The Colonial Style Shopping Guide

Click to follow

Muthaiga, 11 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire (0451 830535). Soapstone or Kisii Sstone carvings, papyrus chairs at pounds 85 each, sapling tables , bits of and jewellery, can be bought over coffee in the club atmosphere of Annarella Clark's Cotswold house. She was bitten by the Africa bug after going on safari four years ago and has named her shop after the club in Nairobi.

Nice Irma's, 46 Goodge Street, London WIP 1FJ (071-580 6921). Once a hippy emporium, but now more traditional. Co-director Nick Gaiger , co-director visits India two or three times a year, to bring back the 'talking pieces'. Exotic tables covered in beaten metal embossed with rams' heads and floral motifs, imitations of the the solid silver versions found in the old Indian palaces, cost pounds 200 to pounds 500. Chairs to match cost between pounds 198 and pounds 243. Small rosewood octagonal chests with brass fittings cost pounds 16 to pounds 50 depending on size. Hand-etched glass light bowls complete with chain fittings at pounds 97.50 jostle with hand-embroidered bedspreads and cushions.

William Sheppee Indian Antiques, by appointment only at 1A Church Avenue, London SW14 8NW (081-392 2379). Old rosewood planters' chairs at pounds 475, collapsible travelling cupboards in satinwood and ebony at pounds 1,500, camphor chests to keep your clothes safe from moths and other insects at around pounds 650, Regency Indian benches with cane seats at pounds 1,500.

The Crucial Trading Post, The Market Hall, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 8ZZ (order line 0345 666660) for colonial country furniture (as seen in our main picture photograph on pp76-77 and left) including divan at pounds 360, planter's chair at pounds 320, three-legged table pounds 240, octagonal table pounds 240, ornate carved box at pounds 380, and other hand-picked pieces, some heavily carved, mostly priced at under pounds 500. Storm lamps are also available at pounds 10.95, medieval-style rush matting at pounds 23.95 per square metre, from the sister company Cricial?? Trading,no sister company, its all crucial trading chain stitch rugs at pounds 280 each.


Cargo, 23 Market Place, Cirencester, Glos, GL7 2NX (0285 652175). Will Chestermaster travels to India two or three times a year and occasionally picks up props everyday items used by the in the old British Raj. AAn 1850 teak picnic box with wicker insides is selling for pounds 135, a clay figure of a collector in solar sola topee is priced at pounds 12. Old campaign boxes and chests in teak with brass accessories, sell for between pounds 70 and pounds 250. Tongue-in-cheek prints of the British at work and play (dispensing justice from steamer chairs, fanned all the while by some poor servant) fetch pounds 15 to pounds 20. He also buys in papier mache plates and bowls that he personally commissionsed from an Indian family.

Global Village, 247/249 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HY (071-376 5363), for accessories including birdcages, rattan-covered carafes at pounds 12.50 each and bottles at pounds 9.95 each, beaten silver photograph frames at pounds 14.95 to pounds 19.95 depending on size, and linen cushions at pounds 47.50.

Fans, John Lewis, Oxford Street, London W1, (071-629 7711) sell sells electric ceiling fans with 36 in propellers at pounds 89 and 42 in propellers at pounds 145. They have to be ordered and take 8-10 weeks to arrive.


Simon Playle Interiors, 6 Fulham Park Studios, London SW6 (071-371 0131answerphone) can be visited only by appointment. He has also designed three collections of voileWHAT DOES THIS MEAN?? ranging from pounds 27 plus VAT per metre for spriggy alpine ones to pounds 43.50 plus VAT for one made on a 19th century loom.


Jane Churchill, 151 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9BZ (071-730 9847) for the 'Indian Summer' range of fabrics including a jolly patchwork of elephants and other cultural symbols at pounds 23.50 per metre and a not-quite-Paisley pattern called Kashmir Leaf at the same price. The shop also sells carved chests at pounds 144, and carved elephants at around pounds 12, and ethnic pots, urns, bowls, boxes and baskets. to complete the look.

Habitat, branches round the country. Sheer muslin off the roll starts at pounds 2.95 per metre, unbleached cottons from India at pounds 2.95 per metre, Belgian linen at pounds 15 per metre. The rattan sofas (Juno pounds 373 and Capri pounds 598) still sell, as do the armchairs (Juno pounds 209 and Capri pounds 384). There is also a Kenyan bed in natural rattan at pounds 299. Or for the on-the-campaign-trail safari look there are African chairs with natural slings at pounds 27.50 each.

Monkwell, 10-12 Wharfdale Road, Bournemouth, Dorset (0202 752944) for a whole range of natural fabrics, including the muslin featured in our picture main photograph which sells at pounds 8 per metre. The large tapestry cushions are by Ivo Tapestries (081-997 1076) at pounds 275 to pounds 295 or pounds 75 for the kit. ends