i knew nothing of this place or its apparently famous designer. just that i was looking for the address 24b. so i headed to kingsland road, a long but welcome walk, after hours on the train.
my eyes fell on the door’s number straight away from across the street, but i thought it couldn’t be it. it’s one of those busy streets that’s awkward to cross, so i backtracked to a crosswalk, curious. approaching the black blank door, i noticed tiny labels and buttons, one of which listed ‘shop’ and store hours.
this seemed too ordered for a wanderer like me, since i didn’t really know what it was beyond a wallpaper* adventure.
well. i might as well ring the buzzer. no reply. okay. i’ll walk away. just as i’m about to go, i hear “hello?” and the door clicks open.
then before i can stop myself, i’ve pushed the door open and i enter a wondrous secret courtyard, which i was too shy to photograph. turns out there’s a design studio space in the back, with a small shop in front, a curated collection of useful, beautifully and simply designed objects. a camping stove, some elegantly simple kitchenware.
awkward silence followed nervous chatter with the one shopkeeper, as i’m the one visitor browsing the tiny space. i realise that the nervous chatter is much better than the awkward silence, and suddenly it isn’t so nerve-wracking anymore.
i yearn to want, to need, to buy something, but nothing is justifiable. that’s okay. this kind of establishment appreciates that there is just the right thing for everyone, that it is a process to curate one’s personal collection. as for my collection of places, it has grown by one.
P.S. why i treated myself to tea at a fancy hotel. by myself.