Monday, 11 July 2011

R.I.P. Habitat

Habitat store in the city of Bath
The ‘credit crunch’ has brought to its knees one of my favourite stores.  Over the past 50 years the Habitat store, Sir Terence Conran’s baby, and arbiter of contemporary style in the 1960s has gone into liquidation.

In the first instance a friend, an architect, introduced me to a style of decorating the home that did not have to consist of chintzy curtains, floral carpets, and dark, nondescript furniture.

Around that time a Habitat store opened on the Tottenham Court Road, London. They introduced a completely new way of furnishing the home.

I was captivated by their products, and have purchased lots of things over the years. I liked their clean cut lines, and use of light coloured wood. The curtain fabrics were influenced by Scandanavian designs, i.e simple patterns in muted colours. The cutlery was stainless steel with a sleek but functional style. Habitat sold a lifestyle.

Since Sir Terence sold the business several years ago, the world of contemporary furniture has moved on, and sadly they no longer stood out from the crowd.  

2 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    This is indeed a sad state of affairs, for we too have loved Habitat for many of the reasons which you give here. When we lived in London, the Tottenham Court Road store with Heals as its neighbour was a regular haunt.

    As you say, times change and to stay alive in business these days there must always be the 'new look'. Such a pity that Habitat could not seem to meet these challenges.

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  2. Hello Jane & Lance - the list of businesses going to the wall at the moment is growing day by day - it is very worrying. Heals was a favourite of mine too.

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