Design Guru Claire German Shares Her Little Black Book
Design Guru Claire German Shares Her Little Black Book

Design Guru Claire German Shares Her Little Black Book

There isn’t much going on in the interiors world that Claire German – CEO of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour – doesn’t know about. With that in mind, who better to share her go-to suppliers and favourite homeware brands?
By Georgina Blaskey

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Milo Brown

The brand I find most interesting is Anya Hindmarch – including her home accessories. She is just so clever in the way she adds wit, charm and practicality to everything she touches, and the way she always has aesthetics at the core.

The best department store in the world for homeware is Bergdorf Goodman. It always feels a definitively ‘New York’ shopping experience; the building is steeped in so much history and it’s just a stone’s throw from Central Park. I love what Kit Kemp does with her space in the large, light-filled loft on the seventh floor. She updates her pop-up on a regular basis and does such a brilliant job at making it look effortless and carefree, yet there is always such a tremendous level of detail to enjoy. The Kelly Wearstler-designed BG restaurant is a great destination for lunch or cocktails, too.

The coolest independent interiors brands I’ve noticed recently include Floren – a team of artisans specialising in making beautiful hand-sewn lampshades at its studio in Dorset – and Rupert Bevan, who designs and makes bespoke furniture.

Anya Hindmarch is just so clever in the way she adds WIT, CHARM AND PRACTICALITY to everything she touches, and the way she always has AESTHETICS AT THE CORE

The best destination for independent designers and makers is Formed with Future Heritage. It’s an event we host on 9th to 13th October. A core element of this event is the ‘Future Heritage’ component, which showcases a mix of independent designers and makers working across a variety of media and disciplines, selected by journalist and curator Corinne Julius. 

If I could only buy homeware from one place, it would be… Well, I know I am biased, but I truly mean it when I say Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. With over 130 showrooms, we have an array of both British and international brands. The beauty of the Design Centre is that we have everything you need under the one roof. From kitchens and bathrooms to wallcoverings and fabrics, rugs and carpets and beautiful objects, there is constant temptation.

Petit Panier

The under-the-radar brand I’ve recently discovered is Petit Panier. Everything on the site is handcrafted by artisans in England. I have the Provence wavy wicker tray sitting on an ottoman in my living room. I love mixing materials and textures, so this rattan look is perfect.

My perfect shopping day would include searching for lots of antiques. I love a Parisian flea market – there are a few off the tourist track and those are the places where I have sourced all my best treasures.

The best vintage store in the world is Mason Painter – a curated collection of decorative antiques and vintage paintings by Michelle Mason. I recently bought a vintage French painting for my kitchen from there.

The best sustainable brand is Haines. It’s a direct-to-consumer platform selling surplus interiors stock that would otherwise go to waste. It sources and salvages designer fabrics and home accessories, which are then ready to be rehomed and repurposed.


I love a PARISIAN FLEA MARKET – there are a few off the tourist track and those are the places where I have sourced all my BEST TREASURES

The best interiors gift I’ve ever given was the Duck Feet Lamp by Porta Romana. It’s cast in brass and hand-finished with feather lampshade. Inspired by the furniture designs of surrealist artist Méret Oppenheim, it now takes pride of place in one of my closest friend’s homes. The best interiors gift I’ve ever received was an Hermès throw – a very special and spoiling gift.

The most recent item I bought for my home was an eiderdown made out of Veere Grenney fabric from Tissus d'Hélène. I love the traditional feel it brings to the bedroom. 

The most expensive investment I have made in my home was our kitchen by Martin Moore. We recently renovated the entire property, so it was the perfect opportunity to have the kitchen we’d always wanted. Eadie & Crole recommended Martin Moore and I can confirm it was totally worth it.

I love Fiona Finds for tableware. When my team at the Design Centre pass special milestones, I often find myself sourcing the perfect gift there. There’s such a versatile mix of products and Fiona is such a dynamic character with a fantastic eye.

For bedlinen, I like The White Company. It does the loveliest linen range – I like the design that has a frill on the edge to give a little nod to that vintage look.


Porta Romana; Joachim Wichmann

My everyday glassware is from Daylesford – I love the signature pop of colour on the rim of the glass. I have them in so many colours, so there’s always something to suit the colour aesthetic of the table. When it comes time to entertain, I bring out the antique crystal. 

In our home, we mix family artworks with more contemporary pieces. During our recent renovation, I worked with an art advisory service called Cricket Fine Art – they visited and advised on the spaces we had and what would work best for each. I would highly recommend using a service like that to avoid making expensive mistakes. 

When it comes to soft furnishings, I have two of the David Seyfried Editor’s Chairs in our living room, upholstered in fabric by Anna Spiro. We also have a wonderfully comfortable sofa by David Seyfried which is covered in a Pierre Frey fabric.

There are so many exceptional lighting brands out there. Personally, I have used a lot of Porta Romana and Vaughan pieces in my home, in addition to Hector Finch, which is opening a Design Centre showroom this month. I also have lights by Susie Atkinson over the banquette in our kitchen.

The item I regret not buying is a wonderful antique French dinner service from Maison Fête.

There are so many sentimental items in our home. In a fire, I think I would have to save a Julian Opie style self-portrait my son Guy did when he was at prep school. I framed it because he captured his eyes perfectly and so the likeness is there; it’s very sweet.

Next on my shopping list is a lacquered, scallop ottoman tray from Addison Ross. I’ve had my eye on one of those trays for a while now, and the brand is due set to take part in the Design Centre’s luxury shopping event Twinkle of Christmas from 30th November to 2nd December, so I think I will have to pop down there and do a little self-gifting.


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