As you may or may not know, I reside in the beautiful city of Cambridge. One of the best things about Cambridge is the variety of independent shops and local businesses in the area from fashion to food to, most importantly, interiors. Being self-employed, I understand the importance of supporting local independent businesses so I decided to write a post featuring some of my favourite interiors shops and companies in the Cambridge area. There are far too many to list them all but these are my personal favourites.
I came across this online homeware and gift store on Twitter and instantly fell in love with it. Featuring gorgeous Scandinavian style home accessories and a lovely selection of stationery, Shedquarters is right up my street. I find it the perfect place to shop for gifts (for myself) – I love the beautiful ceramics, adorable notebooks and quirky print cushions. The products are carefully selected by Cambridge-based Hayley Pryke and Ross Frame, who run Shedquarters but since it’s online, this is one to be enjoyed by all! Here is a selection of my top picks to whet your appetite:
Clockwise from top left: black marbled espresso cups, £15.00 each; pink triangle chalk blanket, £100.00; cushions, £25.00 each; hand thrown carafe, £70.00, and cups £24.00 each; Brilliant Ideas notebook, currently on sale at £5.00. All from shedquartersonline.co.uk.
This beautiful little store is a dangerous place for me to be with my credit card. Located on Green Street in Cambridge, Catesby’s is a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous products from exquisite glassware and vases to elegant furniture and a splendid array of cushions that I defy anyone to resist. Trust me, any interiors addict will struggle to leave empty handed. If that’s not enough to tempt you, the cafe on the first floor is a wonderful way to escape the crowds of the city centre for lunch or a much needed cup of tea. What better way to break up a shopping spree than with a delicious salad? Who am I kidding? It’s cake…always cake.
Visit the store at 10 Green Steet, Cambridge CB2 3JU or shop online catesbys.co.uk.
Rooting around antique shops is my idea of a lovely afternoon. I’m always delighted by the complete randomness of the items for sale and wondering who they once belonged to, the stories behind that brooch or vintage tea set. The Hive on Gwydir Street is one of my favourites and I’ll always pop in if I’m looking for a little unusual accessory or decorative item for a client’s home or a photo shoot. Walking in is like entering Aladdin’s cave with every wall and surface filled with everything imaginable from furniture to tiny trinket pots, vintage books to original Victorian tiles. Not everything will be to your taste and you have to use your imagination but when you find that little gem for your home or the perfect upcycling project it’s worth all the searching! I bought this lovely silver tray and green glass from The Hive prior to a bathroom photo shoot. The owner liked them so much I gave them to her (because I’m nice like that). I also found this rather attractive cigar box for my husband. I’m not a fan of the habit but at least he can store his cigars in an aesthetically pleasing way!
If you haven’t been to The Hive, I urge you to pop in and have a browse. You never know what you might find!
The Hive can be found on Gwydir Street, off Mill Road in Cambridge.
This isn’t a shop but absolutely deserves a mention. Launched in 2010 by designers Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia, Mineheart is a fabulous collection of exquisitely designed pieces for the home. From their studio in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, Mineheart‘s team of designers create furniture, lighting and accessories ranging from the weird and wonderful to the downright beautiful. These pieces are now sold by retailers around the world and have earned them various design awards and international recognition. Favourites include the Gold King Edison Grande pendant light featuring a mini chandelier suspended within an oversized Edison light bulb and the hauntingly beautiful Japanese Repose rug.
Left to right: Japanese Repose rug £449.33; Gold King Edison Grande pendant light £820.00; ‘Grandfather Olaf’ stretched printed canvas £183.00.
You can see Mineheart‘s collection on their website or find a stockist here.
Homestuff with History
Just down the street from the aforementioned Catesby’s, Homestuff with History is another jewel of Green Street. Among the antique and vintage furniture, lovingly restored in their workshop, you’ll find all kinds of accessories, knick-knacks and curios. These include (but are certainly not limited to) taxidermy, children’s toys, ships in bottles and vintage milk bottles as featured again in that bathroom shoot (see right).
Run by brother and sister Matthew and Kathryn (I love a sibling team) the store is well worth a browse. Whether your style is vintage, quirky, traditional or you simply enjoy browsing lovely homeware shops, you’ve got to visit Homestuff with History. The vastly varied collection and unusual range of stock means you’ll never be bored and are guaranteed to find something to make you smile.
Clockwise from top left: the Homestuff with History shop; toy bubble car 11.95; copper kettle £129.95; cream fiddleback chair £59.95; Underwood typewriter £54.95. All from Homestuff with History.
Visit the store at 5 Green Street, Cambridge CB2 3JU or shop online at www.homestuffwithhistory.com.
Providence is one of those quintessentially Cambridge companies full of beautifully made, classic pieces with an understated elegance. What began as a cabinetmaking company around two decades ago with a distinctly Shaker style influence, is now a well-established bespoke furniture company with its own range of paints and accessories. As well as creating both freestanding and fitted joinery, Providence also offer bespoke kitchens, rugs and homeware accessories. As a stockist of Farrow & Ball, Mylands and Earthborn Clay paint, you can have your furniture painted in any of their shades or choose from Providence’s own range of paints.
The main shop is located at Burwash Manor, New Road, Barton CB23 7EY or their smaller Cambridge premises is on the corner of Bridge street and All Saints Passage at 73 Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UR.
Cambridge Contemporary Crafts
Sister gallery to Cambridge Contemporary Art, this beautiful gallery displays handmade prints, paintings, sculptures and crafts created by UK artists. Situated on the very pretty Bene’t Street, Cambridge Contemporary Crafts is no snooty, pretentious establishment. All are welcome and the staff are friendly and helpful, happy to help and provide information on pieces and the artists. There are plenty of affordable items at under £100.00 and the Own Art Scheme makes it easier to purchase pieces allowing you to repay over a period of ten months via interest-free instalments. There is a real variety and an ever evolving collection so whether you’re looking for something to adorn your walls, a sculpture to decorate a space or simply a glass dish or ceramic candle holder, this is a fantastic place to shop for home accessories. Plus you’ll not only be supporting a local, independent gallery, you’re also supporting British artists. A double whammy!
Clockwise from top left (all available from Cambridge Contemporary Crafts):
- Three beautiful bowls thrown in porcelain, hand decorated with a starfish design by A Drop Of The Ocean. Not available online.
- Anna Perring of Luna Lighting is one of my favourite British ceramic artists and I would fill my house with Luna Minis if I could. Hanging star Luna Mini – £20.00.
- Elegant white ceramic bottles by Tone von Krogh. Inspired by Norway, the soft shapes emulate a snow covered landscape. Not available online.
- The striking designs of Helen Musselwhite are bold and unique. Constructed using paper and card, the complex pieces are usually built within box frames but I love this one in a glass dome called ‘Bursting Out’ – £407.00.
- Ball vase, £20.00 by husband and wife team Adrian and Jennifer Bell. Each is unique and hand painted in their distinctive style.
Visit the Cambridge Contemporary Crafts gallery at 5 Bene’t Street, Cambridge CB2 3QN or select pieces are available to buy online.
Hope Street Yard
Another little gem, Hope Street Yard is tucked down a side street off Mill Road in Cambridge. A truly unique experience, this is a one-of-a-kind place with antique furniture, vintage curiosities, bikes, reclaimed architectural pieces and all sorts of unusual, quirky accessories for the home and garden. In addition, you’ll find a psychic and tarot card reader, a tailoring and alteration service, and a bespoke joinery workshop. Whether you come for a browse or with intent to purchase, it’s well worth a visit. You never know when you might come across something extraordinary.
You will find Hope Street Yard off Mill Road at Hope Street Yard, Cambridge CB1 3NA. There is a website but you’ll find loads of pictures of their ever-changing stock on their Facebook page, or better yet, visit and see for yourself!
So that’s my round up of personal favourites for interiors shopping in Cambridge. I’d love to know what you think! Where do you like to shop for your home? Fancy a visit to my lovely city to take a tour of these fine establishments? Please do, you’re always welcome.
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