We speak with Drew Harriman, part owner of Harriman & Co in Leicester, about style, design and sustainability.
Drew and partner James opened the doors of Harriman & Co in 2014 and have quickly found that their combined skills make for a very successful and popular store.
“I have spent years in travel and homewares while James has spent the past 20 years running his own education consultancy business.”
As a child, Drew loved a visit to a local National Trust House and was always fascinated by historic buildings, their interiors and parkland settings.
“I have always loved houses, architecture and interiors.”
Drew’s mother has also had a big influence on his eye for design, having always managed to put together a beautiful home across the many houses that they have lived in over the years.
After 12 years of living and working for interior designers and bespoke furniture stores in New Zealand and Australia, Drew was set on running his own business.
“I’d always had a dream of having my own shop, so when fate brought me back home to Leicestershire it wasn’t long before James and I opened the shop.”
Harriman & Co is an independent homewares and furniture store in the ‘Old Town’ of Leicester.
“We aim to offer a collection of well-chosen and ever changing furniture and homeware.”
With their emphasis being on natural and ethical products, Harriman & Co pride themselves on authenticity, functionality and classic & modern design.
“The store offers all sorts of useful kitchen items, tableware, bodycare, scented candles, furniture and baskets.”
“There is a great range of locally made ceramics, textiles, print and stationery.”
“From across the world we offer fair-trade rugs, vintage kilims, other furniture pieces, mirrors and lighting.”
“We love thoughtful design and simple functional objects with a natural, nostalgic feel. Lasting, elemental materials are important to us too; whether that’s glass, timber, metal, ceramic or stoneware.”
As well as supplying an array of products suited to the modern day home, Harriman & Co also have their own small range of oak furniture which they design and manufacture in their Leicestershire workshop.
Since launching in 2014, trends in design and interiors continue to change.
“Things were definitely industrial and vintage when we first opened the store and that has slowly given way to a more ethnic, rustic vibe. People are also looking for more handmade, eco-friendly and fair trade products.”
In order to keep up with the latest trends, Harriman & Co utilise travel, social media, interior publications and home interior blogs, but insist that it is important not to follow trends just for the sake of it.
“It is important to also lead and offer new design choices while considering all other aspects such as sustainability.”
“A home should reflect your own personality and style, people shouldn’t necessarily feel they need to have the latest look or be too fashion led. For me personally, it’s about well chosen and considered pieces with longevity, purpose and meaning.”
Harriman & Co have recently been involved in a project where they helped a couple to renovate their 1920’s house.
“I love the stories these period houses have to tell and the layers of history that they reveal.”
“This particular house, which has been lived in by the same family for over 60 years, had retained most of its originality. The 1950’s kitchen with its baby blue and white paint was in such good condition that it could be carefully removed and sold on eBay to a very happy new owner.”
The house was very carefully modernised while still keeping and restoring its original features.
“I absolutely loved the new colour schemes, particularly the lounge where we used ‘Hague Blue’, it looked stunning alongside the stripped floor, Kilim rugs and Ochre Velvet curtains.”
One of Drew’s most prominent memories at Harriman & Co was the reinterment of King Richard III.
“The week of events and ceremonies caused such a wonderful buzz around Leicester, particularly the ‘Old Town’ area, and of course all over the world’s media.”
Drew mentioned that it was a proud moment to meet visitors from all over the world who were having such a lovely time in the city.
“We were watching from our upstairs window above the shop and the streets were crowded with people. It was funny because many people started taking pictures of James and I sitting with our legs hanging out, as we secretly drank beer from our specially designed ‘Car ParKING’ mugs.”
What does the future hold? Harriman & Co are looking forward to growing and evolving, bringing their customers new and unexpected things.
Some of Drew’s favourite blogs and instagram accounts include: @jordanbunker @theworldofinteriors @haydesign @baileyshome @haeckels @tradchap @manwithahammer @pottershousemallorca @design_hotels remodelista.com @themodernhouse @carlhansenandson @normarchitects @fermliving @framacph