Offers on things that won’t last or make our lives better are about to be everywhere as Black Friday promotions roll in. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a good time of year to make big purchases like electrical appliances, tech or beauty staples at a “steal”, but Black Friday also ushers in a lot of wasteful consumerism. There are alternatives like “Green Friday”, where you can consciously choose to buy nothing or buy something less harmful to the planet. If you look, hopefully, you’ll find local shops and events cultivating this attitude. Here are some upcoming London events I’ll be visiting to buy better for my life and for Christmas.
Curated Interiors: Hosted by Better Things
Better Things – 105 Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3HT
A Vintage Collaboration pop-up between Opto, My Moka Home and Christopher Lian Design is coming to the Better Things shop in Forest Hill on 1 – 5 November 2023. I first met the duo behind Opto – Marcus and Brian at Peckham Salvage Yard vintage market, where their homeware stopped me in my tracks. Brian’s taste for small, curious pieces and Marcus’ eye for pulling different styles together create a home fashion collection designed to make you smile again and again. Opto is Latin for “I choose”, and that day, I chose a vintage Mexican hand mirror that’s bringing colour to my hall.
Opto will be joined by the equally refined eyes of Zoe for rare collectable Italian moka pots and Christopher with a romantic mix of conversation-making art and homeware. Christopher told me they wanted to create a space to introduce “once and future heirlooms,” so gently ease into the festive spirit with this pop-up of considered finds.
© Interior by Christopher Lian Design
Winter Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia
Olympia Fair – Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX
The 32nd edition of the Olympia Fair returns from 30 October to 5 November with a showcase of fine art and antiques with high-quality objects from around the world. Prices start at under £100 and head well over that for particularly hard-to-come-by museum-quality pieces. Everything for sale is vetted by an expert committee, enabling buyers to shop with confidence. I particularly love this fair’s glassware, jewellery and Art Deco pieces. The chalk drawing above by Paul-César Helleu (1859-1927) from Karen Taylor Fine Art is of the artist’s wife, Alice. Today, Helleu’s work can be found in many museum collections, including the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Midcentury Modern Show – Dulwich College, London SE21 7LD
This event is not only a place to find authentic midmod designer furniture and homeware, but it is also a scene. The unique but like-minded people – both dealers and shoppers, make it feel like you’re going to a gig of your favourite band. Whether you avidly follow the tune of midcentury design or, like me, enjoy the practical, stylish simplicity that blends so well with all manner of interiors, it promises to be a fun visit. The next show on 19 November will be particularly special as it is their 20th-anniversary celebration. You can also find the latest modern design with contemporary pieces from young British designers.
Interior preview from Midcentury Modern Show exhibitor © Sauce
Commenting on the 20th birthday, co-founder Lucy Ryder Richardson said ”We have witnessed the passion and appreciation for midcentury design flourish. People now understand the value of shopping sustainably with pieces that were created to last for years.”
And there you have it, some events and ideas for better gifts that keep on giving for your home and your loved ones.
Me at Midcentury Modern in Dulwich last year
© Photographs Reclaimed Woman and courtesy of Opto, My Moka Home, Christopher Lian Design, Karen Taylor Fine Art, Sauce