As Christmas fast approaches, I ventured out into the shops of Winchester to see what is on offer in the range of beautiful, fun and exciting Christmas gifts for the home.
First on my list was Pure Home in the square. The entrance was beautifully Christmasy and rustic with carved deer and country style wicker baskets. I had a quick scout around the ground floor where there are Christmas decorations, glassware and candles and then decided to peruse upstairs. I was stopped in my tracks by a shop assistant asking me whether she could help me, although it was more in the tone of - and where do you think you are going madam. I thanked her and said I was fine and continued to head upstairs when she proceeded to ask, 'did I know it was only sofas upstairs'? Okay, I said, that’s fine, thank you. She then continued to follow me up the stairs. Remaining undeterred and with the assistant closely at my heels I continued on. What was she thinking I was going to do, steal a sofa? If there had been a sofa shop next door and I had the ability to carry one I imagined myself doing an irrational purchase and walking past Pretty Women styley chanting BIG MISTAKE! BIG MISTAKE! Once upstairs the furniture and layout was a bit underwhelming with leather sofas and simple but well-made oak pieces. I then spotted an Eames like style chair and stool and some unusual and interesting industrial clocks, lighting and furniture, all worth seeing. They also had a great supply of cushions in simple ticking fabrics. I finally came across three delightful ceramic lamps, which would look great in any interior. It was well worth the trip upstairs – as long as you are prepared to navigate your way past security.
Next on my list was The Hambledon. This is one of my favourite shops for clothes in Winchester. Everything I have bought from here I have cherished and loved; the colours and the patterns are timeless and individual and bring a smile to my face when I open my wardrobe. So I was interested to see what they had on offer in the home accessories department. The home section is bijoux but has some real gems. The candle stick holders, vases and tumblers in pretty, cut coloured glass are beautiful and reasonably priced. Lovely, chunky, wool throws and velvet cushions in jewel oranges, blues and green. I particularly loved the parrot and pineapple jugs and cabbage plates. I overheard one young customer next to me say ‘that’s like something my gran would have’ – indeed it may well be but it makes an interior far more interesting to add the occasional unusual, humorous piece, so take a look at Grannies collection with fresh eyes and you may find some beauties.
One of my favourite Streets in Winchester is Parchment Street. They have a wonderful variety of shops. I was delighted to come across two new shops just opening. There is a new Turkish shop called The Mayam Bazaar as well as a new Orchid Furniture shop. You will also find Bell Fine Art, Forme, The Yankee Candle Shop and The Clock Shop.
In The Mayam Bazaar you will find piles & piles of sumptious, wool rugs, wooden side tables with mother of pearl inlay, Turkish cotton towels and rugs and lots of trinkets. I purchased a rather beautiful fabric hanging of the Madonna and Child, which I am thrilled with.
Next door is the newly opened Orchid Furniture. I am particularly drawn to Asian pieces and influences so was overwhelmed with the beautiful colours and patterns of Turquoise, yellows & oranges when I walked in. They have recently started a new range of contemporary pieces in their collection like their fabulous concrete dining table. The combination of different finishes and styles shows the pieces off to perfection.
Bell Fine Art has been on Parchment Street for well over 30 years. I used to go in there when I was in my early 20’s and purchased my first framed prints from them. They have a good collection of artwork but I particularly love their range of ceramics, which are absolutely stunning. It’s a great place to find unusual, individually designed gifts, beautiful for the home.
If you are looking for the ultimate gift then visit The Clock Workshop and view some of their exquisite, antique clocks. Time pieces are beautifully fascinating and are works of art in themselves, some ornate, some simple, all telling their own story.
I paid a little visit to Consortium on Jewry Street; it was so busy it was difficult to get past the front door. Once inside it was rather chilly but this didn’t seem to deter anyone, evidently popular there were people popping up everywhere. Their main look being vintage, industrial style furniture; they have some beautiful throws in limes, pinks and oranges and a great selection of cushions, baskets and rugs.
I finally headed to the Winchester market and came across the wonderful ceramics of ‘Tregear Pottery Design’ from the Isle of Wight. With patterns of seagulls, fish and sailing and all in these pretty whites and blue/greys and green/grey tones.
Happy Christmas shopping; may this season be filled with love, peace and joy and goodwill and happiness for 2017. #winchestershopping #interiordesign #homeaccessories #antiques
Author - Rachel Niddrie
Winchester based Interior Designer. Sharing my design experiences, likes and loves and all things I find beautiful, useful and inspirational in the world of interiors