ISSUE 45  |  London Calling

A New Emporium Devoted to the Tried and True

November 11, 2014 4:00 PM

BY Margot Guralnick

At Brighton’s new general store Workshop, the focus is on tried-and-tried housewares of wood, ceramic, and linen. “Simplicity is what best defines our aesthetic,” says Jayson Tane-Smiler, a veteran of the retail world, who opened the store with fellow aesthete (and former financier) Ryan Kersop. An easy day trip from London, the shop is set in the seaside town’s historic Lanes district. It’s worth making a pilgrimage to stock up on hard-to-find basics and take in the ocean, a two-minute stroll away.

Above: Workshop is set in an old office building that the previous occupants converted into an art gallery. The stucco facade is original; Jayson and Ryan painted it in a charcoal called Railings from Farrow & Ball. “The wire plant rack is, in fact, one of our window security grills that get removed each morning,” says Jayson. “We adorn them with various potted plants; the ones shown are Alpine shrubs.”

Above: “We opened Workshop to share our passion for products that have a usefulness in everyday life,” says Jayson, whose creds include working as an operations manager for Diptyque Paris. The utility corner is stocked with Beech and Horsehair Dustpan Brushes, £15 ($23.78), that hang from Birch Peg Rails; £14 ($22.20) for a four-peg length.

Above: Jayson tells us: “We stripped it back the interior to its core, salvaging the concrete floor, and fitting it very simply with shelves of reclaimed timber and a butcher’s zinc sink.” 

Above: The vintage sink displays kitchen tools, including Wooden Lemon Reamers that are based on 19th-century designs; £3.50 ($5.55).

Above: Solid oak Wooden Soap Dishes are £5 ($7.93) and horsehair Body Brushes are £15 ($23.78).

Above: Plant-based bath products from France in displayable brown bottles.

Above: Workshop has an extensive line of dishwasher-safe white enamelware; Casserole Pots (top right shelf) come in three sizes and start at £25 ($39.64). Enamel Measuring Jugs (bottom row) are £12 ($19).

Above: Beech Chopping Boards; the smallest is £12 ($19). 

Above: Woven from a fiber called hogla, rustic Storage Baskets are offered in five sizes, starting at £18 ($28.54).

Above: White stoneware by ceramicist Charlotte Storrs is housed in a custom-made display chest.

Above: Recycled Glass tableware for serving wine and water. The Recycled Glass Bottles work equally well as vases; £13 ($20.61).

Above: Succulents in white stoneware are lined up under a copper utensil rail.

Above: The kids’ section is filled with French Wood Toys made of sustainable beech. To see more, go to Workshop.

If you like Workshop’s approach to housewares, take a look at these kindred UK shops:

 Below: Workshop is situated just blocks from the Brighton Pier. Brighton is an hour and a half from London via British Rail.