Since moving from London to Manchester I’ve been delighted to discover a wealth of design lifestyle stores in and around the city, all as good —if not better (!)— than those I’d grown accustomed to down South.
Now, this design sourcebook is by no means exhaustive as I’ve only been exploring my local neighbourhoods for a few short months, but I thought I’d round-up five of my faves so far as they really are too good not to share..
If you’re planning a visit to this beautiful city soon, be sure to make these stylish Manchester design shops top of your to-do list:
Literally every Manchester-based interiors blogger I’d spoken to prior to moving told me I simply had to visit Object in Chorlton, and they weren’t wrong! Founded by husband and wife team, Alex and Rachael Otterwell, Object opened its bricks-and-mortar store on Barlow Moor Road last September and has quickly become a byword for stylish design in the city.
Being located outside the city centre in a leafy Manchester suburb means this unique neighbourhood store has a charm that extends far beyond its fantastic edit of menswear, womenswear and objects for the home. You can’t help but be drawn in by the stylish shopfront that jumps out amongst an unassuming line-up along this quiet stretch of road, and when you step inside you are immediately greeted with a friendly smile and cheery hello from either Alex or Rachael, who man the shop between them and are as much a draw as the gorgeous products!
Supporting small independent business is at the heart of Object’s ethos, and all of their pieces are sourced directly from designer makers who have often been discovered via Instagram and Pinterest, to ensure an edit that feels fresh and unique. Whilst the shop is fairly small, it packs in a lot of beautiful design pieces with a strong emphasis on simplicity and function; Object Woman showcases super-comfy organic linen everyday wear alongside handcrafted artisan jewellery, while Object Man includes founder Alex’s own Otterwell shirting brand, as well as casual knitwear and men’s skincare from Honest. Of course, my favourite pieces are those in the Object Home edit: Hasami porcelain showcased alongside 1970s dip-dyed ceramics and jewel toned glassware.
→Object, 519 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, M21
If there were ever an interiors store I’d happily just move straight in to, then Moth on Burton Road in West Didsbury is most definitely the one! Owned by stylist and interior designer Hazel Marchant, Moth has a beautifully curated edit of Scandi boho design pieces that remind me of many of the dreamy Australian design brands I’ve long coveted from afar on Instagram. The whole store has the most wonderfully serene atmosphere with an organic eclectic twist that makes you want to pause awhile and just breathe in the beauty of it all – especially if toy poodle Monty is around to greet you with endless cuddles and excitable joy! I’ve already snapped up a gorgeous wall hanging and multiple ceramic pieces for my home but would happily have it all such is the quality —and affordability— of Hazel’s impeccable selection, which encompasses not just home decoration but also delicate jewellery, scarves and handbags, all styled against a clean, white palette of raw, natural materials.
→Moth, 154 Burton Road, West Didsbury, M20
Located directly opposite the Market Hall in Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter is quirky interiors and gift store Idaho, which takes its name from the American state origins of the western cedar wood that gives the shop a warm, welcoming feel and lovely heady scent. Founded by interior stylist Amy Bartlett, Idaho stocks a colourful array of decorative homewares, ceramics, stationery, gift wrap and cards that make this the perfect place for finding an unusual gift for that difficult-to-buy-for person. There’s an emphasis on work from small designers and brands from Europe and the States, with natural skincare from Meraki sitting alongside organic linen aprons and woven basketware, plus unique jewellery designs from the likes of Datter Industries and Marta Pia.
→Idaho, 56 Greenwood Street, Altrincham
Rose & Grey
Rose & Grey were probably the best known to me of all the Manchester design stores prior to my move up North, having had a successful online business for more than eight years. Founders Guy and Lyndsey Goodger opened their bricks-and-mortar showroom in an old warehouse on an industrial estate in their hometown of Altrincham a year ago, selling everything from furniture and lighting to kitchenware, wallpaper and decorative accessories, including an extensive selection of wonderfully lifelike faux plants. There’s a definite vintage flair mixed with contemporary elements in store, marrying the natural wood and exposed brick of their warehouse location with splashes of vibrant colour and industrial accent pieces, with a Scandinavian twist. Having seen the brand grow online over the years it was wonderful to finally get to visit them and experience the full Rose & Grey aesthetic in the flesh, and fall in love with quirkier pieces I may not have truly appreciated simply scrolling through online. There’s also a dedicated corner of the showroom for you to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, pore over swatches, chat with the team and get inspired – which makes the slight trek out of the city centre well worth the trip!
→Rose & Grey, 31 Atlantic Street, Altrincham, WA14
Now, I’ve not actually made it out to Room 356‘s physical store in Bolton just yet, but if their weekend stand at Altrincham’s covered marketplace is anything to go by, I definitely need to ensure my bankcard is fully charged before I do. Founded by mother-daughter duo Cassie and Bev in October 2014, Room 356 offers home and lifestyle products with a pared-back aesthetic, celebrating the understated, beautiful and timeless. As soon as I rounded on their stall at Altrincham market I knew I was going to want to snap up pretty much everything they offer, from simple elegant plant pots and sleek geometric jewellery holders, to boho baskets and monotype prints. I can’t wait to visit their bricks-and-mortar store now!
→Room 356 @ Altrincham Market, Greenwood Street, WA14
→Room 356, 356 Chorley Old Road, Bolton, BL1
All store photography © Kate Baxter. All product imagery © respective brands.