece, whether it be antique or a modern take on a classic. They also do some really great knobs which you can see some of below which is another great way of changing a chest or sideboard to make it a little different.
So that’s just two of the fabulous online sites that I like to peruse. But there are of course many more sites and places to look for that unique item out there and I will do my best to share as we go along. Have fun finding those unusual pieces and feel brilliantly and secretly smug when someone compliments them knowing no one else has one quite like it.