Ailsa Sheldon discovers a delightful array of contemporary design and homewares across Scotland that is far removed from the high street…
Established by pioneering design duo Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons in 1990, the distinctive designs of Timorous Beasties have earned a place in the National Museum of Scotland as well as GoMA and many other galleries and museums worldwide.
This is Scottish design at its boldest and best – where thistles, jellyfish and eels become the most beautiful, covetable wall art. Timorous Beasties’ striking wallpapers adorn the walls of many of Scotland’s most stylish restaurants and hotels, as well as private homes. Explore these distinct, ornate designs at the Glasgow showroom on wallpapers and fabrics, alongside stunning lampshades, rugs, cushions and furniture.
384 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G4 9HT
For playful, colourful, contemporary homewares, make a beeline for Boo Vake in Perth – proof if needed that the bigger cities don’t have a monopoly on interesting homewares.
Here, you’ll find an eclectic mix of designs, mainly by Scottish designers and makers. Highlights include collectable ceramics and colourful textiles by Donna Wilson, delicate wallhangings and botanical lampshades by Hannah Nunn, and bold Tom Pigeon prints.
5 Watergate, Perth, PH1 5TF
Catalog has been delighting design lovers since it opened in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge neighbourhood in 2010, and has maintained a reputation as the go-to place for beautiful investment pieces of furniture. Favourite brands include elegant sofas by Ligne Roset and Hay, and dreamy beds by Bolzan Letti, Pianca and many others.
You’ll also find statement lighting and well-curated home accessories – plus gorgeous fabrics and wallpaper. In its new Raeburn Place showroom, the friendly and knowledgeable team will help you make beautiful choices for your home. For more in-depth help and advice, Catalog also offers a popular interior design service.
116 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HG
Irregular Sleep Pattern
Irregular Sleep Pattern is a family business that burst into life with a Kickstarter and a dream to change bedding and sleepwear for “socially minded sartorialists”. Its bold and funky designs are lovingly designed in Glasgow and fairly manufactured in Portugal using certified organic cotton.
You may never have imagined a bed-bug print on your duvet, but this brand may quickly change your mind. The firm’s frequent “Irregular Community” posts are a brilliant way to discover other exciting artists and creatives doing things a bit differently.
Laura Thomas Co
Inspired by coastal living, Laura Thomas Co is the place to go for beautifully soft bedding and towels, soy candles and refillable natural toiletries – their style and durability has made them a firm favourite in boutique hotels and holiday cottages across Scotland.
Sustainability and good design are key and this East Lothian brand is growing rapidly in popularity with those looking to make ethical choices for their homes. The shop is currently online having outgrown its premises but a new physical home is coming soon.
For the softest, most beautiful blankets and bedspreads – it has to be Hilary Grant. These striking geometric blankets are designed and knitted in Orkney from luxury, cruelty-free 100% lambswool and destined to be treasured forever.
We’ve also been spotting these distinctive blankets in some of the most luxurious accommodation around the country. When the season turns, look here too for the cosiest hats, gloves and scarves. Trust Orkney designers to know how to stay warm in style.
Hoos showcases Scandinavian brands like Hay, Ferm Living and Normann Copenhagen, with a wide range of design-forward lighting, furniture, kitchenware, and home accessories. There’s also a focus on top Scottish designers, with textiles from Niki Jones and jewellery collections from recent Glasgow School of Art graduates.
With everything from candles to sofas, Hoos is a one-stop shop for high-quality design and craftsmanship in Glasgow – whether you’re looking for a small gift or a full house transformation. At Hoos, expect simple, beautiful design with careful attention to form and function, all artfully curated by owner Karen Harvey.
715 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8QX
Pre-pandemic there was a physical shop, but now Century General has transformed into the loveliest online design shop. With a deep commitment to sustainability, ethical choices and supporting local makers, this is the place to find beautiful items to last a lifetime.
For every item for sale there is a story, allowing you to be really mindful about the objects that you choose for your space. Parcels arrive beautifully wrapped with no plastic packaging – care packages even come with playlists. Century General has also launched an interior design consultancy with the same focus on responsible sourcing and sustainable homewares, with the aim of helping people fall back in love with their homes.
Like many others juggling family and work responsibilities, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Aman and Ranu Kooner wanted to create their own beautiful home but were often short of time.
So they turned their passion for on-trend home accessories into the first business in Scotland, and one of only a handful in the UK, to introduce a quarterly online subscription box of hand selected, seasonal-themed, home décor items.
The Glasgow-based couple also draw on their Indian heritage and personally source products from sustainable manufacturers in Rajasthan in India. You’ll also find a host of useful hints and tips on the Bonnie Hame website on topics ranging from how to use colour and to achieve that five-star hotel look in your own home. If you fancy a change from the high street, this ethical business is right up your street.