A few weeks back you may have seen my interview with Merlin Wright, the Design Director of British Standard & Plain English. I didn't quite get my fill of the PE & BS world, so I thought I'd head to Hoxton Square to have a nosy around British Standard. Although I would describe it more as a showroom than a shop (you aren't taking anything away with you there and then, although they did have a beautiful tea cosy which I would have happily snuck in my bag), it has all the fundamentals of a shop and is a gleaming example of why bricks and mortar is still so essential to our streets and our general wellbeing (says the strictly online lady).
Hoxton Square is an area of east London that boasts some of the capital's finest examples of early Georgian architecture, so you can see why it made such a happy home for Plain English's first showroom in 1992. Now it's also home to their sister brand, British Standard. With PE becoming much more bespoke over the years and the cost that naturally occurs with that sort of customisation, Katie Fontana, Founder of British Standard & Plain English, desperately wanted something off-the-peg and a lot more accessible for a wider audience. British Standard was born: 'simple, modular elements, reduced down to components, almost like lego bricks, that can be assembled to create something that in most cases has a very similar effect to Plain English'. Not only can you have a look that mirrors the heartstopping beauty of Plain English, but you are also buying into the quality. Everything is made in the same workshop as that of Plain English with the same materials. All it needs is a bit more elbow grease from the customer, working out the layout and design, which is half the fun anyway.
When I went to Hoxton I walked around with Adrian Bergman (Group Design Manager at British Standard by Plain English and Plain English). He told me of how people come in and immerse themselves in the kitchens, the excitement of the doors closing, the weight of the wood & the inspiration of the space around them. The showroom has a few different kitchen setups, ranging from strong colours to muted tones, helping encourage the customer to experiment with their BS building blocks. From Lousie Roe's perfect English Kitchen to the wild and wonderful colours from Luke Edward Hall & Duncan Campbell, British Standard acts as the launchpad to your dream kitchen. It is a must-visit to any new homeowner starting on their kitchen journey. I can't wait to go back and exclaim at the beauty of the wood and weight of those cabinet doors.