Modern versions of the general store have sprung up all over the US in the past few years. But back in 2009, when Philippa Content and Christopher Winterbourne were setting up shop under the Williamsburg Bridge, they were pioneers. Specializing in hard-to-find household essentials, the couple supplied wood-handled vegetable brushes and Le Corbusier’s favorite reading lamp to Brooklynites, many moving into their first apartments.
They shuttered their shop a few years ago (but kept it going online), and traded life on the urban frontier for decidedly cushier digs in the Hamptons with their two young kids, and chickens, too. Having gotten their bearings, they’ve just opened Housefolk on Main Street in East Hampton. Catering to a second-home-owning, pleasure-seeking crowd, it’s a grown-up version of Brook Farm, but rest assured, says Philippa: “We still follow the same philosophy that beauty and function should go hand in hand.”
Above: A woven armchair from Swaziland has been one of the shop’s overnight bestsellers.
Above: The focus is on everyday luxuries, from well-made baskets to blankets. Philippa and Christopher have international backgrounds–she grew up in northern Maine with a Puerto Rican mother and a Dutch father, he’s from London with a French mother and British father–and know where to find household basics made the old-fashioned way.
Above: Shelves are stocked with handmade ceramics, including Frances Palmer’s terracotta flowerpots and straw food domes from Swaziland.
Above: We have our eye on Housefolk’s collection of modernized blue-and-white bone china made in Stoke on Trent. A serving bowl patterned with flowers, foxes, and rabbits is $212.
Above: English ironstone pitchers start at $39 for the one-pint size. The swan-necked chair is the Nicolle, a 1933 French design originally made for use in factories and workshops; it’s available in seat- and stool-height, starting at $325.
Above: In the toiletries corner, industrial modern lighting by Workstead, a Remodelista favorite. Jardins dD’Escrivains of Gras, France, makes the perfume.
Above: Indigo blankets, throws, and shawls are a speciality.
Above: The ceramic bells are by Michele Quan. We’d like a stack of the navy-striped white linen dish towels.
Above: Baskets from Tanzania and Ghana top a bracketed display shelf.
Above: As evidenced by the brush selection, Philippa and Christopher have remained true to their roots.
Above: French stoneware breakfast bowls and lidded storage jars (the smallest with holes is a garlic keeper). See more at Housefolk.