Fine craftsmanship is the core pillar of Matter of Stuff, a new online design emporium of hard-to-source luxe homewares – from lighting, furniture and rugs to jewellery, prints and photographs. Its name is a double entendre, referring both to its founders’ – architects Simona Auteri and Sofia Steffenoni – passion for well-crafted products and their belief in the importance of materials. To this end, information about makers, materials and techniques is prominently displayed. “We’re so used to having fast access to so many products that we hardly stop and think about how that object was made, assuming it just came out of a box,” says Auteri. “Matter of Stuff challenges that assumption and unveils the story and process of making behind each product we sell.”
The site is particularly strong on interesting glass collaborations. Eye-catchers include Sebastian Bergne’s sculptural blown-glass Dot table (from £1,091) and Luca Nichetto’s candy-coloured, mouth-blown-glass BonBon table (from £1,091), both made by Verreum, and the layered Neverending Glory pendant light, La Scala (from £1,536, second picture), designed by Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus for Lasvit. Also make time for Sacha Walckhoff’s Reverso series of colourful, glass vases and drinking vessels (from £357, first picture), mouth-blown by Verreum. Each has a dual use – a champagne flute, for example, turns upside down for use as a tumbler.
The site also offers some ingenious lighting. Intueri’s Skew table lamp (£753) has a hand-spun, brass shade with a central cut-out disc allowing light to filter upwards as well as down, while the whimsical Turbaya copper wall/table light (£683) has a gramophone horn-shaped shade. A small but growing furniture selection includes Carlos Ortega Design’s curvaceous Corkigami chair (£565) made from sustainable, natural cork on a solid-oak base, and Dafi Reis Doron’s 75% Control stools (£850, third picture), whose name refers to a new technique used here to conjoin ash with polyurethane.
Among many innovative homewares are Anna Badur’s Whatever the Weather pillows (£65, fourth picture) with their patterns created by blowing blue pigments across wet fabric, while the colourful, swirling patterns of Silo Studio’s resin bowls and vases, such as Newton's Bucket Red Large (£600), were inspired by Isaac Newton’s experiments.
Pedants may roll their eyes at the site’s poor grasp of spelling and grammar, but design fans will find much to interest and intrigue them. Anyone keen to view the products will have a chance to do so at a special exhibition during London Design Festival this month.