Saturday, 25 June 2011

Habitat - end of an era

I was sorry to hear in the news yesterday that Habitat has gone bust although I believe the name will live on in 3 London stores.
So just 2 years after one of my other favourite stores, Woolworths, has left our high streets, Habitat is more or less set to do the same.

I have fond memories of Habitat in the late 70's, the store in Hull was great. It was where Argos now resides in the old town, it was pretty big and had a fantastic wholefood cafe, one of the few Habitats to do a cafe back then. Time moved on to the early 80's when I was at college buying the odd thing for my student bedsit in Leeds, not that I could afford much but I'd buy the odd lamp shade and could never resist the stationery. In the 90's when I got my first property the Hull store had well and truly closed and it was the York store which became my local. It was such fun to start buying things for my first home, pots, rugs, candles, lamps, and still lots of stationery! But then Ikea came along and I started to find similar stuff but cheaper and I bought less from Habitat, just the odd iconic bit of pottery generally with a groovy design and they didn't seem to do fabric anymore which was a shame. 
I think over the last few years there has been some real tat in Habitat but still quite expensive. I usually have a look in though as you will still find some well designed items.

Today, as I was in Harrogate, I visited their store to look for bargains but they don't appear to have started reducing prices yet. I wanted to get a few ceramics for my collection incase I miss the opportunity. I got the groovy patterned pots below, pictures 4 & 5 were designs I was keen to get a souvenir of. These pots are designed by Concetta Gallo, I love the whimsical, surreal and almost textile collage quality of these designs. The peacock planter below is another iconic design motif although I don't know who created that.

One day when I have my own kitchen again I will enjoy displaying and using my remaining Habitat pots and remember 'my' stores with fondness.


Anonymous said...

Habitat in Belfast closed down a while back so we have got used to not having one about. I did love it though.
The bowl with the tiger is great!!
It's sad the number of stores we have lost to the recession, The Pier was another that went under, I loved it too!
Vivienne x

patty said...

I didn't realise The Pier had gone, probably because there wasn't one near here and I'd only been in one a couple of times but very nice stuff from what I remember. Who will be next I wonder.