Henrietta Thompson knows more than most about design: having previously been a columnist for the Telegraph, Co Founder of "Naked on the Piano" and Furthermore Media, she is now the Editor at Large for Wallpaper*, and most recently Co-Founder and Director of HARTH.
At a Decorex Panel talk we attended with her back in October, she remarked that nowadays we are less interested in being defined by the products we own, and we prefer to focus on the experiences we have and the lives that we lead. Not only does this mean that we're now more interested in restoring second hand pieces ('upcycling'), but also that we're more open to peer-to-peer sharing.
Inspired to implement this new sustainable approach to interior design, Henrietta Thompson and Ed Padmore founded HARTH, a concept that truly champions the idea of 'pro-art and pro-design' sustainability. Harth is the first platform in the world that enables its members to borrow beautiful furniture, accessories and art directly from the industry's best brands, designers and artists, collectors, galleries and dealers. It also allows members to list and rent out their own pieces peer-to-peer. It's a concept that proves sustainability doesn't have to have an impact on good design.
Henrietta is hopeful that we will see a revival of the restoration industry, not only in the traditional sense, but also in repurposing things: items can be given a whole new life, which is part of its value. When we think of sustainability it often conjures up the idea of compromise: about enjoying less, doing less, stripping back to the austere basics. But this absolutely doesn’t have to be the case- often when the parameters are narrowed, creativity really flourishes.
“We are excited to bring a new twist to the traditional model of retail with an entirely borrow-able shop. The House of Harth is a playful exploration of how it is becoming possible to live more lightly, more sustainably, while still surrounding ourselves with inspiring design and art. We’re also really looking forward to using the space as a forum for discussion about the future and the sharing economy."
Curated by the amazing Campbell-Rey, House of Harth is now open in Islington Square, 116 Upper Street, London, N1 1QP. We'd really recommend visiting, not only because it's a space filled with the most beautiful items, but also we envisage Harth setting a precedent for other interior design businesses to behave more sustainably.
See below more from Henrietta:
Outside of the office, what’s your idea of the perfect pairing?
Toast and marmalade
What’s your house wine / cider / beer / cocktail?
A dry gin Martini
What is the one ingredient you couldn’t possibly live without?
Where is London’s best kept secret?
Not telling, it’s a secret…
Where would we find you outside of London?
By the sea, in the sun
What is your favourite Richard Brendon collection?
I’ve always loved the Reflect collection
Stemmed or Stemless?
You’ve just woken up: tea or coffee?
Have you ever been behind a potter’s wheel?
Not as an adult
Where do you start your Christmas shopping?
At the House of Harth, of course
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
A prototype Eero Aarnio Ball Chair for my husband’s 40th birthday
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A surprise trip to the Maldives
What’s your go-to dinner party dish?
A one pot wonder with loads of crusty bread and sexy salads
How do you switch off?
A long soak in the bath
Richard loves sourcing antique saucers - what do you collect?
Jugs and lipsticks
How would you describe your personal style?
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We speak to Richard about how he started his business, his passion for regenerating master craftsmanship all over the world and where you'll find him if it's not in our London studio.
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