… that you’ve probably never heard of.

This is a guest post from my good friend Liz, who is a graphic designer and I’m grateful to her for taking the time to do this. All notes on the shops are Liz’s own

Manufactum

This is a German retailer, with shops across the country including Munich and Berlin. It’s available online to uk.
This shop is very clever. It is a collection of products which zooms in on the details of everyday life. It has the ability to take some of the most mundane of domestic duties, and celebrate them with design which makes them fun. Tools, toys, appliance, it’s all the same here. The gadget obsessed among you will be excited.
Orange peeler anyone?
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The look is one of utility chic. Think Labour And Wait styling but on a grander scale. The collection of products feels museum like. Each item carefully researched, enthused over and made to last. These products appeal to our desire for clarity and authenticity, often hand made or small scale production using traditional methods.
This is where I go if I’m feeling geeky and I can’t find just the right piece of hardware. For example this fold up cast iron coat hook. It fitted perfectly near my sink to hang a hand towel on. No one else will notice it, but I will, and I know it’s special. 
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Did you know an axe could be so beautiful? These are hand made in Sweden, each one initialled by the craftsman. Perfect for a bit of kindling prep down the garden. 
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After all that axing you’ll love to slip on your Haflinger slippers. Great arch support, easy on and off, keep your feet a good temperature, and I love the clog shape.
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SCP

Poster girl Donna Wilson lends scp a fun and childlike aesthetic, while offering a great range of buyable ceramics and textiles perfect for gifts. Yet somehow, all this cuteness sits perfectly happily alongside a seriously beautiful collection of modern furniture.  For example Lucy kurreins teepee sofa, solstice sofa by Matthew Hilton, or the palissade outdoor collection from HAY.

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There is a confident modern look at scp, where process is celebrated and conventions deconstructed. Forward thinking and intelligent, this store reminds you that having a grown up budget shouldn’t mean you stop having fun.
The thing I’m itching to buy which feels not to far out of budgets reach is a shaved rug. Think traditional Persian tufted carpet but with all the tufts shaved off and then the whole thing over dyed to give a harmonious tonal palette. A hip London translation that might have an artisan carpet weaver spitting on your floor? Possibly, but I genuinely like the way shaving allows you to see the construction of the rug in a new light, and the over dye colours make this traditional comforting rug format more compatible with a taste for flat weaves, block colours and modern lines.
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Lifestyle retailing done in style, this shop puts you the body at the centre of the picture. It’s a fashion and homewares collection which tells a great story about a visual culture that values quality of craftsmanship, and appreciates provenance.
Imagine wearing some Karen Walker sun glasses and a pair of old silhouette trousers from Perks and Mini, while carefully watering your house plants and listening to Cat Power. After, sit for herbal tea from a Japanese hasami porcelain mug while making notes in your new special ideas pad, not for shopping lists….
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