Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created The Joy of Shopping, a shopping column which will see me, Joy Montgomery, discussing the brands, buys, and ideas that are preoccupying my mind this month—think homewares, outerwear, and everything in-between. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!
After a (not so brief) hiatus, The Joy of Shopping has finally returned, bringing with it a whole new look to match the new world that we find ourselves in. Hurrah! So it's goodbye to changing-room selfies and hello to online shopping in all its wide-ranging and innovative glory. The new format will be more flexible, offering a space to voice my shopping-based musings, be it a new brand that has caught my eye, a trend that I'm wearing on repeat, or an online vintage marketplace that I have to tell you about. New and old, high street and high-end, I want this column to be a reflection of the eclecticism that makes up the building blocks of my personal wardrobe and, inevitably, what makes fashion such a unique source of joy for many of us.
For my first installment, I wanted to focus on homeware. I recently moved into a new flat, so naturally, I spent the majority of my Christmas break lost down a Pinterest interiors hole and nursing a paintbrush-induced RSI. Luckily for me, homeware also happens to be a visual medium that has experienced a bit of a renaissance over the last few years, thanks to not only the growth of affordable homeware but also the #inspo powers of Instagram and, lest we forget, the "nesting" proclivities of the average millennial (guilty as charged). That's not to mention the various lockdowns and social-distancing measures that confined us to the four corners of our homes in 2020.
For all its pitfalls, one can't deny that social media has blown open the world of interiors for the average shopper and allowed independent and small brands to reach new audiences. I've spent hours on the likes of Pinterest, Instagram, and Etsy in search of that one-of-a-kind affordable gem that will give my blank walls that hit of personality that they so clearly crave. As a vintage fanatic, secondhand has also been at the top of my priority list, but that's not to say big-name brands like H&M Home and Habitat haven't been invaluable in my search—I'm afraid I simply can't get on board with pre-loved bedsheets.
So I've picked out three homeware themes that played on my mind as I lugged around boxes and experimented with paint samples. From affordable artwork to 50 shades of green, scroll down to see my 2021 homeware muses.
The Hunt for Affordable Artwork
One of the things I struggled with the most when decorating my new flat was finding unique wall art which didn't cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully, online marketplaces such as Etsy and @ASouthlLondonMakersMarket have offered lesser-known names a platform from which to sell their wares, which is all the better for us. Some of my most recent finds are Lydia Florence's pressed-flower prints, Aeand's graphic screen-prints, and Sharan Ranshi's vibrant watercolours.
In my experience, people have a tendency to either go all out with decking out their house in vintage homewares or, conversely, feel intimidated by the secondhand world and stick firmly to the likes of H&M Home. Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with doing a bit of both, and sometimes, the most beautiful homes come with an eclectic mix of old and new. When it comes to finding the "old," I've become a bit addicted to trawling through the likes of Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace to find vintage gems, and trust me—there are plenty to be found. Scroll down to see the bits I'm eyeing right now.
If my flat was condensed into one colour, it would have to be green. For some reason, green is the hue that I'm gravitating towards this year, be it in the form of a forest-coloured sofa, a moss green paint shade, or a cheeky Cabbage Bowl from Arket. My favourite shade has to be Farrow & Ball's Calke Green, which I used in my study (see above), as it offers the perfect pop of colour which is bright but not over the top. For our spare room, I'm drawn to paler shades such as Little Greene's Boringdon Green (which is much more interesting than its name, I might add). Oh, and apparently it's the most calming colour there is. Who knew?