The story behind an item can change the way you feel about it and how it sits within your space. There’s an indescribable beauty to something handmade: little imperfections become a favourite aspect, unique elements add a real sense of character. Knowing that someone has spent a significant amount of time creating something brings a timeless appeal that can only add to your appreciation and respect of the piece.Not to mention the added value of sustainability, and supporting skilled craftspeople in creating these handmade items. By purchasing a handmade item, you’re doing a little bit to keep traditional skills alive that are all too easily becoming lost to a world of impossibly low prices and fast production. Sometimes, we want more than just the cookie-cutter design that’s all over Instagram – we want one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces that will last a lifetime.
When someone asks where you found it, you can bring the item to life with a tale of origins and purpose. Here’s our pick of five of our favourite retailers of the most beautiful handmade delights…
Nkuku is a homeware and interiors retailer that sources a vast collection of handmade pieces from artisans around the world. Founded with an aspiration to celebrate the skills of talented craftspeople and bring their products to a wider audience, the team at Nkuku personally meet every seller to understand the story behind each product. From character-rich side tables made of reclaimed wood and eclectic hand-woven jute rugs to macramé hanging planters and ornate brass candlesticks, there’s something to suit all styles of decor.
Available to buy in the UK at Liberty London.
Studio Arhoj is a small, independent design studio set in an old envelope factory just outside of central Copenhagen. Originally based in Tokyo, founder Anders Arhoj and his small team work to create beautiful ceramic pieces that fuse together the simplicity of Scandinavian design with traditional Japanese culture.
There’s a strong focus on keeping old crafting techniques alive, like wheel throwing and glaze construction, which lend every product an authentic and sustainable appeal. Muted tones and tactile surfaces add an earthy, rustic quality, alongside genuine functionality that makes their products both useful and eye-catching. Utilising their background in interior design and abstract artistic concepts, many of their collections are based on unique stories that form the basis for their look and feel.
Available to buy in UK at Heals.
Having worked across the globe in interior design through the late ‘90s, Tom Dixon moved to create his own eponymous brand that specialises in lighting and furniture. His designs transform everyday objects through a myriad of technical processes, evoking an industrial, engineered aesthetic that’s instantly recognisable.
A diverse range of materials and inspiration leads to truly striking pieces that push the boundaries of design, perfectly suited to industrial-themed interiors. Through his dynamic and innovative approach, Tom Dixon has changed the way we consider lighting within interior design. For more inspiration, discover how Tom Dixon created four experiential kitchen designs alongside Caesarstone's quartz worktops.
Available to buy in UK at Nest
With a simple philosophy – to make the world a better, less complicated place that’s a little bit nicer to wake up to – Menu collaborate with a selection of highly-talented designers with quality and functionality at their core. Their products are beautiful but functional, driven by a Scandinavian minimalist approach, providing clever solutions to a modern lifestyle while preserving the skills of local craftspeople around the world. With deceptively simple designs, every piece is built to last and be treasured, going above and beyond your expectations – from contoured, stackable chairs curved for maximum comfort to innovative little bottle grinders that your dinner party guests will play with for hours.
There’s something to be said about owning a rare, limited edition item – Made+Good carefully selects their products from some of the UK’s best and brightest UK designers, focussing on supporting those that make original and exciting items that could never be made in mass production. Featured in the likes of Elle Decoration and Stylist magazine, don’t be surprised if something you’ve been considering suddenly appears as sold out.
Every item is handpicked with an ethos of considering the environment, selecting ethical and sustainable materials from designers that make a conscious effort to limit their carbon footprint. What’s more, they donate 3% of all sales to three carefully selected charities – so both the consumer and the maker can give back, simply by using the site.
Header Image Source: Caesarstone
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Caesarstone is a manufacturer of quality quartz worktops and surfaces for a range of applications such as kitchen worktops, bathroom vanities and counters, and custom solutions for home and commercial interiors. Available world wide, Caesarstone is the professional choice for interior design ideas and beautiful, durable quartz worktops and surfaces.