As an interior designer, I strive to support small businesses creating beautifully crafted items. In every single project, I am trying my best to incorporate some handmade decoration, some limited edition prints and some beautiful photographs! I want to be able to show these amazing items and prints through the interiors I imagine. The best place to find any artist is on Instagram or Etsy, where I discover everyday someone new, something exciting, someone amazing. Another way to discover new designers, is also by going into small shops that are selling only handmade items from small companies, or by going to the local crafts market.
Since moving to the UK at the end of 2019 and all the way through the many lockdowns, I have been shopping from some of the small businesses I discovered. In this post, I will be sharing with you some of my favourite artists and designers, where I discovered them and what I love most about them! This list is only an idea of my favourites, but trust me, there are so many more out there to discover - not an ad and no affiliate links in this post! This is how I support small businesses - decoration & prints!
Let's just start with my favourite! I love to decorate with fresh and dried flowers. No matter the shape and size, what a house needs is some greenery to boost the style! I found this bunch of eucalyptus when we were wondering around Ely Market on a Saturday, before the last lockdown. The bunch was originally fresh, but I decided to dry it upside down for two weeks to make it last longer! @_roseandthorns had so much choice and some lovely dried flowers too. I am excited to see her back at the market now that we are allowed out again!
Wondering around a market on a Saturday with a coffee is always my favourite thing to do, but let's get back to my flower talk. Last year I was desperately looking for Pampas, and it really was impossible to find because it felt like such a trend at that time and all the shops were always out of stock. I joined the waitlist of @homewoodandrose which is a small family run business based in Lowestoft, in the UK. Finally got the Pampas, and a few more to decorate our
Last summer (feels like ages ago), I was looking for a couple of cushions that would fit our living room style. I was looking for natural tones that would feel timeless and season-less. I discovered @elleyhome on Instagram (thanks the hashtag #supportsmall !). She is a graphic designer based in the UK as well. She is doing her own drawings that are printed/embroidered on a sustainable cotton and sewn together to create an eco responsible cushion! Great way of supporting a local small business while decorating your house in a responsible way. I also love to see how the cushions are made in her behind the scenes videos, which makes you appreciate your decoration even more!
Another cushion crush from @hand_and_palm with the lovely flower print. It will fit perfectly in my office, when I will be finally able to finish it - pictures from the office coming in the next few weeks. Hand and Palm is also doing amazing prints, read more to find out which prints I bought!
Handmade Lamp Shades
I've already mentioned a few shops where I get my decoration, but let's not forget lamp shades! Using shades around a naked light bulb is the perfect final touch to the decoration! What The Mood is creating beautiful handmade lighting, and my heart fell for the marble effect. I chose the Candy Bracelet in blue and white to originally fit our bedroom style, but now I am having second thoughts and thinking of installing these in the dining room. The blue of the bracelet has a very interesting contrast with the deep blue we will have in the dining room! To be continued..
Lovely Prints for a Gallery Wall
I like to mix different frames and prints when creating a gallery wall. I bought all my frames from Emmaus, a second hand shop near Cambridge, and I painted the frames in black to contrast with the white walls in the staircase. For the prints, I decided to go for a few colourful prints mixed with black and white ones! I already mentioned this small business, @hand_and_palm, that I discovered on Instagram and immediately loved her style! From prints, to mugs, tote bags or even the amazing rug that was released last month, everything is lovely!
To mix and match the style, I also bought another colourful and lovely print from @micushillustration. I have been following her for so many months before being able to place an order. I am absolutely in love with the style too! This small business is located in Israel. I can't remember when and how I discovered her designs, but I think it was on Etsy. She is now selling on her own website and the prints are sold in many shops too.
Scrolling through Instagram as usual, I discovered Katie's work. Katie is such a wonderful designer and artist working with surfaces and textures. Instant crush on the mirrors, instant fail to order one! Katie's mirrors are just like any festival tickets you want to buy - you need to be quick, real quick! Usually everything is sold out in about 10 minutes (or probably even less!). I finally got mine just before Christmas on her last sample sale, which meant that the mirror had some minor imperfections. I was literally waiting 6 o'clock in front of my laptop to be able to shop the one I really wanted! Got it, and right on time under the Christmas tree! If you love a good terrazzo interior, check her account (@ktgillies_surfacedesign) because her house is full of handmade terrazzo furniture that you should see! Also worth following when the next launch is if you are interested in getting one of these lovely mirrors! Little tip: BE QUICK!
Shelves to Style
Last but not least, shelves. Last year I started to follow Emma's work at @farmhousevintageuk. I instantly fell in love with the peg shelf rail. It is handmade in Lancashire, in the UK. As an interior designer based in the UK, I think that it is important to start getting to know local businesses. I will for sure order again from Emma!
This post is all about the small businesses that I love and where I have been shopping from during the many lockdowns we've been through. I hope this gives you some ideas and hopefully it will make you want to shop from small businesses as well! Take your time to check out these amazing accounts, I am sure you will love what they do, just like I do! Again, this is not an ad and there was no affiliate links in this post!