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Ad: Refresh home and garden with top local brands

Spring is the perfect time to breathe fresh air into both home and garden. Velvet finds seven of the best local suppliers for the job

Nara Cambridge

Time to hit the refresh button on your home? Then why not take a look at Nara Cambridge’s new spring collection of striking, handcrafted homewares. From hand-painted blue and white ceramics to beautiful linens, glassware, rattan and decorative accessories, Nara Cambridge prides itself on curating beautiful and useful homewares which have been made to be loved and last.

Featuring lighter, brighter colours and textures, there’s plenty to enjoy online at nara-cambridge.com or you can follow them on Instagram @nara_cambridge for a more regular fix of interiors inspiration. You’ll find everything you need to update your home this spring and beyond.

Pembroke handwoven rattan tableware: placemat, £12, coaster, £4 , napkin rings, £12 for set of four

Website: nara-cambridge.com

Instagram: @nara_cambridge

Iris Home & Lifestyle

Based in Great Shelford, Iris Home & Lifestyle is where sophisticated design meets sustainable living, offering beautiful, ethical pieces each with a story to tell. “We love our planet-conscious homewares that inspire slow-living,” say the team. “We stock responsibly-made interior accessories of excellent craftsmanship, all in the Iris house style - timeless, natural, elegant and modern-rustic.

“We carefully choose and support the makers we work with, celebrating traditional skills, but always focusing on fairtrade and planet-positive pieces made from ecological materials such as FSC wood, certified fabrics and natural fibres. Plus, for every online order at irislifestyle.store a tree is planted.”

Olympia napkin, £13.95, Acacia wood plate, £19.95, Biloba salad set, £9.75, black wood charger, £25.95

Store: 8a Woollards Lane, Great Shelford CB22 5LZ

Website: irislifestyle.store

Instagram: @iris.home.lifestyle

Facebook: @iris.home.lifestyle

Olive & Olive

Inspired by her world travels - she’s backpacked in Africa and lived in Asia - Karen Sisterson founded interiors brand Olive & Olive to source and sell homewares with global stories to tell. Having launched with an online shop, the company has just cut the ribbon on its first bricks-and-mortar showroom, housed in a beautiful converted barn in Newport, just outside Saffron Walden.

“It’s a relaxed, warm and friendly space; no pressure, just feel free to browse, pick up some ideas and have a coffee and a chat. Please call ahead and feel free to drop in,” says Karen, whose eye for artisan products can be seen in every item on show and sale, with stock spanning “cushions, footstools, lighting, mirrors, chairs and other artefacts and curios designed to complement a modern home”.

Hand-etched brass trays from India, £70 for the set of two with 10% off when visiting the showroom

Showroom: Ringers Farmhouse, Debden Road, Newport CB11 3RY

Website: oliveandolive.co.uk

Phone: 01799 333522


Located in the seaside town of Lowestoft, Gardenman showcases everything from sofa sets, dining groups, sun loungers, daybeds, pergolas, garden accessories and so much more in its two floor superstore.

“Featuring a wide selection of rattan, outdoor fabric and metal garden furniture, you can be sure to find the set that meets your aesthetic and practical needs,” say the team. “Visit us in-store or online to explore our huge collections of garden furniture at fantastic pre-season prices - and don’t forget we also offer free next working day delivery on in-stock sets.”

Showroom: 1-23 Suffolk Road, Lowestoft NR32 1DZ

Website: gardenman.co.uk

The Emerald Lounge

Drawing on her love of the great outdoors and first-hand understanding of nature’s unrivalled ability to lift our spirits and spaces, interior designer Jana Robinson is on a mission “to unlock the power of nature indoors for people across the UK”.

“I specialise in connecting your living and workspaces with nature. It’s called Biophilic design and it is good for you! Biophilia = love for nature,” she explains. “By replicating textures, patterns, shapes and colour from nature and cleverly integrating them into your indoor spaces, you will feel better, work better, build stronger relationships and learn more effectively. You, and those around you, will come alive!”

Jana works one-to-one with both individuals and businesses - see her website or call for more information.

Website: theemeraldlounge.co.uk

Phone: 07792 003574

Instagram: @theemeraldlounge

Iris & Violet

Stocking a host of independent fashion, home and gift brands not found elsewhere locally, such as Y.A.S, FRNCH, Grace & Mila and Bloomingville, Iris & Violet arrived in the city centre last summer and has fast become a favourite lifestyle shop with Cambridge residents.

The store’s carefully curated selection of homeware has proved particularly popular, giving a fresh Scandinavian take on home interiors. “Every room needs an extra throw or two to make your living space cosy and comforting,” say the team, “and these recycled cotton throws are perfect to drape over your sofa or bed for a warm and inviting look.”

Throws start at £20

Shop: 4 St Mary's Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PQ

Website: irisandviolet.shop

Instagram: @irisandviolet_shop


Gardenology’s indoor showroom shows and sells a wide variety of landscaping materials and garden products - the latest addition being stock tanks. Made from galvanised steel and available in sizes from 4ft to 8ft in rounds or ovals, they can be used for everything from ponds and planters to paddling pools, hot tubs, ice baths and cold water therapy.

“The benefits of cold water therapy are numerous,” say the team. “It’s said to improve circulation, help stimulate your immune system, boost your metabolism, reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, spike your energy levels and deepen your sleep.”

Supplying everything you need to make your stock tank project perfect, from wood fired heaters and covers to bespoke colourways and vinyl stickers, Gardenology also offers a full installation service, creating “built-in tanks with decking, paving covered pergolas, lighting and many more things to create an amazing outdoor space”.

Tanks are priced from £310, with free delivery in East Anglia

Showroom: Unit 3 Acorn Business Centre, Oaks Drive, Newmarket CB8 7SX

Website: gardenology.uk

Call: 01638 354267 or 07954 341777

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