Have you heard of SMUG? It's the most wonderful emporium of pretty, based in the Camden Passage in Islington, London. Owner Lizzie Evans has a brilliant eye for lifestyle pieces, such as quirky stationery, vintage furniture and classic kitchenware. Not only that, but Lizzie also strikes up excellent partnerships with other designers who fit the vision of SMUG, often collaborating closely with them to bring exclusive products to the shelves of the store. In fact, SMUG is looking for Christmas submissions now, so if you have lovely products that you feel will fit what they're looking for get submitting now! I love how the store is so spacious, airy and calm - it's so inviting. I just love to while away many an hour in there, drooling over all the pretty on offer. Not literally, that would be impolite. Well, now there's an extra reason to visit the shop and shout 'hip hip hooray' as SMUG is celebrating its fifth birthday. Happy birthday, SMUG! To celebrate such a wonderful milestone, the shop has flung open it's doors to coffee and cake lovers, and opened cafe SMUG. So at weekends, from 11-5, you can pop along to the store, wander downstairs and treat yourself to a coffee, glass of fresh OJ and a slice of delicious cake. I popped along when cafe SMUG was open during London Design Festival last year, and it was such a joy to sit out in the courtyard, have a good chat with my friend, whilst admiring the cute succulents on each table. Plus sitting and having a drink is a good excuse to pause and ponder on any potential purchases.
Alongside the launch of cafe SMUG, the shop has partnered with some top notch designers, to bring exclusive products to its customers - all of which are absolutely delightful. From the classic Matt Pugh owl, in special SMUG colourways, to pretty cushions from Kangan Arora - these five exclusively designed products are oh-so covetable.
// 1. Squirrel card, by Laura Gee £2.75 // 2. Pachikari cushion by Kangan Arora, £39 // 3. Guinea pig & pineapple apron by Thornback & Peel, £25 // 4. Lakir cushion by Kangan Arora, £39 // 5. Pale blue wooden owl by Matt Pugh, £28 //
I got to eye up the pieces in person recently, and was also able to hear Lizzie's vision for SMUG as she was interviewed by Kate Baxter, from Fabric of My Life. I was wowed by Lizzie's story about the launch of SMUG back when she was just 25 - super inspiring stuff! Originally trained in interior and spacial design at university, it was when Lizzie was over in Oz doing some graphic design work that she dreamt up SMUG and its lovely interior. I was also chuffed to hear that one of my favourite books as a child, Mrs Wobble The Waitress also inspired her, as Mrs Wobble and her family turned their home into a restaurant. I love hearing about where inspiration strikes, even in the most unlikely of places.
What's on your SMUG wishlist? I've got my sights firmly set on those dreamy Kangan Arora cushions!
Happy birthday, SMUG!
SMUG: 13 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA // +44 (0)20 7354 0253 // twitter.com/ifeelsmug // #smugturns5