Eccentric British style at Pitfield London

12/18/2015 06:00:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Yesterday I made a dash into town to finish off some Christmas shopping, and couldn't wait to head into one of my favourite independent interiors stores, Pitfield London. If you haven't heard of Pitfield, then you're in for a real treat. It's an eccentric mix of reinvented furniture, retro lighting, quirky homewares and rich, saturated textiles.  Think your great granny's house mixed with a 1970s soho nightclub and you're starting to get close! Oh, and it has a brilliant cafe too – what's not to love?
Pitfield London

As you may have gathered, Pitfield is not really for the faint-hearted. It's everything I love about East London style – a bit hipster, a bit retro, a bit industrial and a bit camp. It's cool, colourful, quirky and absolutely unapologetic. You might not want to buy everything here, but if you want your home to have personality, then it is the perfect place to find something different to mix in with all the ubiquitous John Lewis/Graham & Green/Ikea pieces. Because who wants their home to look like everyone else's?

It's very easy when you're busy juggling work/family/life to end up plumping for the same old interior sources – and that's fine for the most part. But if you can source some pieces from independent stores then it'll go a long way to making your home different and special. I love sourcing things that have a bit of history or a story behind them – it genuinely makes me appreciate them more. And independent shops like Pitfield take the hassle out of it for you. You might pay a little more, but they've done all the leg work; scoured the vintage markets, auction houses and design fairs; found the cool designers; revamped and recovered the furniture and curated a super-cool selection. All you have to do is pick a great piece or two to seriously glam up your basic sideboard or table, et voila!

I have no time to go shopping, ever, with 3 children under 6 and a fledgling business to run, so I make sure that when I do dash out it's to somewhere worthwhile like this. So, what does Pitfield excel at?

1. Bold colour – Pitfield is not really for the neutrals-fan! Think plenty of orange, bright pink, jade green and smoky blues. Strong, saturated hues abound, and are frequently co-existing in the same space – orange pieces sit happily with purple and hot pink; bright yellow walls hang out next to blue velvet chesterfields. And plenty of metallic touches add to the glamour – see these cheeky gold and white dipped kitsch they're cool! Or the oversized jade green sofa, upholstered in beautiful velvet and finished with brass studs. (Please forgive the smart phone pictures, in my defence I was snapping away before the shop actually opened, whilst trying to stop my one year old from grabbing all the lovely vintage glass accessories!)

Pitfield London

2. Vintage lighting
There's always a great selection of lighting at Pitfield – from murano glass chandeliers to industrial style desk lamps. I particularly love their 1960s and 70s table lamps with oversize lampshades, like this teal number, below. Lamps like these are great for adding scale and impact to a room. Or how about a beautiful blown glass lamp with a hot pink shade?
Pitfield London

3. Vintage furniture with a twist. Check out this high back mid-century chair and footstool – reupholstered in silver leather for a futuristic touch. It looks super comfy too...

Or this simply-shaped retro sofa, re-upholstered in a linen stripe.
Pitfield London sofa

And as if to make everything even more surreal, there were huge cerise tinsel curtains hanging all over the place by way of Christmas decorations (I did say it was a bit camp). All in all, Pitfield is a distinctly British shop. I can't really imagine it working anywhere else than England, and probably not anywhere other than East London.

So if all that colourful eccentricity has whet your appetite, then head over to the store at Pitfield Street, Shoreditch, N1 6HB (but bear in mind that the store itself doesn't doesn't open until 11 – although the cafe is open earlier, so you can always grab a coffee and a croissant and hang out with the hipsters while you wait). Or if East London is too far to trek, then visit the online store for edited highlights and inspiration: Happy shopping!