Retail Design

L. Cornelissen & Son, High Quality Art Supplies in London

Happy Tuesday! 

After my classes at the Prince's School of traditional arts, I found out about a few art stores that I don't think I can live without anymore. One of them is Cornelissen. It's an old little art supplies store with squeaky wooden floors located just by the British Museum. They basically have everything an artist might ever need from gold to pigments and beyond. Orders can be made online or on the phone. I reserved my order and went to pay in person because students get 10% off, which is a bargain if you are getting a bunch of stuff. I warn you though, going there will surly tempt you to get more art supplies. It's worth going regardless. 

Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Rainbow coloured pencils
Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Art Shop
Natural Pigment

The London Print Design Fair

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Last week, I went with my friend Joanna Michalska, a textile designer, to the London Print Design Fair. It was a showcase  of patterns, textiles and surface designs from many different companies some were even international from the US and Australia. It was interesting to see the latest trends in the business and the huge selection of options. Going to the fair really showed me how competitive this field was. I saw few buyers negotiating deals, so it was good for some. The fair is held twice a year and their next one is in October.  

The London Print Design Fair

It was located in the Lindley Hall off St. James tube station. It is a really gorgeous building with double hight and ceiling windows that let in lots of light. That added brightness t the space and made it feel even more specious.

Print Design Fair
Lindley Hall London
Trade books

My favourite table was the one with vintage fabric trader books. Some were from 1883 and in a great condition. Loved looking through them. They are a great idea for a fabric/surface design portfolios. Going around the tables and making little small talk all took 40 minutes tops. It is a good way to see the trends and available styles and how designers and agents exhibited them from actual fabric to colourful paper books. 

Vintage Patterns Book
Vintage Patterns Book
Patterns Books

A Walk in Camden Town

Few weeks ago, I went to checkout Camden Town for the first time and it was love at first sight! I think I know where I will be shopping next time. I kept passing it by on the tube. Everyone told me it's different and it was the home of everything weird and eccentric, but they didn't really sell it to me like they should have. 

The first thing that I noticed were the sculptures on top of some buildings, shop fronts and restaurants. I thought it was neat because I haven't seen big scale funky sculptures like them before!

I kept walking until I saw this lovely view 

Then I was greeted by the coolest market ever. FYI, it was BIIG. Like two markets into one and they had all sorts of things *like you will see below* for lots of different price ranges. Some stalls even tried bargaining and bringing the price low. 

I started with the Camden Lock market 

I liked how they had a hand drawn quirky floor plan. 

Inside the market, it was like an arcade type of interiors with different arches and bold colours.  

Love the vintage cameras stalls! They would be a great photo prop

Lovely ethnic accessories

colourful lights

Lots of jewellery!

So many scarves that would be perfect as hijabs! 

crazy t-shirts

beautiful clothes

More colourful lights!

Followed by the Stables Market. Where there was a big food hall with a lot of food options with a number of them being halal.

even more hijabs! 

My favourite part about the stables market was the history and the old beautiful details. The inventive use of space is also a plus. 

Next time, I will go early during the week to be able to shop comfortably without the crowd! I need to top on my hijabs, long necklaces and vintage dresses :)

Interior design inspiration at liberty

Liberty  is full of inspiration especially on the interior design front. The design of the place itself is worth looking. The setup of their furniture and decor section is also laid out nicely. Here is a short post that gives you a little interior design inspiration. 

The arranged frames of various sizes and illustrations is a cool idea for any wall in the living room, the office room or the corridors. 

I liked the mix of shabby chic and vintage pieces with the ceiling arches. 

The paper looking ceiling lights give the space a contemporary look. 

House of Hackney -

full review here

- had their own little corner there and their still is very distinctive and adds a rich feel to the place. 

There was an injection of colour in the crafts section that reminded me of interior design colour palettes 

finger licking colours

The colour combination of black and white, yellow and small pops of red is trendy and adds a mysterious feel to the space. I like how they pulled it together.  

The spring paper flowers and the old tiled fire place are a cool example for bringing old and a new in a stylish way. 

Stuffed animal heads! a little scary, but at least these ones are made with fabric which makes it an interesting idea. 

Lots of pinks! 

fun and quirky wall clocks. 

More yummy colours that could make the space lively and brighter. 

and of course the 2014 main colour, MINT! with a touch of other pastels. 

Hope this post gets you inspired and gives you the kick you needed to start your interior design project!  

House of Hackney

The first time I heard about House of Hackney was in the Interiors UK show in Birmingham, when the director of MRA, Anshu Srivastava gave his insightful presentation, "Art, Fashion and Architecture in Luxury Retail Stores." I loved hearing about the HOH concept and vision of "more is more" and "less is bore", which lead me to investigate and read more about how it started. 

The brand started recently in 2010 by a British couple, Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley, who their mission was to "take the beige out of interiors." What makes the brand different is the mixture of different cultures and age groups, which makes it appealing to many. The couple initial plan was to make wallpaper and bed linen, but their fashion love directed them to add a fashion line.

More about them in this interview from the Guardian. HOH is a wonderful success story that I would like to follow in the future or collaborate with one day.   


I spotted HOH while I was walking around Shoreditch, but I didn't go in until I was in Liberty -full review of Liberty could be found here- and saw their shop there.  

I loved how the lady working their was wearing on of the HOH pieces that matched the shop!

If you notice, they have few very distinctive prints and surface patterns that they have applied on a multiple product line, which makes it an example to follow for starting surface designers. Instead of producing million prints and illustration focus all your efforts on a few and apply them differently on a range of products from kitchen accessories to full scale furniture.  

I love the products of HOH and what this brand stands for. First, their support of the local market and the manufacturing of goods in England. Second, their charity work that extends a hand to international causes such as Gaza, check their charity blog post here.  

Liberty London

Last weekend I had the opportunity to *finally* visit


. I know it was very overdue especially that almost every English crafty friend I had recommended it. Liberty was tucked away from the main street, which makes it more of a destination. The shop was established in 1875 by Arthur Liberty. After the great success it was received with, this current Tudor style building was completed in the 1920s. It was designed by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall and constructed from the timber of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. You can clearly see all of this in the facade. Read more about the history on the Liberty's

main website

There are few doors to Liberty and my favourite one was the florist front. The flowers were colourful and smelled so good. 

and you go in and see more arrangement choices and lovely flower pots and bits. 

The interior design of the place is as magnificent as the architecture, especially with the quadruple open ceiling that ends with a glass roof that brings a lot of natural light. The style of balconies on each floor of the four floors makes the whole store interconnected. 

The design and the divisions of spaces are symmetrical and angular. 

There are many subsections for all the different available categories from fashion, accessories, stationary, home ware, furniture to everything in between.    

Below is my favourite shot, when the elevator opened and had a second to click. It really felt like Liberty is an open door to fashion. 

I loved the lights that were dangling from the fourth floor to the ground floor. It gave an urban feel to the historic space. 

The building was designed to have three main wells and each one will have smaller surrounding rooms to give a homey feel to the visitors. The other well area had these beautiful crystal chandeliers.  

The ground floor of accessories and stationery was fabulous and tempting was hard to escape the sparkle and all the little goodies. The third and fourth floors were decor, furniture, cookery and interior design accessories. I have a special blog post about that, but take a little sneak peek!  

They also had a beautiful craft section with YARN! *my love* fabric, threads, buttons and more beautiful crafty things that I couldn't resist. 

Look at all the beautiful options!

All high quality and with lots of yummy colours!

Overall, Liberty was a lovely place to visit and to be inspired by. Highly recommended if you are visiting London.