Inspiration Shopping in London - The Conran Shop

Inspiration Shopping in London – The Conran Shop

Did you watch the Olympic opening ceremonies? I love pageantry… Okay the big baby thing was weird, but whatever… Cameroon’s uniforms were great… I’m glad our boys wore ties, even if they were made in China… There should be a law against chewing gum on TV… Did you know there […]

Did you watch the Olympic opening ceremonies? I love pageantry… Okay the big baby thing was weird, but whatever… Cameroon’s uniforms were great… I’m glad our boys wore ties, even if they were made in China… There should be a law against chewing gum on TV… Did you know there was an island nation called Nauru, population 9,400? This is why you will not be seeing me on Jeopardy. That thing with Daniel Craig and the queen (link to video) was fab fab fab.

For those of us not in London these next few weeks, here’s some London inspiration of the non-athletic variety.

Flower shop at Conran's
The fabulous flower department at the Conran Shop.

The Conran Shop is a must for every housey-gardeny person on any visit to London. The best one is the one in the old Michelin House, in — as the English say, as opposed to “on” — the Fulham Road in Chelsea. I crave it. Boy that Sir Terence Conran is one smart and styling cookie. I go there every time I visit — last in June.

House and garden display in the Conran Shop
This house and garden display in the Conran Shop is like a grown-up's playhouse. I love it.

I even love the watering cans, the dust pans and the cleaning brushes. This cannot be normal.

Dust pan and doormat at Conran's
Dust pan and doormat at Conran's

And the doormats, the yardsticks, and the bootjacks.

Planting yardsticks at Conran's
Yardsticks (meter-sticks?) at Conran's. The holes indicate spacing for planting of seeds.

Yes the bootjacks. What does this say about a person?

Bootjack at Conran's
Bootjack and boot scraper. You could make a lamp out of it for use in the off-season.
House display in Conran's
Another miniature house in Conran's. The bright green with the black is a striking combination.

Don’t you like that it says PLEASE ENTER?

Housewares display in Conran's
Inside

Decoupage plates by John Derian, candles, journals, cloches, and what-nots.

Decoupage bee plate
.

This decoupage bee plate did not come home with me to Bee Cottage. It misses us.

Shed interior at Conran's
Another diminutive shed structure is given a cozy interior with typically English woven rush matting.

I wish we in the Colonies could get that woven rush matting easily and reasonably. It is so great.

Gardening supplies at Conran's
Gardening supplies at Conran's. Zinc pots, plant markers, and trugs.

I love that garden baskets are called trugs. It also sounds like something I might have called my sixth grade teacher. She couldn’t stand me. I don’t know why.  I also don’t know why I bought four of those zinc pots. Perhaps the universe will reveal. Meanwhile they make me happy just sitting around with my other gardening stuff. That is probably a good enough reason.

Terracotta pots at Conran's
Even a bunch of terracotta pots turns into an appealing display.

As I was buying the zinc pots, the sales clerk told me the garden shop was a new venture for the store. If it’s a success they will introduce it to other stores. This is breaking news, people.

The garden shop at Conran's
A trellis marks entrance to the garden shop at Conran's. If it

There was such excitement in the New York design community when Conran’s opened under the 59th Street Bridge. But it just didn’t go – and 2 years ago it re-opened in ABC Carpet & Home. That didn’t go either, and Conran’s decamped from the Colonies entirely just this month.

More London to come. Cheerio.

P.S. I am pretty sure almost none of our Olympic team knew the words to “Hey Jude” or they would have been singing along at the end. This makes me feel old as dirt. In which case these gardening supplies will come in handy.

Update: Since this post went up several of you have expressed interest in the seed and plant spacing rule pictured above. Funnily I could not find a U.S. source but found many in U.K. English designer Sophie Conran, daughter of Sir Terence, has designed a line of gardening tools that may be found at The Worm That Turned  and Burgon and Ball. Harrod Horticultural has a good selection as well. Or like a few smart readers pointed out pointed out, you could just get a drill…

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