PIM­LICO: SHOP­PING

En­joy a stroll through this thriv­ing de­sign dis­trict. It’s a bit pricey but ad­vice is free, says Bar­bara Chan­dler

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Front Page -

ONCE some­thing of a shabby back­wa­ter, these days Pim­lico Road, SW1 is un­de­ni­ably posh. It’s a short street full of in­de­pen­dent shops with fronts in fash­ion­ably muted shades and bear­ing the names of an in­trigu­ing va­ri­ety of in­te­rior de­sign­ers, mak­ers and an­tiques deal­ers. Some stores you can only en­ter af­ter press­ing the bell. It can be in­tim­i­dat­ing — but stick with it.

In shady Orange Square, aka Mozart Square, the Satur­day morn­ing farm­ers’ mar­ket has colour­ful stalls of fruit, fresh pasta, free-range eggs, meat, fish, ar­ti­san breads and cheeses. It closes at 1pm and on Satur­days many of the shops are closed, too. Just a few stay open to show off the au­then­tic Bri­tish craft tech­niques used when mak­ing re­pro­duc­tions of pop­u­lar orig­i­nals.

Meet Chisto­pher Howe at No 93 (how­elon­don.com), whose hand-carved Irish Paw­foot Bench, his first foray from art into an­tiques/fur­ni­ture 30 years ago, is an en­dur­ing suc­cess — the benches are in the Na­tional Gallery.

Other copies of clas­sic chairs evoke Chip­pen­dale, Straw­berry Hill Gothic, Arts & Crafts and Vic­to­rian/Ed­war­dian up­hol­stery. New down­stairs is a kitchen by Plain English in Suf­folk, hand­made in mel­low, chunky res­cued pitch pine, with an­tique knobs and pulls. Laden with Royal Stafford­shire ce­ram­ics is “pos­si­bly the long­est dresser ever”.

ON THE WILD SIDE

Next door, be­hind a life­size 18th-cen­tury horse, is Jamb (95-97 Pim­lico Road; jamb.co.uk), a wide and sur­pris­ingly deep an­tiques shop that owner Will Fisher has filled with quirky fur­ni­ture, lanterns, mir­rors, urns, busts and even a cou­ple of stuffed pen­guins. He can also copy his cache of an­tique fire­places in an­cient mar­bles, hand-fin­ished to look as old as you like. Or go for a more sober stone from quar­ries the Ro­mans used, such as Bath or Port­land.

Plate-glass dou­ble doors and a hand­some sweep of win­dows mark Lin­ley where David Lin­ley, Earl of Snow­don, shows off fur­ni­ture in fine ve­neers, with a fit­ted kitchen in the base­ment (60 Pim­lico Road; davidlin­ley.com). The Lon­don Sky­line mar­quetry panel is a must- see, with 20,000 in­di­vid­ual pieces, priced £75,000. For less than £100, buy photo frames, door wedges, or whisky tum­blers. At Soane Bri­tain, newly “re­freshed” by founder/owner Lulu Ly­tle, find in­spir­ing ar­range­ments of fur­ni­ture and fab­rics (50-52 Pim­lico Road; soane.co.uk).

An au­gust line-up of in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tors in­cludes long- es­tab­lished Jane Churchill. More re­cently ar­rived is Robert Kime, the “royal dec­o­ra­tor”. At 89-91 Pim­lico Road is Sibyl Cole­fax and John Fowler, ar­biter of “coun­try house” style, where ex­quis­ite an­tique and mod­ern cameos are set against rich wall fin­ishes and hand­some cur­tains.

Rather than “shops”, these are show­cases or stu­dios for the de­sign­ers within. How­ever, in­te­rior de­signer Paolo Moschino (trad­ing as ni­cholas haslam.com at 202 Ebury Street) has open doors at his cor­ner shop with very spe­cial lamps and clas­sic silk lamp shades, plus stylish fur­ni­ture, gifts ga­lore and a nifty line in Bel­gian hand­made shoes. His sep­a­rate fab­ric shop is at 10-14 Hol­bein Place, for re­li­ably chic de­signs.

Fur­ni­ture-maker Rus­sell Pinch is a new­bie, at 46 Bourne Street (pinchde­sign.com). The store is lined with per­fect scale mod­els of his work, with its “pared-back” aes­thetic. Also new is Cox Lon­don, where sculp­tors Nicola and Christo­pher Cox have chan­nelled their artistry into fur­ni­ture and light­ing, hand cast in their own foundry (194 Ebury Street; coxlon­don.com).

WHAT THE RO­MANS DID FOR US

Luke Ir­win sells hand­made rugs fairly made in Nepal, based on Ro­man mo­saics (see the Mo­saic col­lec­tion at 20-22 Pim­lico Road; lukeir­win.com).

Ben­ni­son (16 Hol­bein Place; ben­ni­son.com) screen prints about 500 de­signs from £175 a me­tre, from the ar­chive of founder Ge­of­frey Ben­ni­son (1921–1984). Christo­pher Howe’s other lit­tle shop does au­then­tic mini-prints on cot­ton or linen, with match­ing pa­pers (36bournestreet.com), while de Le Cuona at 24 Pim­lico Road ex­cels in weaves in well-coloured nat­u­ral fi­bres (dele­cuona.com).

Brass door fur­ni­ture is down­stairs at An­thony Outred, 74 Pim­lico Road. Dale Rogers at 77-79 Pim­lico Road does fos­sils and crys­tals.

Hilary Bat­stone (8 Hol­bein Place) has a soft-edged edit of an­tique fur­ni­ture. Nearby, her daugh­ter Rose Uni­acke has a bur­geon­ing col­lec­tion of her own interiors edi­tions. Her sig­na­ture slen­der bronze bamboo shoots ap­pear on bar stools, coat hang­ers, and even balus­ters to the base­ment (76 Pim­lico Road; rose­u­ni­acke.com).

Clock­wise from

above: be­spoke and an­tique mir­ror sup­pli­ers Os­sowski at 83 Pim­lico Road; Christo­pher Howe and his Irish Paw­foot Bench; flo­ral screen prints at Ben­ni­son in Hol­bein Place; fur­ni­ture maker Rus­sell Pinch’s Bourne Street shop, and Rose Uni­acke’s Ser­pen­tine sofa (£9,000 inc VAT)

De­sign part­ners: Rus­sell Pinch and Oona Ban­non at Pinch; be­low, a Pinch din­ing chair (£1,080£1,145)

Off the wall: Will Fisher’s Jamb at 95-97 Pim­lico Road has quirky fur­ni­ture, lanterns, mir­rors… and stuffed pen­guins

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