One of my favourite things to do (apart from eating stuff and being alive every Christmas) is to look at people’s interior spaces. All the nooks and shelves fascinate me; how people display their sentimental stuff alongside the bits that gather over time, like change, receipts, and post. I’m pretty curious, actually I’m basically nosy, and I’m also obsessed with homewares. There’s a bit of a gap in the market for independent homeware stores here in Birmingham, but the ones that are here are just lovely. I try to frequent as many as possible in between eating and drinking in nearby cafes and restaurants (gotta get my caffeine and carb fixes before a decent shopping trip).
We are currently in the process of renovating various areas of our apartment; therefore, I won’t be posting room pictures until I feel it’s finished enough. However, I thought I’d share a few bits I’ve picked up in Brum, and let you know where I got them from in case you wanted a mooch in person, or a perusal online. I tend to buy homewares impulsively because I like how they look (much like how I buy food). Sometimes I regret my decision, but you live and learn (actually I don’t seem to learn because I keep doing it). Anyway, the following are choices I’m more than happy with, and hopefully something will inspire you to take a look at one of the brands or businesses. There are plants in here too; plants aren’t technically homewares. However, I’ve never been very technical and feel I’m past the point of change. Start the damn homeware haul Fay (*rolls eyes).
“Provide creates and promotes good design and independent culture” – My other half and I often buy tees and sweatshirts here, and as you can see above; I’m a fan of their limited edition Birmingham prints. The Spaghetti Junction print was a Christmas present to my husband, and the BT Tower was a gift to myself and my home. There’s no better way to kick off a B’ham homeware haul than with beautiful pictures of the place.
I discovered minima. when we drove past it on George Street in the JQ on a Saturday afternoon. I went inside and was greeted with a very stylish desk, and a spiral staircase that led downstairs. It’s a treasure trove of high-end design and a carefully curated mix of furniture and interior accessories that made me want to move in. I was informed that they’ll happily order in items from any of the brands they stock, which I thought was pretty lovely. I went in telling myself that I was not to buy anything because I’m meant to be saving money, so I obviously left with the above candlestick and a happy smile. Happiness is priceless. Pop in if you’re able; it’s a super friendly atmosphere and full of stuff that I can’t stop imagining in my home.
“Welcome to ‘People’ officially Birmingham’s nicest shop!… We are Allison and Christian Sadler the friendly designer maker duo behind this award winning lifestyle store.” Nestled in Kings Heath, near honest skincare and Bloom Cafe, is a tranquil little store full of homeware and clothing. A relaxed vibe, friendly service, and plenty to choose from, makes the People shop a firm favourite when I need a fix for my interior. It’s another place that I probably hang out in past the point of awkward, but I always buy something so I hope they don’t mind!
“F L O R I S T – Birmingham. Lovers of Botanicals.” – I discovered Bloom Collective on Instagram, before I spotted their stall at the Paperdoll’s Handmade Markets at The Custard Factory in Digbeth. I was very taken by the exciting selection of foliage and fauna on offer and grabbed 3 different plants to bring home. The fern plant (as pictured) is doing well; it’s grown a lot and seems to be taking to my style of plant care. However, the succulent I bought received too much water (or love as I like to think of it; which you can never have enough of right?) and sadly passed away, in its sleep. RIP succulent. The 3rd plant; you’ll see soon, because it’s in a ceramic pot I want to show you.
“WE BELIEVE THAT LESS IS MORE.” – I often pop into honest skincare in Kings Heath (sometimes just to breathe in the incredible-smelling air) and treat myself to their cruelty free, gentle skincare. However, they’ve recently opened up a shop in the Great Western Arcade, which is much closer to me and I’m thrilled. Aside from skincare and apothecary; they do some homeware delights for your bathroom, and also plants. I couldn’t resist the above succulents, and I promise not to over-water these (I refuse to be a plant serial killer).
“I create modern copper & concrete homewares for modern living spaces under the brand Copper & Solder.” – Again, I discovered this brand at one of the Paperdoll’s Handmade Markets, and instantly fell in love. Their pots, plates, and letters, and the dalmation spotted concrete are dreamy and well worth your time and investment. I have so many coasters, but I think I need some more now that I’ve been on the website…
I’m always on the hunt for vessels and pots to put my plants inside (because I care about their wellbeing and honestly do my best not to kill them), so when I spotted Jack Laverick’s creations I was excited and impressed. His stall was next to Copper & Solder’s at the Handmade Market, which meant I’d spent most of my cash in the space of 3 metres. The twigs on my chosen pot have been screen printed using Jack’s own photography, and I love it. There was also an array of geometric pots and planters, and my sister in law bought one for her fireplace (that’s why she’s my favourite shopping partner).
I’d just like to say that I’ve tried to find the artist who designed the framed postcard, but have had no luck (yet), I will update when I get more information. Whenever I visit the library, or the galleries and museums in Birmingham (and anywhere), I often pick up a postcard (then pay for it, obvs) before I leave. Some end up on my fridge, some end up in frames, some in sketchbooks, and so on. Until I can afford original pieces of art; postcards and the odd print are satiating my desire to display the best bits of Brum.
The Library of Birmingham has a modest gift shop (gift shops are an addiction; sometimes they’re the only reason to visit a National Trust property with my mom). It’s full of brummie-themed things, including that postcard above.
The IKON has a gorgeous shop; I’ve even bought a Tatty Devine bag there, a mug, a portable coffee cup, and some postcards. There is a Yorks Cafe nextdoor and I’ve spent half of a Saturday (numerous times) enjoying both the edible + drinkable delights, along with purchasing items I don’t need but really want. The selection of books in the shop is incredible; especially the kid’s book section, there’s a gift for everyone and it’s well worth a visit. I’d love to say that I visit the exhibits every time I go, but that would be a blatant lie and I need Santa to visit this year. Take a look at what’s on offer in the shop here, but visit if you can; when the weather’s good, sit outside of Yorks and sip coffee while you people watch (in a non-creepy way).
Let me know how my first “haul” went; I’d love to hear your thoughts. I hope you’ve discovered somewhere, or someone new that’s sparked an interest…tell me if you buy stuff; I love looking at what people choose.
Peace, love, and (living) succulents, Fay x