I’m always excited when I discover inspiring new homeware brands, particularly when they’re located in and around Bristol. So, I’m delighted to introduce Midgley Green, a Somerset-based website with a beautifully crafted range of pieces. Over to co-founder Katherine to explain more…
Please can you tell us a bit about Midgley Green?
“It’s an online homewares retailer founded by me (Katherine Midgley) and Seamus Green. We’re a husband-and-wife team tucked away in the South West of England, and we focus on products crafted by both maker and place. We aim to bring our customers items with honesty, integrity and simplicity, and we value traditional methods without losing sight of the contemporary aesthetic. We’re proud of heritage and determined to use materials found on our doorstep, and we want to support makers who feel the same way.”
What’s your background?
“We both studied fine art at university; I’m a drawer and Seamus is a painter. We’ve always dreamt of owning a homewares shop that would utilise the network of makers that we’ve built up over the years, as well as our own creative backgrounds. As artists we learnt to be self-motivated and critical, but we also learnt that the art world wasn’t for us! We wanted to find an outlet for art and design where the boundaries are clearer and craft is valued, and to sell products that are as functional as they are beautiful.”
How did it start?
“Really Midgley Green started on the day we met six years ago! But we’ve been actively planning to launch our own business for the last year or so. Being in control of our own affairs is something that has been engrained in us since our days at university; we want to love what we do and put all our energy into whatever that might be.”
How would you describe your style?
“It’s constantly evolving, but we’re always drawn to quality pieces that have longevity. We love the texture and surface of crafted items, and we believe that any objects made and designed well can sit together seamlessly, regardless of when they were produced. At home we often place vintage next to contemporary and, although Midgley Green only sells newly made pieces, many of our products are influenced by classic designs.”
What inspires you?
“Seeing other people’s homes inspires us to create and source products. Blogs such as These Four Walls, for example, are a brilliant inspiration for us as we’re always amazed by the determination people show in expressing their creativity through their living spaces.
“Beyond interiors, a lot of inspiration for our brand comes from the outdoors. We feel at home in the vast, open countryside and it influences and informs the pieces we sell, from the beauty of the grain in a fallen tree to the comfort and warmth of a winter hide. Each product is in tune with the land we stomp, embracing where it’s come from through materials and design.”
Where do you source your products?
“We travel around to find contemporary makers who use traditional methods, many of whom are secluded away in rural nooks and crannies around the UK. We have been to some amazing places, from the depths of Cornwall to the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Our ethos is to form a working relationship with suppliers, so we wouldn’t want to sit in front of a computer ordering from a catalogue; it’s far more interesting to be out and about, learning first-hand about the processes that go into each piece.”
What’s your favourite product from the range?
“That’s an unfair question and far too difficult to answer, but we know you won’t let us off that easily! We played a big part in the design of Felix McCormack’s candelabra [pictured at the top of this post], so we feel very attached to it. It’s a statement piece that we can imagine being completely at home in many different situations, and it has a contemporary feeling with a few of Felix’s own signature details, which we love.
“We’re also complete suckers for our ruggedly soft sheepskins, especially after visiting the tannery to see where they’re procured. It’s a very honest trade that employs some of the last true craftsmen working to create these hides. They look beautiful laid over a sofa, hung on the wall or placed on the floor.”
Any interiors tips to share?
“Mixing up textures is one of our favourite things, whether it’s the fabric and woven textiles on a sofa or a collection of ceramics placed together. Making your space tactile is a really interesting way of addressing your home.
“Also, never forget the importance of a good background. You don’t always need to use bold colours, but choosing the right tones will show your treasured pieces off in their best light.”
Finally, what do you love about living and working in the South West?
“There’s nowhere else like it! There’s something infectious about the South West’s energy for creative thinking in all areas, from design right through to food, and we have never lived anywhere else where the seasons are so prevalent. The mix of beautiful countryside with some great cities makes it a perfect place for us to run Midgley Green.”
Photography by Midgley Green