The devil is in the details – but he isn’t half annoying. How tricky can it be to find a perfectly simple door-knocker in the right shade of antique brass? I have encountered serious frustration, on countless occasions, when embarking on renovations and searching for the perfect pieces to finish off interiors and exteriors.
But then I stumbled upon Rowen & Wren. The lifestyle brand founded in 2011 by Lucy Uren and Graeme Purdy – who previously worked in design and retail, respectively – has since become my go-to for inspiration. And it’s the subtle approach that makes its homeware collections so compelling.
It isn't just about hardware, either – although it’s my latest obsession. Elegant pieces of furniture – wingback chairs (from £688), streamlined sofas (from £822) and "just-so" footstools (£344) – most of which are traditionally constructed in England, then upholstered in a lovely subdued palette of inky linens, plush velvets or timeless ticking stripes. I’ve found that they can slot into any kind of interior scheme, from classic to contemporary, and I keep going back for more – largely because I like their emphasis on craftsmanship. Many of the pieces are produced by individual makers rather than en masse: stoneware (£38 for a bowl), in a delicious palette of soft rose, parsnip yellow, duck-egg blue or peat is handmade in Dublin; while the beautifully lidded earthenware and oak bowls (from £48) in similar sultry shades, are crafted in Belgium.
But it’s that metalware that forms my longest wish list. So many brands seem to get metal pieces wrong, making it too shiny, too brash, too detailed or just too chunky. But here, pieces from lighting pendants (from £62) to drawer handles (from £7) are carefully refined and turned out in beautiful, cleverly burnished metals.
My latest find is the gorgeous Bitra hanging rail (from £58) – I’m using the soft antique brass version in my new kitchen, set against moody deep-coloured paints. Their newest addition to the range is a hardware collection of functional knobs and pulls (from £7), latches (£16), letter plates (£58), knockers (£44) and hooks (£7) – updated classics with perfect proportions, solid but reassuringly simple.