I am a relative newcomer to Hackney, East London, a diverse borough regularly surveyed with delight and despair in equal measure. My parents (of rural Yorkshire village origin) find it unfathomable that I might want to reside in such a ‘noisy, dirty, busy hovel’. Whilst friends love the never-ending variety and constant evolution of people, places, not to mention the array of beards to behold!
Cycle 10 minutes in any direction (and I mean cycle, we Hackney-ites have evolved wheels in place of legs, walking is sooooo early 2000’s) and you will encounter a middle class hub of café culture sitting alongside derelict factories, gastro pubs complete with celebrity chef proprietors next door to gone to seed housing estates, and markets to cater for your every whim, both genuine East End and achingly hip. It’s a veritable melting pot and we love it that way.
We speak with immense pride of our alumni and success stories (I’ve been here 3 years and I bang on about them like they’re my brothers in arms!… Marc Bolan was born in Homerton don’t you know, and guess who lived up the road… Colin Firth… Mr Bloody Darcy!). So it is with utter delight and, ever so slightly, obsessive interest (just slightly) that I have observed the success trajectory of House Of Hackney (http://www.houseofhackney.com)
The brilliantly OTT and utterly original design house who launched in 2011 with a stunning range of fabrics and papers have gone on to develop a range of furniture and fashion. Different, decadent, always with a hint of the debauched, I have loved them from the moment I happened upon them and have eagerly devoured every opportunity to encounter their wares. From website to pop up shop, their own home come showroom and now their first flagship store on – not even remotely shabby anymore, actually quite posh now – Shoreditch High Street.
So it was with utter delight I visited the store on its inaugural day of trading (last Friday) and it really did not disappoint. The rich dark blue walls, thick velvety carpet, mirror ceiling and dark wood paneling offer the perfect backdrop to the array of products ranging from pants to poufs, cushions to camisoles.
It’s the kind of space that makes you want to drink dirty martini’s, smoke gauloise and speak only in a gravelly voice. Clearly, if you try most of those things they will undoubtedly chuck you out, so try to refrain. But I do encourage you to go there, soak in the ‘matchy matchy’ mecca in all its majesty and as a real treat take a little piece of it home with you.
House Of Hackney was one of the very first investments I made in my own House in Hackney when I proudly used their stunning Dalston Rose to deck out my downstairs loo. That a space so small and utterly functional, so devoid of glamour could be transformed into a thing of such beauty, a literal joy to behold, is beyond unlikely, it’s utterly incongruous… utterly Hackney and definitely House Of Hackney. Here’s to their reign and to my throne!