As I’m away on holiday my friend and fellow Brighton-deweller Dakota has offered to write a post for me! Over to her…
I’ll make no bones about it; I love living in Brighton. Not because of the beach, although it’s still my favourite spot for a BBQ in summer, and not because of the people, although I maintain that they are some of the friendliest and most accepting folk you’ll find in the whole country. The real reason I love living in Brighton? I’m a complete shopaholic, and I love the huge number of unique shops, independent cafes and businesses that have been built up from scratch by the passionate hands of their staff.
When the time came recently to refresh our kitchen-dining-living area (gotta love city living), I decided that I would do my best to source anything new from a local business in, or just outside the city. If you’re about to give your home a revamp, here are the list of places I’d go back to in a heartbeat.
Kitchen: Snooper’s Paradise, Chandler Stoneworks
Luckily, underneath the shabbiness our cupboard carcasses were in pretty good nick, so I gave them a good sanding down and a fresh coat of paint, along with a new set of handles, courtesy of Brighton’s ultimate flea market, Snooper’s Paradise. If you haven’t been in yet, be warned – it’s a veritable maze of bric-a-brac of every kind, and you can lose hours perusing the weird and wonderful things people have to sell. You know when you’re looking for something to really tie the room together, but you’re not sure what it is? Snooper’s is where you’ll discover it.
We did remove the old kitchen countertops, which were both dated and scratched, and replaced them with beautiful, black slate worktops by Chandler Stoneworks. Run by a husband and wife team, their independent showroom is in gorgeous Arundel and the sheer choice of counters available was fantastic. All the pieces are cut by professional stonemasons in-house, and the team did an excellent job of installation.
Furniture: Martlets Hospice Shops, Department
Martlets is a local charity that looks after people around Brighton and Hove who are suffering from terminal illness. Not only is their work a truly meaningful thing to support, but somehow they always manage to have some real gems hidden away in their shops! They have branches scattered all over East Sussex, but I would recommend looking in the Hove Furniture Showroom for large items (the bookcase and table we bought were in excellent condition), or the shop in the North Laine for kooky vintage pieces.
I was really keen to find some vintage chairs to lend a mid-century modern vibe to our space, and was delighted with the original ercol set we spotted in Department, on Blatchington Road, Hove. Another flea market, Department have lots of original and upcycled furniture from every era, and offer a delivery service for bigger items. If you’re specifically looking for MCM stuff, I would also recommend Era, on Upper Gardener Street, which would have been our next stop.
Lighting: England at Home, Cable and Cotton
To brighten up the room (no pun intended), I chose a couple of quirky pleated lampshades from England at Home, on Prince Albert Street. I also used the update as an excuse to FINALLY buy a string of Cable and Cotton LED fairy lights, in complementary colours. The simple design is both modern and cosy, and the idea of choosing your own colours (there are 49 options) makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. Admittedly, I was hoping to find that all of their woven light covers are made just around the corner, but they are actually handmade by a remote community of women in Thailand. While this definitely flouts the “shopping local” rule, reading up on how the lengths the company goes to, to ensure the women are being properly looked after makes it feel much better than buying from a huge chain where the crafters would be entirely anonymous.
Artwork: Brighton Photography, Dowse
Unsurprisingly, Brighton Photography sell images taken by local photographers of iconic city sights and landscapes from the South Downs. The pictures are dreamy and ethereal, and work great as a standalone piece or as part of a gallery wall. Prints are available from their online store, or you can pop in to the gallery to browse the current collection. It can be found in the newly developed area around the i360.
The Dowse Studio can be found along Western Road, a few doors down from Bankers Fish and Chip shop. It grabs me with its vibrant window displays every time I go past, and inside you can find various homewares, gifts, books and prints. Everything is either made by the studio artists or sourced from other independent designers across the UK and occasionally Europe. A lot of their prints come in sets, which are perfect for filling a large space with co-ordinated designs.