As you may know, Dan and I bought a house together back in November. It has been a totally new adventure for us, and I never realised how into interiors I could become! As we moved in just before Christmas, we hot-footed into getting they key rooms decorated as furnished with the basics. It was a bit of a whirlwind if I’m honest, but this period of lockdown has given us the opportunity to really enjoy our new place and add the cosy characteristics that really make a house feel like a home.
We are approaching our six-month ‘house-iversary’ in a few weeks, and I thought now might be a good time to give you a little bit more of an insight into our home. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you some of the independent homeware brands from Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas that we really love.
Making our house a Milton Keynes home
I buy as much of my food and drink from local producers as possible and eat at local restaurants, so it makes sense to carry that small business mindset into our home.
We haven’t furnished our entire house with locally sourced items of course. Most of our furniture is from the high street but we have added our own personality with pieces from local businesses. This has been the most fun part of owning a home – adding all the finishing touches!
Although this post primarily focusses on the independent homeware brands we have in our house, I have included details of where the other items in the picture are from as I know I will get questions about them. I hope this post helps you discover new small businesses to support.
Outhouse By Hand
Outhouse is a bespoke furniture company based in Stony Stratford and is one of the most prominent local brands in our home. It’s not quite in every room, but we’re getting there! Owned by Greg Barnard, Outhouse creates furniture and homewares from reclaimed scaffolding. This gives it a rustic yet industrial feel that we love.
We have a custom dining table from Outhouse, which we love. We also have two very sweet signs! One was a housewarming gift, so we won’t ever forget the day we got the keys (It was actually on the day of my supper club at The Brasserie!) and the other was a Christmas gift that was very fitting as Dan and I met on Bumble.
However, our favourite piece has to be our incredible custom desk and shelving unit in our office which has been a godsend recently, as both Dan and I have been working from home. Greg came round and measured up, took note of our specifications – we wanted two shelves and a standard desk height/depth – then he came and installed it a month later. We are so pleased with it and it goes beautifully with our rainforest green wall. It’s perfect for us as we have a very separate room for work, and can both work next to each other. We certainly didn’t realise how much use we would be getting out of our home office it this year!
Pottery by Andrew MacDermott
Andrew MacDermott is a Milton Keynes based pottery maker. Each of Andrew’s pieces is handcrafted and inspired by the glaciers and geysers of the Icelandic landscape, which really shines through. I love the calming colours and bold glazes – the pieces are perfect for adding a touch of personality to a room and would also make a lovely gift for someone!
I have long admired Andrew’s pottery and I finally invested in a beautiful vase for the decorative shelves in our lounge. Although we haven’t been to Iceland, it’s a very special piece and looks lovely with a (fake!) hanging plant. You can find out more about Andrew’s community work on his website: www.andrewmacdermott.com
You can also buy through his Etsy shop which is currently closed due to the lockdown, but will reopen once it has lifted.
Wombat’s Woodshop is another local business who uses reclaimed wood to make home accessories. Based in Bletchley, this small business makes a range of signs, chopping boards, butter knives and other pieces for your home. Some of the pieces come from old furniture, wooden worktops and even scrap wood which would otherwise end up on landfill.
I have a very cute little soap dish* that I keep my Conchus body wash bars on, as well as a mini chopping board to slice lemons on for my G&Ts. I was also given a knife* made from cedar wood that is a very handy butter knife as it doesn’t tear soft bread. The little things, eh!?
You can usually find Wombat’s Woodshop at various local craft fairs, but at the moment, you can order through their Facebook shop.
Jen Roffe is a lettering artist from Hertfordshire, so although she is not strictly Milton Keynes, she often frequents the MK Handmade and Vintage Market in the centre:mk. I met her at the March 2020 event just before the world turned upside down and fell in love with her beautiful prints.
I purchased the Milton Keynes Map Print which is currently in our en suite, though I would like to move it to somewhere more visible. It features all the spots in Milton Keynes, included a little illustrated Bletchley Park Mansion, which I adore!
I dare you not to fall in love with at least one print from her website: jenroffe.com.
Another local brand that I discovered at the MK Handmade & Vintage Market is KICA Living. Based in Leighton Buzzard, this is an earth-friendly brand that sells upcycled homewares. Think tin can candles and refillable diffusers that smell glorious!
In fact, I must add KICA to my guide to sustainable businesses! I have a range of diffusers in various rooms which I really love. My favourite is Wild Fig & Cassis! Once you have purchased a diffuser jar and the reeds, you simply order the liquid refills for half the price. They last a few months too which is one of the longer-lasting diffusers I have found.
You can purchase KICA Living products via their website: www.kicaliving.com
Hello, I am now addicted to candles… O&H Candles is based in Bedfordshire and sells 100% soy wax candles. I absolutely adore the Rose & Vanilla scented candle* – it smells so delicate and sweet and looked so classy in our lounge! O&H has also recently released a new diffuser range which is also fabulous. I have the Seychelles diffuser* in our home office and it smells so fresh! The candles look expensive but are all under £20. They would make lovely gifts too.
You can buy O&H Candles via Etsy. Use the code SOPH10 to get 10% off your order.
I love scouting out unique pieces from local shops and brands, so I know that I will be adding more to this guide as we continue to make our house. a home. Make sure you follow me on Instagram for more #SophieetcHome content!
What are your favourite homeware and home accessory brands in Milton Keynes? Let me know if you have any recommendations that I would love!
*Items marked with an asterix were previously gifted but I have not been obliged to post about them on my blog.
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- Guide to Sustainable Businesses and Initiatives in Milton Keynes
- The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Shopping in Milton Keynes
- Best Independent Alternatives to Chain Restaurants in Milton Keynes