I’ve been a fan of 91 Magazine pretty much since I started blogging, so when founder Caroline Rowland announced she had a book coming out, I was pretty excited – when I found out it was all about homeware shops and the homes of people who run them, it shot to the top of my ‘want’ list. After all, who doesn’t want to see inside the house of their favourite shop owner?! I eventually got a copy for my birthday a couple of months ago, so I thought I’d give you a sneaky look inside.
The shop I was most excited to see inside was The Hambledon in Winchester (above); I’ve gone on and on about this shop, but it’s one of my favourites – they sell beautiful homeware, books, quirky kids stuff, beauty products and clothes, and it’s always curated and styled incredibly. As I expected, owner Victoria’s home is ah-ma-zing; wooden parquet floors (the dream!), simple furniture and some colourful textiles and artwork as focal points.
The book itself is divided into two main sections; decorating ideas, and shopkeepers at home and work. The first section is packed full of hints and tips for choosing the right flooring, wall coverings, furniture, lighting and textiles for your home and has a mind-boggling amount of inspiration inside – I found myself reading it with a notebook and a cuppa (this is a book that seriously deserves a tea-or-coffee accompaniment – you’re going to be there for a while!), scibbling down ideas for things to buy, make and do.
The second section is just interiors heaven; homeware shops are my absolute favourite (yep, I even like them more than clothes shops!), so to have a whole book dedicated to them was a proper treat for me. It basically meant I could spend time browsing without the kids tugging at my hands or Ali panicking every time he bumped into something! It was nice to see a few old favourites pop up; Oh Hello Friend (top above) and Atomic Garden (bottom above) were featured, but there were SO MANY that I’d never heard of and of course bookmarked immediately. Helpfully, this section is divided into groups as well, so you can simply flick through the whole book or make your way to your favourite section, choosing from lifestyle, vintage, homeware, cafes or craft shops.
One of the things I love the most about this book is that the shops featured aren’t just located in the UK; Black Oveja (first and second above), Adeline Klam (third and fourth above) and Summer Camp (fifth above) are based in Madrid, Paris and California – these are shops that I’m probably never going to get to visit, so it’s kind of a way to broaden the online retail experience!
I knew I’d love this book before I’d even seen a copy, and I wasn’t disappointed; it’s packed full of gorgeous photography, tips, hints and inspiration, and is great if you’re a nosy parker like I am. The photography is light, bright and cheerful, and it’s also easy to read, which I find is often not the way with interiors books. This is a book for you if you like shops, or houses, or live in a house, or go to shops – basically, if you like homewares, you’re going to love this.
Many thanks to Jacqui Small and Caroline Rowland for the photographs to accompany this post. All images remain the property of the publisher and may not be copied, edited or reproduced without prior permission.