Design UK 2

Max Fraser

Driving down London’s Hackney Road one evening, I first spotted two Columbia road – its hard to miss the well lit shop window displays on this prominent corner spot. Returning during the day, I was able to meet owner Keith Roberts and browse the changing displays of twentieth century furniture, lighting, prints and complimentary glassware and ceramics. Like all shops dealing in originals, two Columbia road is always going to feel different on each visit, depending on what the latest delivery contained. Items are continually sourced from various countries across Europe, resulting in an unpredictable yet interesting diversity of styles.

On my visit, the shop had just received a delivery from Denmark, including beautifully crafted rosewood and teak desks and sideboards. Positioned next to these were a pair of perfectly proportioned Poul Kjaerholm chairs, illuminated strategically by an elegant Joe Colombo Coupe floor lamp. The mixture of styles from various eras and the combination of iconic designs next to lesser known generic creations mean that customers should succeed in finding a piece that will appeal to their own particular interior taste.

A number of better known designs are usually available from twentieth century pioneers such as Verner Panton, Pierre Paulin, Eero Saaarinen, Charles & Ray Eames, Arne Jacobson and Mies van der Rohe, but it is always worth asking the staff if you are trying to find something in particlar. With limited floor space in the shop, they may well have your request held in storage or be able to source the item from elsewhere. Staff are never willing to compromise on quality, so customers can rest assured that all of the pieces they purchase are carefully checked for damage and restored accordingly before being delivered.

With stock frequently coming and going, try checking out the website for the latest offerings – by subscribing to the mailing list you can be regularly notified of new additions via e-mail. If the internet isn’t your game, then simply visit the store and snap up a collectable.