Ben Pentreath, architectural and interior designer, shares his favourite sites.

Ben Pentreath is an architectural and interior designer. His eponymous shop in London's Bloomsbury has become one of the most keenly-watched stores in the decoration world, stocking a wide range of products for the home, from furniture, lighting, china and glass to books, decorative accessories, kitchenalia, and antiques. He runs the shop with Bridie Hall.

Ben's architectural projects range from large private houses to The Prince of Wales's developments at Poundbury and at Dumfries House in Scotland; last year he completed the award-winning New Forest luxury hotel, Limewood. He is a regular columnist for the FT newspaper, and is author to several books. His weekly blog has a loyal following and is most definitely worth a detour.

"For me", says Ben, "the interesting thing about the internet is the way that it can simultaneously serve big interests (amazon, the BBC) and cater for small, unique sites. Personally, it's these that I like to search out." 


Fox and Flyte - Run by a brilliant young trio of university friends, Fox and Flyte is one of the most stylish new websites I've seen. I love their sense of style and humour as well as their brilliant eye for finding unusual and quirky antique objects. They got in touch with Bridie and me and we liked them so much we're giving them a pop-up shop during the Cabinet of Curiosities.

Alpaca Pie - I've been watching this little website grow ever since I designed the logo for my great friend Kathleen.  Her range of clothing for boys and girls, handmade in Peru, is frankly some of the best I've spotted on the web. Perfect for christmas presents for your nephews, nieces and godchildren.

The Peak of Chic - Bridie and I have followed the musings of this superb blog by Altanta-based haute decoration enthusiast Jennifer Boles for years. Brilliantly written and a great reference point for a high-style interior approach.

Tubecrush - I wrote about Tubecrush on my blog a while ago – I'm not sure I ever created so much controversy. The site defies description but if you want to waste an hour or two ogling the handsomest men travelling on the London underground – this would be a good destination. I love it above all for the brilliantly witty writing.

James Howard Kunstler - For something completely different – and a website of total seriousness. Kunstler, expert on the dystopia of Surbubia and the collapse of the cheap-oil-based American dream, is the author of the brilliant books, 'The Geography of Nowhere' and 'The Long Emergency' - both of which make one stop and think like no other. His weekly blog makes harsh reading on the state of American life today – but helps to prepare one's mind for a different way of life should they come to pass.  There's a lot to make you think on Jim's site.

Kyle Bean - A little while ago I came across the brilliant work of the young graphic artist Kyle Bean. He has a lovely site with some of the most compelling images I've seen in a long time. Very enjoyable to look at, although not updated so much, so my visits are perhaps not as frequent to this site as some of the others.

27 September 2011