An Interior Design Lover's Guide to Brighton
It’s always great to get a weekend break away and Brighton has to top of the list if you are an interior design lover. As I lived in Brighton for 12 years and only recently moved to the countryside just outside it’s safe to say I’ve got a lot of insider knowledge to share on one of my favourite cities in the world! Follow my tips and make sure you book a weekend away soon to explore this amazing city.
Places to Go
A stroll along Brighton’s seafront is refreshing in the Summer and bracing in the Winter but always rewarded with beautiful views. Most houses in central Brighton have tiny courtyards instead of gardens and outside space is something of a luxury so Brighton folk love to get out and about along the seafront, city parks or up on to the South Downs national park to enjoy outdoor space.
Regency buildings in Brunswick Square, Hove
Walking along the seafront from the Hove end of town you’ll see magnificent crescents which are some of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country. The buildings are adorned with traditional Georgian features such as corinthian columns and floor to ceiling windows as well as this the position of the buildings in the crescent is designed to ensure every home has a sea view.
Walk along the sea front by Hove beach huts to the i360 in the distance
Stroll along with the joggers, rollerbladers and dog walkers as you pass by the iconic Hove beach huts at Hove Lawns, each painted in their own bright colours. Walk on past the ruins of the old West Pier to one of Brighton’s newest landmarks the i360. Take a ride on the i360 and enjoy a glass of Nyetimber sparkling wine from the South Downs or a Brighton Gin and tonic as you take in a bird’s eye view of the city and it’s architecture.
The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion and gardens
Brighton’s most iconic landmark is a must see for architecture, design and interior lovers. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for the King George IV in the early 19th Century by architect John Nash, this magnificent oriental style palace is a tribute to the King’s love of oriental art and architecture.
The Royal Pavilion Music Room
For the interiors no expense is spared, with every room lavishly decorated with specially imported Chinese furniture and hand painted wallpapers.
The Royal Pavilion Long Gallery
If you are a fan of colourful interiors and maximalist decor then the Royal Pavilion really is a must-see for it's opulent decor on a grand scale.
The Pavilion estate also includes the buildings of the Brighton Museum, Brighton Dome which were the former royal stables and now make up Brighton Museum and the Brighton Dome Concert venue.
The Brighton Museum decorative arts collection has some superb 20th Century furnishing including the Salvador Dali lips sofa. There’s also furniture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Ron Arad and Charles Eames. The ceramic collection includes pieces by Picasso , Eric Ravillous, Grayson Perry and one of the most collected ceramicists Clarice Cliff.
20th Century Design Gallery at Brighton Museum
Shopping in Brighton
Brighton is a shopper's paradise for interiors lovers.There’s some big names in the town centre with Heal’s offering 5 floors of contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories in Duke Street and a huge HomeSense next to Churchill Square in the town centre. This year Brighton’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise for home lovers is confirmed with the return of Habitat and the recent opening of a new flagship store in the town.
Habitat store in Brighton
I'm really pleased to see the return of this store as when I set up home in Brighton it was in the first house I owned and I bought many of my essential home items from the Habitat store that was in the town centre.
Habitat store in North Street
I missed it when it went. So I'm pleased to see the big new town centre store with 2 floors of furniture and home accessories I'm sure it will be popular with the design loving homeowners of Brighton.
Alongside well known high street stores you'll find a fabulous selection of independent stores for interiors in the Brighton districts of The Lanes, North Laine, Kemptown and neighbouring Hove.
North Laine and The Lanes
The North Laine and The Lanes are Brighton's most vibrant shopping areas. The North Laine is the closest to Brighton station so I’m starting here.
Bluebelle and Co
Close to Brighton station on Trafalgar Street you'll find this vintage inspired store which sells a beautiful range of clothing, accessories and homeware from British Brand Powell Craft. Alongside a very colourful selection gorgeous textiles from Ian Snow, House of Disaster and Pip Studio ceramics.
Don't miss the Dowse Design store in Gloucester Road which stocks their own collection of design led gifts as well as hosting a lovely collection of jewellery, art prints and homewares from other local designers and makers.
The Lavender Room
The Lavender Room in Bond Street stocks an eclectic mix of carefully sourced home accessories. The range is vintage inspired and includes beautiful painted crockery as well as this there's jewellery, pretty lingerie & nightwear,
Filled with interior accessories, lighting and soft furnishings Abode Living has a well curated collection of finishing touches to help you add personality and style to your home.
For lovers of vintage treasures there's Snoopers Paradise in Kensington Gardens. A vintage market including stalls selling furniture clothes, art and homewares. It's a popular spot and can get very crowded at the weekends but always worth a visit as you never know what you might find. If you're visiting on a Saturday there's a street market in Upper Gardener Street in North Laine which has an interesting mix of vintage and Bric a Brac.
England at Home
Cross over North Street (don't forget to pop into Habitat!) and on in to discover The Lanes. Here England at Home has two stores in Ship Street which stock a colourful range of design led homewares.
Tucked away amongst all the jewellery stores you'll find Papillon Living. The first thing that you'll notice when you enter this store is that it smells amazing. Probably one of the best places in Brighton to buy luxury candles with a great selection to choose from. If you love dark decor velvet and luxe interiors this is the place for you. Keep an eye out for Lola who is often in the store and features on their instagram account... can you spot her in this picture?
Rume make the most beautiful sofas and if you love velvet sofas this is definitely the place to come. They also stock a wide range of cushions, lighting and accessories in this beautiful store.
Igigi General Store
A beautifully curated range of homewares with a global aesthetic and an emphasis on beautiful craftsmanship. This is one you won't want to miss. Situated at the Hove end of Western Road there's also a cafe and a womenswear boutique nearby.
Where to eat
Pike and Pine
Pop over to Kemptown to enjoy pretty plates of food from the tasting menu at Pike and Pine in St James's Street.
Ivy in The Lanes
The Ivy Brasserie recently opened in Brighton and has quickly become a popular spot so you'll need to book ahead for this one but it is worth it. I first discovered the Ivy Brasserie on a visit to Bath so it was exciting news to there would be one in Brighton
The interiors are quite stunning. With a bold use of colour and pattern they're almost as mouth watering as the food! The walls feature Brighton inspired artwork including pieces depicting the pier, sea-life and Brighton beach all set against a backdrop of leather banquettes a striking onyx bar and twinkling pendant lighting.
Where to stay
A fabulous location overlooking the West Pier in Regency Square, The Artists Residence was decorated by local artists in return for free board, resulting in beautiful rooms each with their own unique character.
Blanch House is Brighton's original boutique hotel. Situated in a Georgian Townhouse in Kemptown it's 12 bedrooms are perfectly appointed with stylish decor and modern bathrooms.
So that's my hit list for your visit to Brighton. Come and visit soon and If you have any special Brighton places you'd like to share with us leave us a comment below.