I grew up in a very small town in New Jersey, where my best friend’s family owned and ran the most amazing “five and dime” shop (for those of you who have no idea what the heck that is, here you go). Having this kind of local, family-run shop at my disposal has always made me appreciate independent retailers over chains.
Even more so, with my best friend still running this shop to this day, I feel an even fiercer need to ensure these type of businesses can thrive in a world of mass-market.
I feel an even fiercer need to ensure these type of independent businesses can thrive in a world of mass market.
Finding affordable independent retailers – particularly for interiors, and particularly in the very-expensive United Kingdom – can be a challenge. When Stag and I moved into our flat, I found it especially hard, and as a result I had to resort to chains, all the while yelling to no one in particular, “What I wouldn’t give for a freakin CB2 and Target and POTTERY BARN.” (Ok, I know this is defeating the purpose of this post, but seriously Americans, do not take these for granted).
Since the initial moving-in panic, I’ve strived to limit all purchases to more independent (local) interior brands. Some of these are more well known, while others I’ve only stumbled across in my never-ending quest.
See below for a roundup of my favourites — and what I’m wishing I could buy from these shops now!
My Favourite Independent Interior Stores — And What I’m Loving in Each Store!
(Proud to be supporting the #buylocal or #buyindependent movement!)
Best for: Stationary and kitchenware
“Design with a story” is Rogue’s mantra, which in such a short phrase encapsulates what I love about shopping from independent retailers. They don’t have a huge selection of items, but the few (decorative, stationary and kitchenware) items they do have are beautiful. Plus, they are a East London local, just like this interior addict.
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Adore Typographic Print | £20
Grid Memphis Tea Towel | £11
Best for: Plant displays and kitchenware
Darley Avenue have the most beautiful minimalist aesthetic, a sea of whites and greys that ignites my Scandi-loving ways. Certain items will make your eyes pop with how affordable they are, and when the sale just begins, there are some real bargains to be had. They’re also great for beauty products (stocking Herbivore, one of my favourites) as well as tailor-made gift boxes to send. (On a side note, the team at DA are also incredibly nice on social media – see my instagram for proof!)
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Set of 4 Marble Coasters | £16
Esrum Stoneware Bowl | £12
Best for: Prints and soft furnishings
You may have noticed by now that I like Trouva. Case in point: about 50% of my posts thus far have had a Trouva link in them. It’s such a great concept for interior
addicts enthusiasts like me that I don’t know why no one’s thought of it before. In Trouva, all of your local, independent British retailers are accessible under one beautiful site. As Refinery29 have said, “Trouva is like shopping London’s best neighbourhood boutiques without the inconvenience of having to go there.” PREACH.
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The Stag Print from Mauds House | £15.50
Cactus Tea Towel from Home & Kids | £8 in the sale
Quail animal egg cup from Rigby & Mac The Dulwich Trader | £10.95 each
Best for: Lighting and decor
Stag and I actually bought our bedside table lamps from TLHS, which look a lot more expensive than they were (about £30!). Described as having a ‘relaxed industrial style,’ expect to find contemporary lighting, decor and a great selection of gifts. It also has some pretty storage items, which are never as easy to find on many decor-based sites.
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Cairo Print Monochrome Cushion | £17.60 (in the sale)
Aston Pendant Light in Brass | £45 (in the sale)
Brass Geometric Bowl | £12 (in the sale)
Best for: Bright 70’s style decor and quirky accessories
I am not going to lie, Howkapow’s bold, colourful aesthetic is far from my usual interiors style! But there’s something about it’s fun branding, quirky accessories and good-natured vibe that I absolutely adore. One of my other table lamps (yes, I have 3) comes from Howkapow, again at a great price in the sale. Definitely take a look if you’re looking for something more fun (or for a kid’s present; they have a great selection!). Otherwise, see below for my more-boring picks of the Howkapow lot (!).
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Table Lamp “Z” in Gold | £34.95 (I actually own this exact one!)
Gold Dot Tumbler Set | £24.95
Cactus Flower Vase – Medium | £37.95
Alphabet Mugs (variety of letters) | £12.95
Best for: Candles and soft furnishings
I will caveat this listing and say that Wood/Grey has a very small selection of items. However, what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. Their modern, Scandi-chic approach to design and decor is quite possibly my favourite of the bunch. It’s where you go to get a one-in-awhile beautiful object that just makes your heart sing. I especially adore the candle selection!
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Parisienne Basket | £2
What are your favourite online interior shops? Where do you generally buy your home stuff? I would love to hear from you! Let me know your favourites in the comments, and I will feature it in my next interiors roundup post :o)