Homefront Interiors - Bath
If you've not come across it before, Margaret's Buildings is nestled between the iconic Royal Crescent and The Circus. This quaint pedestrianised street is the perfect place to shop and stop for coffee and cake. Offering an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of Bath's better known retail hotspots (namely Milsom Street and Southgate), Margaret's Buildings is up there amongst Bath's most historic landmarks. Dating from 1769, the Georgian architecture here glows majestically and boasts an array of fabulous independent shops.
There are stylish café's serving up delicious homemade food to the good people of Bath and beyond. Plus, you simply can't miss the authentic Italian bistro which is frequently rammed to the rafters with punters waiting on pasta! You can also enjoy dining al fresco along the cobbled street when the sun is shining, which creates a relaxed continental feel.
From food to furniture, fashion to art; there are art galleries, a hair salon, and even a rare and secondhand book shop, all of which add to the eclectic mix of independent shops that have set up home here. One of Margaret's Buildings newest additions to the family of independents is Homefront Interiors. A few weeks ago I met with the founder, Vanessa Clark, whose presence has graced Margaret's Buildings since April this year...
It is clear to see that Vanessa is passionate about what she does, and has a wealth of knowledge about the retail industry, of which she has been a part of for a "number of years." She says that "Homefront was born out of my life long interest in interiors and design. For many years I have wanted to do something with homewares."
Stepping foot into Homefront Interiors is an immediate feast for the eyes! The walls, shelves, and cabinets are displayed thoughtfully and creatively with elegant furnishings and keepsakes that would suit any contemporary or traditional setting. There is such an eclectic mix of the old and the new; everything from "handmade and the reclaimed, the recycled and the upcycled....French Brocante and industrial vintage" too.
I was excited to dig out my trusty camera and begin documenting everything I fell in love with (and there was a lot of that!) From "beautiful handmade lampshades...bespoke upholstery...ceramics...handwoven throws," to glassware and jewellery, candles and faux flowers...
I learnt that Vanessa sources her handmade products (i.e the lampshades, ceramics, textiles) largely from the South West. I love to buy from local, independent retailers, so it was great to hear that Vanessa enjoys "showcasing local talent," which I am sure does not only appeal to me!
Vanessa informed me that she likes to "add splashes of colour," throughout her shop. This technique I feel works so well, as your eye is immediately drawn to individual pieces, such as this cute 'Old Enamel Pot.' A perfect kitchen accessory, ideal if you have white washed walls or shelving, as it would stand out and add a fun pop of colour to a room.
Or, how about this colourful coffee table book which would make the perfect gift.
As well as being a "place to sell," Vanessa told me that she also has plans for Homefront Interiors to "be a place to make and do." She has become the stockist for Grand Illusions 'Vintage Paint,' a fantastic chalk based paint which happens to be perfect for furniture painting.
With this in mind, I was excited to discover that Vanessa is currently busy "developing a programme of creative courses including painting courses, lampshade making, soft furnishings, mono printing [and] upholstery, to name just a few." All of which will take place beneath the shop, in a cosy basement studio. Each course will cater for groups of up to 6, and plans are in place to commence courses later this year.
As well as the planned creative courses, Vanessa has started to set up an online website which will showcase some of the products you'll find in store: www.homefrontinteriors.co.uk
It was great to meet Vanessa and to be welcomed so warmly into her shop. Homefront Interiors is certainly a great addition to Margaret's Buildings and I wish Vanessa all the very best with her exciting venture.
If you are not local to Bath and do not know the area well, you can find Homefront Interiors here...