Exposed brick walls and wide oak floorboards hint at how the former furniture workshop now housing Tord Boontje’s Shoreditch shop once looked. It’s fitting that this esteemed designer and Royal College of Art professor has chosen such a space to showcase his growing collection of work. For while continuing to collaborate with brands such as Moroso, Kvadrat and Swarovski, Boontje is now developing his own lines. “Having the shop allows us to be independently creative; free from the restraints of large-scale manufacturing,” he says. Boontje’s studio is located at the shop’s rear, while one-off pieces and prototypes are displayed in a basement exhibition space. “We use that area as a research and development tool,” he jokes.
The main shop is filled with his ceramics, glassware, jewellery, textiles, lighting and furniture, many displaying the fairytale quality for which he is best known. Bearing his delicate imprint are gorgeous silk scarves (£98), printed with misty shots of crystal chandeliers or decorated with Boontje’s drawings, and laser-cut textiles (from £280 per metre).
A copper Garland light shade (£20 each), designed for Habitat, hangs above a glass Moroso table with an enamel-painted surface pattern (£4,536). Next to it, in stark contrast, are two urban Rough and Ready chairs made from salvaged wood (£200 each). Also for Moroso are the powder-coated-steel Rain table (£540) and chair (£420), with their bird and flower pattern; the glamorous Closer chaise-longue (£8,100); and the dramatic Shadowy garden chair (£1,695).
Old favourites, such as the Blossom chandelier for Swarovski (£3,500–£23,000), nudge up against new designs: a lacy, laser-cut curtain (£85), made from tear‑resistant white paper, and Corian‑topped tables (£816), their pale surfaces sublimated with ink drawings.
Meanwhile, a large glass cabinet displays one-off, handcrafted pieces made to Boontje’s specifications: wooden utensils from Guatemala (£728 for six), carved wooden salad servers (£325) and a raffia-fringed oval mirror (£2,350). Equally unique is the Cut Flower chair (£3,000), its loose linen cover decorated with hand-cut white blooms.
A central table displays Boontje’s dreamy Table Stories porcelain (Spider bowl, £80) and his jewel‑coloured recycled TranSglass glassware for Artecnica (Two Hole vase, £44). There’s also his jewellery collection for Artecnica, made from gold- or silver-plated steel and including pieces punctuated with Swarovski crystals and cherry pips from Boontje’s aunt’s garden in Stockholm (from £25). “We can do such intricate work using new technology in a friendly, human way,” says Boontje.
How apt, then, that Boontje intends to spread the news about his blossoming collection by exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show in May.