Whilst Habitat for many, seems to have lost its way over the past few years with its financial troubles and the curiosity over its next steps having been bought by the Home Retail Group who own the likes of Argos and Homebase, I’m confident it will once again win back the hearts of the British nation. One of the original founders of affordable design-led homewares and contemporary interiors, their iconic pieces remain recognisable and it’s reassuring to see the brand hosting such an exciting programme of events throughout the year.
If you’re venturing to West London in the next few weeks, be sure to pop into the flagship Habitat store and see the new Interwoven exhibition, a pop-up display celebrating the art of weaving in interiors. At the focus of the exhibition is the work of Philipa Thorne who produces the most vibrant vessels from Swaziland where she’s now based with her company called Gone Rural which provides employment for rural women living in South Africa. Now employing almost over 700 women, she has selected 40 of her favourite pieces to be curated as part of the showcase. Others taking part are past students of Central St Martins which include experimental pieces by Jane Harper, and fellow ex-student Coralie Bonnet who learnt her craft studying accessories design. Interwoven is the first of many events happening under the Habitat ‘Platform’, it’s a series of curated design and art events to be hosted at their store on King’s Road.
Philipa Thorne and her work
My Mum still boasts about her first sofa coming from Habitat and saving for months to be able to afford it. The little man and his van had driven from London with their dream sofa, only to struggle with the winding Welsh roads but it was entirely worth it she would justify repeatedly, just to be able to say you had a Habitat sofa – “It was the bees knees!”… I can even recall making my first homewares purchase at the age of 11 – I too, saved up to buy from there a Mexican lime vase with transparent flowers all over it, back when the whole 90s orange/lime interior scheme seemed popular, (Changing Rooms had a lot to answer for) and whilst I would love to say it hadn’t gone out of fashion one bit, understandably the colour has but the funnel neck design hasn’t. Needless to say, I still won’t throw it away, the 90s is experiencing a bit of a revival at the moment…
Interwoven runs until April 28th at Habitat, 208 King’s Road.
Admission is free.