ISSUE 36  |  The British House

Caro: A Design Shop by Way of Love in Somerset

September 11, 2015 10:00 AM

BY Izabella Simmons

Could the small town of Bruton in Somerset be England’s answer to Marfa? Acclaimed hotel and restaurant At the Chapel opened its doors in 2008, followed last year by Hauser & Wirth‘s ambitious international arts complex and inn. And now there’s Caro, a design store and cafe founded by London creative Natalie Jones.

Jones discovered Bruton eight years ago, when she fell in love with a local fellow. She’s been weekend commuting to Somerset ever since, but her work life remained in London–she did fashion and architecture branding for Winkreative and, before that, trend forecasting at the Future Laboratory and interior styling for magazines. When Hauser & Wirth arrived, she decided to make the move herself and open Caro. “Photographers, artists, chefs, they’re all here. And, thanks to the Hauser & Wirth gallery, it’s also a town that is visited by people from all over the world, so it seemed right for me to set my retail roots down in this spot,” says Jones. We plan to make the pilgrimage.

Photography by Emma Lewis for Caro

Above: A peek into the shop from a tile-clad window with enamelware by Welsh brand “‹Blodwen on display. Caro occupies three ground-floor rooms in an 18th-century stone building, and the Victorian green tiles, Jones tells us, were revealed under a layer of cream paint. “All it took was a bit of scrubbing.” 

Above: An array of household goods, from wire bins to local ceramics and cushions, are displayed on steel-framed plywood shelves made by Paul Vincent. Reading materials are displayed on a Vincent table with a Forbo Marmoleum top and hairpin legs.

Looking for your own woven pendant lights? See our Design Sleuth post.

Above: Desk organizers by Danish design studios Hay and Nomess.

Above: The pendant lights in the window are by “‹Fritz Fryer. The doors are painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball–because of the historic building’s Grade II listing, Jones was required to use distemper.

Above: The walls at Caro, including the cafe, shown here, are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground. Like the magazine display table, the counter/bar area”‹ has a Forbo Marmoleum top. The oak Copenhague Bar Stools are by Hay. 

Above: A Copenhague Table CPH30 (plywood with green linoleum top) is paired with J110 Chairs and  J77 Chairs (black lacquered beech), all by Hay. The lamps are from Rockett St George.

Above: The fireplace niche is stacked with wood. 

Above: Caro owner, Natalie Jones, behind her counter offering salted-caramel brownies from Somerset artisanal baker The Bakemonger. The counter is clad in”‹ Geometric Cube Tiles by “‹Mandarin Stone”‹, and the white Porcelain Ceiling Mounted Fittings are by Thomas Hoof from SCP. Stay tuned: Jones will offer guests a room to rent above the shop later this fall and has a suite in the works for spring. Like the look of her shop? She’s also available for interior design commissions.

Here are three more reasons to visit Somerset: