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On Monday, when I posted the Coming Up this Week post describing my topic–British Influence–and outlining what would be covered, I included a sentence that turns out to be chock full of errors: “Designer Terrance Conran founded one of the first lifestyle brands when he opened The Conran Shop.” Well, chock full may be hyperbole, but there are two pretty big (and stupid) mistakes there. First of all, it’s Terence Conran, not Terrance; then there’s the fact that The Conran Shop–the current incarnation of the Conran lifestyle brand–only came about after Conran’s first retail endeavor, Habitat, was no longer under his control.


Terence Conran founded Habitat in 1964. |

50 years ago–in May of 1964, to be precise–Conran founded Habitat, the first British retailer to position interior design in the lifestyle category. This was less than two years after the first Crate and Barrel opened in Chicago and almost 15 years before Ikea came to England. The way products were showcased at Habitat set the standard for furniture and housewares retailers for decades to follow, and Habitat’s focus on affordable design had a tremendous impact on how the first post-war generation decorated and lived in their homes.

The Conran Shop

The Conran Shop Chelsea, London location. |

Today, the Conran lifestyle brand is brought to life via The Conran Shop’s locations in London, Paris, and Japan. The intervening years and evolution of Terence Conran’s influence on how we live today included merging Habitat with another brand and creating Storehouse; ultimately, The Conran Shop grew out of that and is currently under the leadership of Jasper Conran, one of the elder Conran’s children. Under Jasper Conran’s leadership, the brand has retooled its retail establishments to include The Conran Apartment, an entire floor of the store designed to show off collections of both in-house designs and the best of curated home furnishings from other brands. Here’s a look at The Conran Apartment from their Marylebone store:

The Conran Shop tour on Japanese Trash. |

The Conran Shop tour on Japanese Trash. |

The Conran Shop tour on Japanese Trash. |

The Conran Shop tour on Japanese Trash. |

The Conran Shop tour on Japanese Trash. |


I often find interior design inspiration in films, and this adaptation of the comic book “Kingsman: The Secret Service” looks to be full of great sets that can spark all kinds of ideas for your space. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

The Tailor Shop

Interior inspiration from the upcoming film, Kingsman: The Secret Service. |

To my American eyes, this could not be more clearly traditional British interior design–lots of wood, a leather easy chair, framed photos, and brass accents. Some rooms that use the same elements to great effect include these:

The Sydney home of Leah Fraser & David Shrimpton. |

The Sydney home of Leah Fraser and David Shrimpton.

A terrific update of the wood, leather, and brass look. |

This terrific update of the wood, leather, and brass look happens to be in a Swedish hotel.

Designers Roman and Williams know how to modernize traditional looks. |

Designers Roman and Williams know how to modernize traditional looks for today’s lifestyle.

Secret Entrance

Every spy movie needs a secret entrance. |

What’s a spy movie–especially a funny one–without a secret entrance? I especially like the brick and tile work and have rounded up a few examples of how that translates into interiors:

Brick floor & subway tiled walls; terrific! |

Loving the look of this kitchen with brick floors and full walls of subway tile.

Green subway tile always makes for a great look. |

The green subway tile here looks great with wood and stainless steel–as good as it does with brick.

Gorgeous green subway tile used in this Barcelona hotel. |

More gorgeous green subway tile used throughout the bathrooms of the Hotel Praktik Rambla in Barcelona.

I hope these examples have given you some ideas for how films can inspire your home decorating projects. Have a look at the trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service — it looks good, don’t you think?

p.s. A couple of the pieces in these images are available on the Japanese Trash Shop; here they are for your convenience:

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