Design hub: Columbia Road

Long famous for its exuberant Sunday flower market, London’s Columbia Road is now also a hub for independent design shops. It’s not really a shopping experience for those who enjoy quiet, reflective browsing; Columbia Road on the Sabbath is more of an elbows-in experience as you fight the tide of people who stop by for a bunch of tulips and then accidently come away with a vintage armchair or a brilliant contemporary print. Many shops only open on Sundays to coincide with the market, but a lot of them have an online presence too: not quite as exciting as being there, but the next best thing. Try Elphick’s and Nelly Duff for prints and other affordable art, Treacle for kitchen stuff old and new (and frivolous cakes) Supernice for cool wall stickers, and round the corner in Ezra Street, Ben Southgate for time-mellowed early-20th-century furniture and lighting.

Urban alphabet tiles by Big Tomato (A is, of course, for Anglepoise), as spotted in Supernice

Urban alphabet tiles by Big Tomato (A is, of course, for Anglepoise), as spotted in Supernice

3-D stag screenprint by Miss Aida Wild, on sale at Nelly Duff

3-D stag screenprint by Miss Aida Wild, on sale at Nelly Duff

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