In these uncertain times, independent businesses need our support more than ever. Here, block print maker Molly Mahon shares her favourite UK homeware shops, selling everything from stationery to antiques, fabric and paint
THE ‘MAGICAL, COLOURFUL AND INSPIRING’ MARCHAND SON PAINT SHOP IN LEWES, EAST SUSSEX
This is the most magical, colourful and inspiring paint shop I have ever visited. Owned by equally joyful Simon March who can mix you any type of paint in any shade of colour. There is a nostalgic charm about this shop that I just love. It is utterly unique and adds to the wonderfully eclectic collection of shops in Lewes.
30-31 Station St, Lewes BN7 2DB
The Bloomsbury Group and their work are a huge source of inspiration to me and I feel very fortunate that Charleston Farmhouse is just up the road from my home. It’s nestled at the bottom of the South Downs and the Shop at Charleston has flourished over the last couple of years offering an electic mix of local wares, historical novels and their own collection of fabrics. I recently hand block printed a capsule collection of runners and napkins exclusively for the shop and couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.
Firle, West Firle, Lewes BN8 6LL
The Hambledon is the ultimate mini department store and whenever we visit friends and family in Hampshire I make sure I find time to pop in. Spread over three floors you can really take your time enjoying their carefully curated selection of gifts, books and homewares on the ground floor, working your way up to the top to try on some fabulous clothes. It was also one of my first ever wholesale accounts and they are a wonderful team to work with.
10 The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES
This has been an all time favourite for years, and when I lived in London their original Richmond outpost was my go to destination for my birthday treat each year. Delicious food, incredible wares and just the most uplifting atmosphere. A total oasis on the edge of town.
Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB
This is possibly one of my top five destinations in the world! It is our local biodynamic farm which has a farm shop bursting with nutritious delights, a café serving rich strong Monmouth coffee out of a horse box, a beautiful wooden shack where you can sit around a log burner with your coffee, snuggled in to cushions (that we made) stuffed with wool from the farm. They also offer all sorts of wholesome courses such as natural dying that I love treating myself to from time to time.
Plawhatch Lane, Sharpthorne, East Grinstead RH19 4JL
This is our wonderful outpost in Holland Park, London. Established over 40 years ago, this is an Aladdins cave of affordable antiques. We sell a range of our products here and our wallpapers and fabrics are on show. It has a lovely community spirit in the area and it feels more like someone’s home than a shop. It is also a perfect place to hold talks and meetings, which we do whenever we can.
131 Portland Road, Notting Hill, London W11 4LW
I love this shop; the owner Elisabeth has such a good eye. You can buy almost anything here, from homewares, to the best jeans, toys and books for children and there is also a little café at the back where you can refresh and renew with scrumptious cakes.
24 High Street, Lewes BN7 2LU
I feel lucky to have such an enormous antiques fair just 15 minutes away from home. Ardingly Antiques is bursting with wonderful original items and I parade up and down with a trolley picking up little Indian paintings or old pieces of linen or larger pieces of furniture when needed. The sellers are all great characters and an early start here with a steaming brew is one of those real feel good occasions. The next fair is scheduled for 23-24 June, all being well.
South of England Showground, Ardingley nr Haywards Heath RH17 6TL
I am like a child in a sweetshop in any stationery shop, but Shepherds really does it for me. Dangerously close to Victoria station – where I come into London from my home in Sussex – I am often drawn in like a magnet and can’t resist a cheeky purchase, even if only a new pencil. Papers, tools, presents… everything is so tempting.
30 Gillingham Street, Victoria, London SW1V 1HU
Molly’s debut book, House of Print: A Modern Printer’s Take on Design, Colour and Pattern is out at the end of May and is available for pre-order now.
If you enjoyed this, why not check out edit58’s Lisa Mehydene’s little black book of her favourite independent stores and take a look around Molly’s vibrant and cheerful East Sussex home.