Monday, 10 October 2011

Shopkeeper of the Week, Natural History.

This week we are in conversation with Sarah Lidwell -Durnin, the founder/owner of the unique Natural History Ltd, a company which takes the art of homemaking to a new level.

(A tile from Natural History's 'Gertrude Jekyll' design range )

Question 1. How would you describe your company or work?

Natural History is a young but multi-faceted business, with both retail and design activities going on all the time, which makes it very exciting to run! My work can encompass design, buying, sending out orders and working with outside designers on collaborations all in one morning and I absolutely love it.

Question 2. Who/what are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence is the Museum of Natural History in Merrion Square in Dublin. Every day after school I was brought to Merrion Square itself or to the museum, depending on the weather, and Dublin being quite rainy, I spent a lot of time in the museum! I grew up loving the worn and faded taxidermy, reading the tiny inscriptions from the the donors, some dating back to the early 1800's. The mysterious things in jars, the Victorian display cases, the unique musty smell - all filled the voices of all the other children who were brought there every day too - these are all very strong memories and have been a fantastic influence in my work.

Question 3. Where is your favourite place to visit for inspiration?

I live in Oxford now, so the Natural History Museum and the Pitt Rivers Collection are great places to visit - not specifically for inspiration so much as to recharge my aesthetic instincts.

(Natural History's 'Beetle Tea Towel')

Question 4. What is your favourite item from your current collection?

I love the set of tiles that we are about to launch featuring our bestselling blue hummingbird and cage.
Question 5. Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

Yes! Our gorgeous new Bees, Butterflies and Botanicals range is being launched in September.

Question 6. What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

Long before I joined the Arcade I was a huge fan of the carefully curated feel of the site. I also love the arcades themselves of the 2nd Arrondissement in Paris, so to be a part of such an elegant collection of boutiques is quite a privilege! To view all of Natural History's stunning objects visit Shop No. 2 in the Home Interiors Passage at The Secret Arcade.

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