The design store Introducing 8 Holland Street, London’s new destination for lovers of art and interiors
London’s latest destination for art lovers and interiors enthusiasts alike was born out of its co-founders’ joint passion for all things beautifully designed
‘ We both wanted to open a space that wasn’t intimidating – that didn’t just sell a particular genre of art, or antique furniture from a specific period,’ explains Tobias Vernon, co-founder of 8 Holland Street, the new gallery and design store in London’s Kensington. ‘Somewhere all kinds of work could sit together without any hierarchy.’
Together with fine art curator Rowena MorganCox, Vernon launched the space in March, with the pair drawing inspiration from Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, the Eames House in Los Angeles and Peggy Guggenheim’s home in Venice. ‘The aim was to create a relaxed environment, where people can wander, sit and discover,’ says Vernon.
Both are former History of Art students – Morgan-cox completed an MA at the Courtauld Institute before working at galleries including The Fine Art Society, where she became a director, while Vernon made a foray into art buying and interior design – and, when they met through a friend, they discovered a mutual appreciation for ‘the fine, the found and collectable artwork’.
Stock is sourced from all over Europe and everything is for sale, from pieces by Alan Davie and Elisabeth Frink to stylish recycled Mexican glassware (from just £12) and fine Murano glass tumblers by Campbell Rey. 20th-century Italian and French furniture also features heavily, as do antique Swedish textiles and studio ceramics. ‘ We also showcase contemporary artists, such
‘WE DISCOVERED A MUTUAL APPRECIATION FOR THE FINE, THE FOUND AND COLLECTABLE ARTWORK’
as Emily Buck, who makes clay sculptures, and friends of ours, including Sam Padfield, who uses 24-carat gold with smoked glass, concrete and oil paint to make abstract work,’ says Morgan-cox. ‘The collection really is quite organic.’
Word of mouth has seen the shop become a key destination for designers and art-lovers in the know, and the duo have recently opened a by-appointment outpost near Frome in Somerset, too. ‘There are so many creative people in the area – a willow weaver, for example, plus a picture framer, ceramicists and auction houses,’ says Vernon. ‘ We also mock up display ideas there for the London gallery, to see how pieces look in a different environment. The city can sometimes feel rushed, so it’s great to view things from a different perspective.’ 8hollandstreet.com
‘WE MOCK UP DISPLAY IDEAS FOR THE LONDON GALLERY IN OUR SOMERSET OUTPOST, TO SEE HOW PIECES LOOK IN A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT’