The story of beautiful interiors brand Rowen and Wren, plus our pick of its collections.

Understated simplicity, elegant lines and cleaving close to nature: if your style inclinations lean towards subtlety and gloriously unembellished beauty, allow us to introduce Rowen and Wren.

Founded in 2011 by Graeme and Lucy Uren, for the as-yet uninitiated, stumbling onto its website should come with a warning: you may well lose many hours of your life – and much of your salary – to these beautiful lifestyle images. What we love so much about R&W is the attention to detail; you can literally shop the nuts and bolts with its hardware collection, and then zoom out from there into its elegant furniture and dreamy outdoor collection. Its tagline? A life more beautifully lived. Indeed, this is a place to slow down and appreciate the sublimely simple life. Look out for our guest edit with Lucy, coming soon.



Roots


Like all the best conversations, it started over dinner.

When Graeme asked Lucy to articulate her most dearly held dream one night over supper, the question triggered a thunderbolt moment. For textiles designer and retail consultant Lucy, the sudden absolute clarity the exchange had stirred brought a very simple answer: for her the castle in the air was, and really always had been, to own a shop, a repository for beautiful things and a space in which to live a beautiful way of life. And as with all the best conversations, it was life-changing.



From that day forth, the couple would lovingly build that palace together, coaxing it gently and creatively down to the earth from the air – not, as Lucy first envisaged, in bricks and mortar, but by creating an idealised online world dedicated to craftsmanship, to quality and to the handmade. And so it was, in 2011, that Rowen and Wren was born.



Collecting the eclectic


In age-old tradition, Rowen and Wren’s trajectory began around a kitchen table. In time, that table would go on to groan under the weight of the seemingly thousands of samples and boxes Lucy and Graeme edited their way through before launching their first official collection – then comprised of just forty products.



Since those days, much has changed, but the central tenet has never wavered; to create collections that are complementary without ever being prescriptive. To enable customers to find an assembly of beautiful things all of apiece whilst never buckling to the temptation to match. To believe in the tastes and individual expression of everyone who crosses the Rowen and Wren threshold, while creating a world that is eclectic and yet works in harmony in any conformation – all underpinned by a deep-held belief in craftsmanship.



Some change, though, is good. In Rowen and Wren’s embryonic days, Lucy and Graeme were busy sourcing designers and makers that chimed both with their emphasis on simplicity and finish, and with their melange of Scandinavian, French and more far-flung aesthetics – all sorted respectively into three simpatico yet distinct collections. Today, their own designs dominate the Rowen and Wren oeuvre, much of which is dreamed up in response to an absence of something they have searched for in vain and so resolved to make themselves.



Being convivial sorts, Lucy and Graeme keep good company; which is why you’ll find, layered beautifully into their own collections, their pick of products from makers whose work and processes they admire, which all the while sitting sympathetically within the collections as a whole.

Since that very first evening, stirring conversations over dinner have never stopped.

Our Pick Of The Collections




By Nancy Alsop
August 2020

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Nancy Alsop

Editor

Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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