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House Curious

Lifestyle and interior shop. Social workshops for the creatively curious.

Filtering by Tag: Earl of East London

Sommer Pyne

We all know how it feels when it's minus 3 outside and the sky is a slab of dark marbled greys. But we say don’t be beaten by the January blues! We reckon it's time to embrace the dark side and indulge yourself. Here are our tips on how to survive the colder months. And to make it even more bearable how about a cosy 10% off from House Curious. Use code *warmup* at the checkout.
1.  Switch off the TV and snuggle up with a warm blanket, good book and a glass of vino or for those having a dry January a lovely hot chocolate.

2. Open your favourite cookery book and make a heart-warming meal. One of my fav cookery books at the moment is Indian Made Easy by Amandip Uppal
3. Now is the perfect time to write down your intentions & goals for the year ahead. Starting with positive thoughts and looking ahead is the best way to shift your focus to the good stuff and leave those winter blues behind.
4. Book a summer holiday. Sounds a bit paradoxical after ‘embrace the winter blues’ but by booking a holiday it means you have something to look forward to. I’ve just booked our Ibiza holiday and it was an instant mood boost. Now I’m dreaming for those beach days and long lunches.
5. Take some time to wind down. Most of us run full throttle into the new year, I’m certainly spinning a few plates but remember to take a step back and allow yourself some down time, whether its soaking in a bath and lighting your fav candle or giving meditation a go.  Take some time for you and slow down for a moment and it will do you the world of good, trust me.

Click on the images below to shop - Embrace The Winter Blues

Craft by hand

Sommer Pyne

Hi there

Don't know about you but I have a small obsession with beautiful stationery and I love the idea of handwritten notes in a world where text and emails rule. The only thing is I absolutely hate my handwriting so I rarely send a handwritten note but hopefully that is all going to change. Let me introduce you to Lucy from Quill London who is hosting an introduction to Modern Calligraphy in our Candle and Calligraphy workshop 10th July with Earl of East London. Tickets can be purchased here. 

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For those of us that are not familiar with Quill London tell us what you do.

Hello, we're a boutique dedicated to stylish stationery (online at and with a bricks-and-mortar shop in Clerkenwell) and we also have a calligraphy studio and run lots of workshops for lovely people.

What is your background and where did the idea for Quill London come from?

I love stationery, and wanted to build a brand that specialised in showcasing beautiful stationery from independent designers, makers and studios. I am not a designer but love curating our ever-changing collection of stationery. Together with an amazingly talented UK Calligrapher Imogen Owen, Quill hosted its first Modern Calligraphy workshops two years after launching Quill London, having spotted the trend over in the states and there was nowhere you could learn in London. I hadn't picked up a pen before that, but it's safe to say I've definitely caught the Modern Calligraphy bug. I love that, although unplanned, it's now such a huge part of Quill, that I get to meet all kinds of amazing people through it and work with great clients, and that I now get to teach other people too.

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In your opinion what are the hottest trends in stationery right now?

Modern Calligraphy is definitely super hot right now! But in the shop we're getting a lot of requests for personalised stationery for kids?!

What has been your proudest moment to date?

Opening our bricks-and-mortar shop earlier this year. I didn't plan or particularly dream of having a store but now that we have it, I am very proud of the achievement.

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about starting up a business?

Be prepared for a serious amount of hard work, make sure you have a good squad of friends and family to support you, research, research, research and get your mistakes out on paper in a business plan before you start, and just go for it and be prepared to go with the flow, you never know where it will take you.

What exciting things do you have in the pipeline for Quill London that you can share with us?

Hoping to launch our wedding & event stationery this year…..although it's taking a lot longer than I hoped! Maybe even a second store...

Complete these sentences:

Every home office should have a collection of lovely cards and notepaper so you can quickly send off thank yous after dinners, events and overnight stays. 

Your favourite part of London is Southwark because it still feels like 'real' London and there are so many gems (especially foodie ones). 

My favourite thing to do when I have a day off is hang out with my husband Alex, feast, wander and explore.

I hope you enjoyed getting to now Lucy a little better and if you want to join us for our workshop in June then head over to the shop now. 

With love,

Sommer x




Meet the Makers

Sommer Pyne

Happy sunday!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend and finally we have some sun in London! Let's get those BBQs cranked up immediately before the rain clouds come back. Sundays for me is all about chilling with my fam, stuffing my face and having some down time to read and catch up on myself.

Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin

Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin

I've been busily working away behind the scences on some fun projects and I'm particularly excited about our Candle and Calligraphy workshop with Earl of East London and Quill London 10th July. If you fancy a lovely Sunday getting creative with letter forms and making beautiful smelling candles, with a spot of lunch and wine thrown in then purchase your tickets here before they all sell out. 

I love social media. It's opened so many doors for me and it constantly gives me an abundance of inspiration. I actually started following Earl of East London on Instagram a while back and loved watching them make their dream of setting up a business a reality. Full of passion and community spirit their energy and love for what they do was infectious and helped motivate me to carry on with my dream. So thanks guys and keep up the good work! 

So it's with great pleasure to introduce you to Niko and Paul with a little interview I did with them recently. Enjoy, and I hope you get some inspiration too. 

Tell me how Earl of East London came about?

Earl of East London started out as a joint creative outlet for us. We both loved the idea of starting something of our own and one day we just decided to go for it. We originally started out as a stall selling a curated mix of candles, cacti and curiosities, pulling together all of our favourite homeware items into a single lifestyle stall and it just went from there.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

We have always been inspired by the makers movement in the US, independent craftsmen over there know how to promote themselves as a brand from day one and that was something we really wanted to achieve with Earl of East London.

In terms of our own sent line the inspiration comes from our travel and childhood memories. Scent is one of the brain's most vital senses for memory recall and for us it allows us to tell a story about the things, places or people that mean so much to us.

What's the biggest challenge for you?

Everyday has bought us something new, we balance day jobs with building our own brand, that has sometimes been really tough as it limits any free time. As we have continued to grow we have had to adapt and now as we scale our business we need to look for the right likeminded people to help us get there. You have to put a lot of trust in others to stay true to your vision and whilst it feels like a risk, working with others is very rewarding.

Can you share with us any exciting plans you have for the future?

We are launching two new scents called Strand and Atlas Cedar and we will launch corresponding Reed Diffusers for each scent. In addition to this we have a new studio/co-working space in development, which will help us to take our brand to the next level.

What have you learnt on this journey of yours?

That everyday will post new problems but the fun is in finding the solution. In the past few years we have met and collaborated with some incredible people that have helped us grow and become our professional support network. We are just so pleased we decided to see if we could make our dream a reality.

What's the best piece of advice anyone has given you?

Go with your gut.

Complete these sentences...

My favourite scent is Monocle's Hinoki Wood fragrance because it's so elegant and distinctive.

Our favourite city is London because it's where we met and it's our home, if we had to pick another city it would be LA for sure. It's not the easiest to know but once you have a network there it's a hard city to beat on so many levels.

Our one piece of style advice is to keep it simple, you can't beat a plain T and jeans.

To buy a ticket to the Candle and Calligraphy workshop go here

To follow the boys on their adventure on Instagram click here and be sure to check out their lifestyle shop or pay them a visit.

Stay curious,

Sommer x