You’d be hard-pressed to define London style, as design in the capital city runs the gamut, from classic Edwardian elegance to sleek contemporary vibes, and everything in between. Fittingly, London’s design shops reflect that diversity and range, from small boutiques with a focus on emerging designers to emporiums that stock pieces by the masters. The next time you’re in London, these five excellent design shops are worth seeking out.
Situated in central London, Mint upholds its place on the cutting edge of the design world, thanks to its rotating collection of limited-edition and one-off pieces by both emerging talents and established manufacturers. On one visit you might find midcentury modern chairs by Mel Smilow, and on another a sculptural plant holder and chandelier made from reclaimed parts: Every visit to this shop will yield something new.
Exuberant prints reign at House of Hackney, where everything from wallpaper to plush sofas features bold patterns. Bespoke furnishings are made-to-order and crafted in England by the country’s best furnituremakers. And if you’re just a visitor to the city, smaller items, like table linens and fine bone china, make great souvenirs you can fit into your suitcase.
In chic Bloomsbury, Darkroom champions modern and postmodern avant-garde design, whether by up-and-coming designers, special commissions, or the shop’s own eponymous line. Expect eye-catching graphic pillows, sculptural objets d’art, minimalist ceramics, leather bags and accessories for men and women, geometric jewelry, and much more.
The famed British fashion designer Paul Smith has plenty of clothing shops across London, but there’s only one place where you can find his complete collection of home goods. His shop at No. 9 Albemarle in tony Mayfair showcases cheeky finds, such as a white porcelain teapot shaped like a monkey, notebooks adorned with his signature multi-colored stripes, and many other gifts for design aficionados.
As the name suggests, this design store focuses on items from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special emphasis on midcentury works. The shop’s roster of designers is encyclopedic: Charles and Ray Eames, Hans Wegner, Gio Ponti are all represented, as are contemporary designers like Barber Osgerby, the Bouroullecs, and Hay Studio.
If you’re going shopping in London, plan your shopping spree with our round-up of the city’s Chic Design Shops.