A sneak peek into a little black book of eclectic shops that even the mavens of interiors don’t know. Heading to London, New York or Istanbul? Then get shopping…
Uncovering ‘of the moment’ interiors shops when we visit international cities is laboriously hard. Guidebook recommendations often leave us cringing at the un-coolness and authenticity of the homewares. The homeowner of this month’s ‘Treasure Trove’, Ruth Forsyth, has a gift for sourcing and is here to share her ‘interiors pearls’ and get us to the off the beaten-track in the lively cities of London, New York and Istanbul.
Make a beeline for Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, home to a multitude of idiosyncratic design concept stores including Monologue London with its ultra -cool contemporary furniture and lifestyle pieces by emerging designers.
From pink cowhide rugs to beautiful white stone ornaments, Elementary oozes cutting-edge appeal.
Further down Redchurch Street is the more well-known but no less fabulous Maison Trois Garçons, which specialises in globally sourced contemporary and antiques pieces, while Labour & Wait‘s practical kitchen goods will transform you into an über-cool retro domestic goddess.
House of Hackney on Shoreditch High Street is a vast and spectacular shop, showcasing the brand’s playful, colourful and edgy interiors and clothing (Dust in Dublin 8 stock their fabrics). On the same street, Elemental is an absolute must for vintage and reclaimed furniture and accessories. I rarely leave empty-handed!
Based in the gorgeous Columbia Road Flower Market, B Southgate has to-die-for, one-off antique and vintage pieces.
The owner of Mouki Mou on Chiltern Street has curated simply beautiful objects, clothes and art.
I always bring back to Ireland a unique, colourful and graphic piece from Darkroom in Bloomsbury.
Get Stuffed in North London is complete heaven for taxidermy lovers, as the tiny shop is packed to the rafters.
For beautiful and authentic 20th-century antiques, James Worrall is my go-to shop in London.
Maison Gerard would be my top plug in New York for their stock of really special, contemporary and 20th-century furniture and homewares by a number of designers including the very gifted (Dublin-born!) Carol Egan.
I am blown away by the practically museum-quality antiques in O’Sullivan Antiques, which has a sister shop on Francis Street, Dublin 8.
Champions of leading 20th-century Scandinavian designers, expect to be stopped in your tracks by the interior displays at Hostler Burrows‘ gallery-style shop.
Based in Greenwich, Adelaide has a trendy vibe, selling 1920s to ’60s vintage and modern pieces.
On the second floor of a dodgy-looking building and behind a door covered in stickers is Kiosk: a den of globally sourced and completely eclectic objects.
From skulls (in metal or Lucite) to Russian World War II telescopes and wooden mannequins, Mantiques is a 20th-century bric-à-brac shop with kudos.
I love shops with a mix of furniture and cool objects such as Lost City Arts, which sells restored and original mid-century American and Scandinavian furniture and fixtures.
Urban Archaeology is great for sourcing unusual pieces. The salvage section has some incredible pieces from New York’s exceptional architectural heritage.
There is a sense of attention to detail and timelessness in the handcrafted furniture and home wares at BBDW, designed by the company’s founder, Tyler Hays. See the featured image of the showroom on Crosby Street.
I bought a beautiful silk cushion recently from Yoruk, which is located in the city’s beautifully renovated, historic library. I brought carpets from the owner on my first trip to Istanbul and coincidentally found him again!
Go to soak up the rich heritage of Istanbul in the Grand Bazaar, which is brimming with inspiration. Inside you’ll find Abdulla, which has beautiful bathroom accessories that last: my hammam from this shop on my first visit to Istanbul is wonderfully worn.
Also in the Grand Bazaar, Armaggan is a heady mix of carpets, textiles, home wares, clothes and jewellery denoted by their contemporary, Anatolia-inspired designs.
Atelier 55 is another spot-on concept store that mixes clothes, jewellery, homewares and art.
Varak Evi in Cukurcuma is a workshop of artisans who restore Ottoman mirrors, chandeliers and furniture, with mixed French and Oriental influences.
Buying a Turkish carpet can be a minefield – avoid ‘fakes’, which don’t possess the incredible quality of production, wool, design and colour combinations that make Turkish carpets famous. Güneş Öztarakçi will give you an instructive lesson and help arrange shipping. Done.
A La Turca is one of the most beautiful antiques shops in Istanbul, full of exquisite objects, kilim rugs and traditional Ottoman furniture.
An established interior designer, Asli Günşiray‘s boutique displays multicultural old and new furniture and accessories.
By Jessica Elliott