Pimlico Road Design District is fast becoming a galaxy of interiors stars. From designers Rose Uniacke, Nicholas Haslem and Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, to the delectable fabrics and wallpaper of Soane Britain, and the luxury textiles of de Le Cuona, each shop and showroom is unique, and there’s a contemporary energy to a district previously rather staid with antiques.
Last year Carl Hansen & Son opened; now SCP has a brand-new pop-up shop showcasing Ilse Crawford; and Pinch, which has been here (on Bourne Street) for the past two years, has expanded to open a sister store, its flagship, at 200 Ebury Street. The opening was packed – everyone jostling for space amid the handcrafted sofas, chairs, stools, tables and pendant lights.
Pinch is a friendly husband-and-wife enterprise with a studio in Clapham North. It’s a spectacular example of how a boutique British brand gets things right – design, craftsmanship and presentation – via uncompromising ideals and hard work.
“Our aim is to create beautiful furniture that stands the test of time” says designer Russell Pinch.
He started out assisting Terence Conran and launched Pinch in 2004 with his wife Oona Bannon as creative director. For a decade they beavered away, honing their skills by designing, manufacturing and selling to retailers such as Heal’s, as well as to international interior designers and customers who ventured to the Clapham studio.
Two years ago the time seemed right to stick their name above a shop so that new customers could come in, sit, touch, stroke and prod. Bannon is proud that they are in a position to fulfil orders as they come in, despite the constraints of working boutique-style with 13 hand-picked workshops in the UK and two in Europe. Their prices are higher than mass-produced pieces (no mango wood here), but they want to offer customers quality to last while keeping alive the endangered skills of the craftsman. The Moreau sofa, for example, is £4,150 plus your choice of fabric.
“The Pinch handwriting is a mix-up,” Bannon says, “a bit of Mid-century, a bit Arts and Crafts, with Georgian ratios, and a touch of Scandi hygge, especially in terms of the neutrality of the woods.”
She says 20 to 30 per cent of their sales are custom-made – as clients might ask for a cupboard to be finished in canary yellow or to be scaled smaller or larger, and some are completely bespoke.
Of the new range, Bannon particularly loves their Angelo armchair (£2,825 plus fabric). “With running a business and having two daughters, I just want to sit down,” she laughs. “The Angelo is very distinguished, quite clipped, with a modest footprint yet it’s extremely comfortable.”
If you haven’t been to Pimlico Road recently, go now. “It’s super charming but completely bonkers,” Bannon says, “with all those shopkeepers who sell one £200,000 mantlepiece a month, and are ‘At lunch!’. There are so many characters, but they all love what they do. There are no cynics here.”
Pinch, 200 Ebury Street, London SW1 (pinchdesign.com); Pinch Bedroom Shop, 46 Bourne Street, London SW1.