I first came across Willow & Stone, a Cornish-based homewares company, a number of years ago whilst I was working on-staff at an interiors magazine. Since then I have used various Willow & Stone products in photoshoots and when styling the homes of private clients – I have always been impressed with their offerings.
Willow & Stone was founded by Sarah Willshaw who, after a number of years working for a major antiques emporium in London, decided to set up on her own in Cornwall, where she had previously studied illustration. She arrived with a wealth of ideas, developed over the years whilst commuting to her work in London: her aim was, ‘to sell quality period ironmongery products to ordinary people who were taking on extraordinary projects restoring their beloved homes’. Working alongside her artist husband, Sarah soon had an online shop up and running and, shortly after, opened the first Willow & Stone shop in Falmouth. The business took off and, having outgrown their original shop premises, they eventually settled in a large double-fronted shop close to Falmouth’s harbour, with the online shop continuing to sell products around the world.
It has been a number of years since I was last in the Falmouth shop, but I often browse the Willow & Stone website looking for interesting items and inspiration. They offer a wealth of beautiful products, from ironmongery and door furniture, to interesting lighting, homewares and one-off antique pieces. There’s something to suit all tastes, from the contemporary to the more traditional, with a whole range of finishes available, from oak to polished nickel, steel to distressed antique brass.
On the Willow & Stone website, they also have number of useful ‘how to’ guides for their products, with tips for maintenance and installation; I found the ‘Understanding Brass’ guide particularly interesting and had been unaware beforehand that fashions over the years have dictated the colour of brass, which can be influenced by the balance of copper and zinc used (late Victorians apparently favoured a rose-coloured brass which had a higher copper content to give it a pinker hue).
Find out more about Willow & Stone on their website: www.willowandstone.co.uk
Below are a selection of products that I like from the website:
Mr Whale cast iron hook, £8.50
What’s not to love about this quirky cast iron hook? It would look particularly lovely on the back of a bathroom door.
Dandelion wrap, £3.50
Whilst dandelions can be a nuisance in the garden, I have to admit that they make for beautiful illustrations. I love how the dark blue background of this wrapping-paper allows the vibrant yellow to really sing. As well as making for stunningly wrapped gifts, the paper is pretty enough to frame too.
Create a magical display in a child’s bedroom, by hanging one of these hot air balloon decorations from the ceiling or, better yet, a group of varying sizes and patterns.
Copied from Edwardian and Victorian antique originals, this beautiful butler’s bell is made from solid aged brass and I think it would be a pleasing addition to a period home.
Clockhouse tray desk, £180
This is great little piece which could fit into a hallway or the corner of a room where space is of a premium. It’s lovely, paired-back look comes from the simplicity of the shape and its raw oak surface which has been treated with a hard wax to help protect it.
Display your smartest – or most frequently used – mugs on one of these racks which will fit into many different styles of kitchen.
Large brass rim lock, £109
If you’re renovating a period property, then Willow & Stone have a great selection of ironmongery, such as this intricate brass lock.
Dipped in molten zinc, this galvanised light will be able to withstand the elements, even in coastal locations. I love its shape, reminiscent of the lamps traditionally found on ships, and think it would make a great addition to a porch way or, indeed, any exterior wall.