I love paper and really enjoy wrapping gifts using the paper and ribbons I collect on my travels. Choosing Keeping Stationery on Tower Street is a beautiful shop filled with handmade treasures, from lace notecards to marbled and decorative papers. I especially love their archival boxes (no two are the same). Rossi 1931 is a family-owned brand that still uses traditional crafting methods to create their really beautiful papers – I love their correspondence cards and use their papers tied with velvet ribbon for gifts. My go-to for beautiful, marbled paper frames or boxes is Atelier GK Firenze tucked away in Florence. It was founded by Italian and Japanese owners Lapo Giannini and Michiko Kuwata, who use traditional Florentine techniques and also specialise in restoration and book binding. Finally, for bespoke handmade stationery, I always defer to The Printery.
Textiles, Trimmings, Artwork & Upholstery
Founded in 1786 Antico Setificio Fiorentino is one of the last remaining workshops for silk manufacturing in the world. Their silk brocades and damasks are still produced using ancient looms and so can really bring a piece of history into the home. Over the years, I have made silk sachets using different leftovers and filled them with Santa Maria Novella Pot Pourri as gifts for friends or simply to scatter around my own home. The scent is divine. For trimmings, it has to be M&J Trimmings in New York on 6th Avenue. They have ribbons galore, in every width and colour, and I never come back empty handed. I always make it a point to visit when I’m in the city. For something a little different, I really love Aiveen Daly, who creates breath-taking textile murals. Samuel & Sons is also a no-brainer and finally, Rabadan for anything that needs reupholstering.
Artist Joy de Rohan Chabot creates unique furniture pieces and objet d’art, all of which are infused with romanticism and joie de vivre. For vintage and antique furniture, my first stop will often be Brownrigg, although they’re based in Tetbury and so aren’t always an easy place to pop into. The good news is their online store gets updated regularly to showcase their latest acquisitions. I recently purchased a 19th Century Chemist Display Cabinet, which will be in our shop opening this summer. The Vintage Trader is a great place to find an old fashioned drinks trolley and Trove by Studio Duggan has a stunning collection of pieces which can be customised in different colours and fabrics. I also have a real weak spot for Atelier Vime’s wicker pedestal urns and vases – I want them all!
Cushions, Throws & Linens
For fun and colourful scatter cushions I love visiting Wicklewood – they also have some great accent pieces and accessories so it’s always worth the trip. I lived in New York for a number of years, and discovered Saved New York during my time there, which is a small store in Gramercy Park where you can find total one-offs; their throws are so pretty I often want to use them as tablecloths instead. For fail-safe tablecloth options that always make an impact, though, it has to be Summerill & Bishop. I’m excited to be collaborating with them later in the year. Vis a Vis in Motcomb Street supply lovingly embroidered linens with a Parisian flair, while Julia B has pretty, colourful and monogrammed embroidery that’s great for adding a personal touch. Lastly, for cushions and fabrics, The Mews Furnishings source all of their fabrics sourced from the oldest mills in Mallorca.
For pattern and colour, I go to Robina Jack (she also creates unique portraits of pets that look really fun when they’re mounted on a wall). Matthew Solomon’s tulips are entirely handmade, while White Works on the Pimlico Road sells witty trompe l’oeil ceramic works by Priscilla Kennedy. Finally, head to La Tuile à Loup in Paris for aptware pottery and other artisanal unique French pottery pieces – and keep any eye out for the individual wicker bread baskets, too.
Antiques, Rare Finds & Shopping Abroad
There’s something so appealing about antiques and family heirlooms and how they connect us to the past – they’re part of the story we create in our living space and always add an extra layer of personality. More often than not, at home and abroad, I’ll be drawn to a local flea market or antiques mall. While living in Milan, I rarely missed the Navigli Antiques Market on the last Sunday of every month; the banks of the oldest canal in Milan – the Naviglio Grande – are transformed into a huge outdoor flea market with more than 380 stands. The Arezzo Antiques Fair is another favourite, and El Rastro in Madrid is where I remember being taken as a child.
In London, the Old Spitalfields Market sells antiques on Thursdays, and I’ve found a few gems there, including a beautiful moka cup and saucer that turned out to have been made by the great-grandfather of one of our Limoges suppliers. For silver, there’s no better place than the London Silver Vaults. Opened in 1885 as The Chancery Lane Safe Deposit, it transitioned to housing silver dealers a few years later; it’s a real treasure trove for beautifully crafted antique and modern silver. Misiaglia in Venice makes some beautiful table accessories, including my favourite artichoke salt and pepper set and finally, Patrick Mavros is my go-to for exotic table accents and unusual candelabra.