You might remember my enthusiastic post on the pop up New Craftsmen Garage late last year, which I was a little late telling you about. Well I hope I’m the first to flag up the collective’s fabulous new space, in a lovely old arts-and-crafts style, breeches factory within macchiato-throwing distance of both Selfridges and that fabulous. new Duke Street Emporium.
Not only does it bring together some of the coolest craftspeople working today over many disciplines, including quilting, jewellery, ceramics, furniture and glassware, but it’s a joy to potter around. The atmosphere reminds me of a mini-mash-up between Liberty and the Conran store, it has a clean design aesthetic, but uses gorgeous bits of furniture to display things on and has one of our favourite florists, Hattie Fox from That Flower Shop, providing the indoor garden and beautiful herby green wall. it’s really another one of those shops to add to the ‘I’d Like To Move In To’ list…
I went on the press opening day, before you could buy anything, which was just as well as I might have ended up bankrupting myself over the Doe leather ipad cases with British silk printed linings, or Edmund Byrne’s hand blown glass, on the table above, or more of the Tim Hurn wood fired mugs I bought before. The range is beautifully curated, you don’t feel overwhelmed and you can really see – and fall in love with- the product, which is such a relief compared with other shopping spaces. And the product is interesting, not something you can say about every shop these days.
Founder Catherine Lock told us that the aim of the store was to help you buy less, but buy better. If you are going to buy a chair to use every day of your life, or a chopping board or coffee cup, then why not buy a really beautifully designed one, with a provenance you can be proud of to last you for ever?
The space also has a good range of craft books from the BOOKSHOP at and magazines such as Hole & Corner, and there is a space to meet designers if you want to commission unique pieces, an area Catherine thinks is a growth area amongst consumers who want a stronger sense of individualism from their purchases.
The cash desk hints at the building’s heritage as a breech making factory, and I can recommend those very useful big balls of string, I’d be lost without mine (which I bought from Alistair Hendy’s Homestore).
The New Craftsmen has the ground floor space, but the building is to host a number of designers on the upper floors soon including Jenny Packham and aims to become a destination store. Do add it to your list of places to visit, it is currently sitting between a pub and a betting shop on North Street, but this area of Mayfair is under rapid luxing-up development and I think the betting shop’s days are numbered. More details on location here
This end of Oxford Street is fast turning into a great shopping destination.