See inside Anthropologie

October 22, 2009

Is there anything I DON’T want in this shop? Erm, no. London’s new Anthropologie did not disappoint when I checked it out yesterday. It was everything I hoped it would be – and more. The interior of the shop is fabulous in itself, before I even get started on the lovely stock! From the huge luxury changing rooms, to the gigantic whale hanging from the ceiling and the incredible living vertical garden wall with 18,000 live plants in it, this shop interior is by far the coolest London’s ever seen.

anthropologie londonThe plants in the vertical garden are watered by rainwater collected on the roof, and reminded me of an eco-house I saw in Paris recently. Every 12 weeks, a team of style gurus and creative set designers will put together a fresh interior look, so it’s going to be one of those shops you’ll never tire of. I spotted strips of vintage sewing needles on the walls, huge apothecary-style chests of drawers, china plate clocks and a curtain made of tea bags.

anthropologie london2Can I just say at this point that, tragically, just when I needed it most, my stupid digital camera failed me and the battery ran out at a crucial moment, so the images on this post are a mixture of PR shots and some snaps taken by the wonderful Wee Birdy, to whom I am very grateful!

anthropologie ukI spent hours browsing and had to be very restrained spending-wise. I basically liked/wanted everything I saw. It was good to see a mixture of American products and stock from home-grown designers such as Becky Oldfield (stunning Union Jack quilts) and the lovely Lisa Stickley. There were too many interesting home buys to mention, but highlights for me included: paint-by-numbers plates from Trey Speegle, cute stamp sets from Yellow Owl Workshop, gorgeous Tokyo Milk bubble baths, cook books from the likes of Ginette Mathiot, Alice in Wonderland drawer knobs, zinc letters, beautiful cards and notebooks, stylish chemistry-set style flasks, and coloured folksy aprons – straight out of Hansel and Gretel. The new folk trend has been embraced by Anthropologie in a big way – I spotted wooden mushrooms, ceramic owls, folk-style patchwork quilts and an unusual vintage-look book titled: ‘Mushroom Magick, a comprehensive guide to psychedelic ‘shrooms‘!

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anthropologie uk3Even the packaging is delicious at Anthropologie, and I was delighted to be given a little Nathalie Lete lily soap in my red-handled goody bag, which made it twice as nice! ‘Mon savon qui sent bon’…sigh. I’m already planning my next Anthropologie trip. – Ellie

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nathalie lete soap

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Oh, we’ve waited patiently. We’ve never complained. We’ve twiddled our thumbs and admired Anthropologie.com politely from afar on blogs and in American mags since 1992, with never a moan or a mutter. We waited for the genius Mr Hayne, of Urban Outfitters fame, to remember little ol’ Europe, pack his designer suitcase full of eclectic homewares, and pop over here to open a shop. And now, he’s finally answered our prayers. The UK’s first Anthropologie opens at 158 Regent Street, London, this Friday 23rd October, but I’m going to the sneaky peek press launch at the store tomorrow. Be rude not to really.

Picture 20There’s a Kings Road store planned soon, too, and the online shop Anthropologie.co.uk is launching in spring 2010 to spread the love to the rest of Europe. I haven’t been this excited since 1987, at my 5th birthday party, when I had to be shut in a room to calm down because it was all too much fun and I was in danger of actually popping with joy. Anthropologie, welcome to the UK. We love you. – Ellie

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Going underground!

August 10, 2009

True, we complain. It smells, it’s too hot, it increases your chance of contracting Swine Flu by 87% * but for all our moaning, if we Londoners really hated the tube that much, we wouldn’t want to fill our homes will little reminders of it, would we?

* not scientifically verified

1908 tube map

So what is it about the tube map that makes it so iconic it was deemed a British Design Classic alongside the Anglepoise lamp and the Penguin book, no less? Perhaps if it still looked like the 1908 map above, we wouldn’t be so keen. It wasn’t until 1931 when Underground employee Harry Beck realised that, given that the trains ran below ground, it didn’t matter whether the lines on the map corresponded with the layout of the streets above, as long as they ran in the right direction and the stations appeared in the right order. And so, the diagrammatic map we know and love today was born!

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Notonthehighstreet £44.95

I love this cushion from Notonthehighstreet, which features a section of the map printed on rustic linen – it really accentuates the graphic properties of the design and reminds me of the printer friendly version of the map you can download from TFL where the lines are given patterns rather than colours. Much prettier, though not as practical when getting from A-B!

Rockett St George

And from the subtle to the not so subtle! How cool is this tube map shower curtain, brand new from Rockett St George?

Splashback

I love this quirky glass splashback recently featured on House to Home – great with the zesty orange worktop. Try Digetex if you fancy something similar.

Balcony Gardener

And after all that journeying, pushing, shoving and getting stuck in the door, there’s only one thing for it – relaxing on this tube map deckchair from the Balcony Gardener. Zzzzz…. – Bethan

Do I need another cushion in my life? Probably not, but these gorgeous limited edition designs from Lisa Stickley are so more-ish, I can’t resist!

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Hand-made and hand-printed, these cushions are made using Lisa‘s drawings and vintage linens. I love her scribble-writing, and the ‘Party’ cushion with a list of retro party games has got to be the cutest one.

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I got chatting when I visited Lisa’s shop in Clapham North recently and discovered she’s planning to open another shop soon – more details coming soon, so watch this space! – Ellie

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These funky maps of London and Paris from Bodie and Fou are prints of paper-cuts by Famille Summerbelle. They’re £45 each.

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Following on from yesterday’s post about maps, I thought these were perfect for today! I’ve got my eye on the London one! – Ellie

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