a hotel life – the wythe

:: by Lizzie
Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 16.47.49


“First time contributor and creative Londoner Lizzie Evans” (that’s me!) “crossed the pond for her recent honeymoon with a stay at Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel. Check out her review and some neighbourhood recommendations that even a local can love…”


That’s right, the wonderful people at A Hotel Life have posted my review on their brilliant website. Danny and I totally fell in love with The Wythe Hotel on honeymoon in May and would whole heartedly recommend it to one and all – but particularly those reading this, my blog, as you probably like the same things as me. Check out the full review here, including the “neighbourhood recommendations that even a local can love” (I’m particularly proud of that bit).



what betty wore no.1

:: by Lizzie


Outfits worn during May and June 2013 in New York whilst on honeymoon.


Outfit 1: Navy Round Neck Wool Coat – APC, Indigo Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans – Urban Outfitters, Bretton Top – Gap (hidden), Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Navy Floral Socks – Gap, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf – Egg


Outfit 2: Black and Putty Patterned Onsie – Topshop Petite, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, 1007 Dark Turtle Sunnies – Culter and Gross


Outfit 3: Scoop Back Jersey Dress – YMC, Straw Trilby – Topshop, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters, Peach Jellies – JuJu Jellies, Wythe Hotel Tote (on loan)


Outfit 4: Navy Scalloped Vest – Topshop, Vintage Sweetshop Skirt – Blitz Vintage Department Store, Navy Woven Leather Sandals – Topshop, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC, Acrylic Tortoise Shell Sunnies – Urban Outfitters


Outfit 5 (as Outfit 4 but with the addition of): Silk Multi Patterned Patch Work Jacket – Vanessa Bruno, Felt Camel Bowler Hat – Topshop, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf – Egg


Outfit 6: Tri-blend Short Sleeve T in Atheltic Grey – American Apparel, Putty Peach and Black Patterned Trousers – H&M, Felted Wool Fedora in Camel – APC, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Half Moon Tan Leather Handbag – APC, Wooden Bangle – unknown


Outfit 7: Berry and Polka Dot Dress – Urban Outfitters, Navy Woven Leather Sandals – Topshop, Sunnies – Culter and Gross, Red Acrylic Bangle – unkown


Outfit 8: Black Buttoned Drawstring Dress – Vanessa Bruno, Sari Fabric Chuckra Scarf –  Egg, Peach Suede Heels – Dorothy Perkins, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters


Outfit 9: Vintage Floral Playsuit – Camden Passage Market, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Acrylic Tortoise Shell Sunnies – Urban Outfitters, Red Acrylic Bangle – unkown


Outfit 10: Red Silk Shirt Dress – Alexander Wang, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop, Cream and Tortoise Shell Wayfairers – Urban Outfitters, Embroidered Vinatge Clutch – The Wealden Times Fair


Outfit 11: Navy Scalloped Vest – Topshop, Indigo Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans – Urban Outfitters, Silk Multi Patterned Patch Work Jacket – Vanessa Bruno, Felted Wool Fedora in Camel – APC, Navy Martina Geek T Bar Sandals – Topshop






:: by Lizzie


Whether it be a for the love of animals, ornaments, thriftiness or just plain accentricity, it was decided that the table centerpieces for the wedding meal were to be vintage ceramic dogs.

My existing collection or ‘menagerie’, as my soon to be husband described the ceramic animal herd living in my bedrom, was to be our inspiration. This already well loved and growing family included a small chipmunk named Monkey, a terrier called Trevor, various deer, horses and even a kangeroo. Dogs though were to be the mamal of the day that would grace our wedding tables.


I set to work in hunting different breeds down. Butch, a large bulldog, was found at a car boot sale in Stoke Newington. Madge, a corgi with gender issues (obvious eye liner and an older ladies stance yet an unmistakable bulge in the nether regions) was picked up for a fiver in an antiques market near Staines. Ebay as often is the case with these sort of ‘hunts’ was also a helpful resource. Particularly once we’d learned that Melba Ware was what we were after.


A Saint Bernard, Chow Chow, Jack Russell Terrier, various Spaniels (one made by Cooperware for your information, in case you’re thinking of becoming a ceramic dog spotter!) were all purchased and given names – names which were to become the wedding breakfast table names much to many peoples confusion.


What do the names ‘Radagast’, ‘Madge’, ‘Gladstone’, ‘Mick’, ‘Tuloola’, ‘Tishy’ and ‘Tin Tin’ have in common? Why, they are the names of the ceramic dogs sitting in the middle of each table! It was quite enjoyable being so eccentric. I’d recommend it. Our new ceramic friends were much cheaper and longer lasting than cut flowers. We had succulents and cacti potted in old earthernware jars for a bit of greenery and confetti hand cut from the FT and Esme Winter wrapping paper as well as graph and sugar papers to satisfy my paper loving tendancies. The sweetshop straws in peach and mint with mustard yellow mt tape flags were pretty great too.




we got hitched

:: by Lizzie


Lizzie Evans, the Smuggler herself, on May 4th 2013 (which is of course international Star Wars day – May The Force Be With You) was married in London to her fellow former A Level CDT student now design/retail lover/guru and partner in crime Daniel Gleadall.

The wedding was styled by the couple and enjoyed by 200 friends and family members. Photography by Wolf James Photography. Hair and make up thanks to Simone Vollmer and flowers the very lovely Vicky Barrett.


we_got_hitched_square kiss_black&white



spaces – a book by frankie press

:: by Lizzie


Frankie magazine’s project SPACES is a collection of eclectic interiors from around the world. This large-format mag explores the homes, studios, shops and cafes of graphic designers, photographers, vintage collectors and shop owners.


Lizzie was approached by Frankie and asked if she’d like her home and shop to be included. She said yes. Words Benjamin Law. Photographs Hilary Walker.




At an age where other girls were obsessed with music, clothes and mobile phones, Lizzie Evans was begging her folks for something different: a set of 3×4 flat-lying lockers with individual square doors. They were soft blue, a little rusty around the edges and old as all hell. Lizzie pleaded her case to her family, and it arrived soon after as a birthday present.

Now 27 and an interior architecture graduate from london metropolitan university, Lizzie still cherishes the same locker set. (It’s the piece of furniture she wakes up next to every day, and stands right next to her bed.) That early, innate love of interiors and design has also led her to start up her own shop called SMUG in Camden passage, the same cluster of London alleys where Lizzie first laid sight on those lockers a decade ago.




SMUG is a grab bag collection of homewares, furniture and gifts, and gives Lizzie the opportunity to showcase what she calls her “favourite things from all over the world”. Different customers like different things. Couples in their 30s love their homewares, professional designers adore the original 1950s furniture, young mothers go for handmade toys, while senior ladies love the hand-blown glassware. Items range from £2 all the way up to £600. “People who don’t have loads of money still feel they can have a part of SMUG,” Lizzie says.


The building was originally an ancient overspill of an antiques clock shop, and took a lot of work to knock into shape. “I bought the building a couple of years ago, completely took it apart and put it back together again,” she says. “It wasn’t set up as a shop at all. It was a decrepit, crumbling shell with carpet up the walls. It was basically storage, kind of rotten, mouldy and falling apart. Just dreadful.” Some of the staircases even fell through, and Lizzie discovered they were eaten away with decay.


“We’ve done loads to get all of the light in, used lots of glass and metal, and changed it quite a lot,” she says. “But we’ve also kept some of the original features, like some of the nice wooden floorboards and the manhole covers in the basement.” Some of the overhauls were major, which is obvious when you see how SMUG uses glass. From the outside, SMUG’s storefront is entirely transparent, and because the ground floor is slightly raised, passers-by see right into smug’s kitchenware-filled basement.




“It works quite nicely,” Lizzie says. “although, some people do come in and go, ‘how do I get downstairs?’ They have to walk to the back to get down, and they get very confused, but it looks really cool.” Glass is used cleverly inside too, with the floor around the front till completely see-through to make the outside display appear as though it’s hovering.


However, that sleek sense of style is also coupled with the homely cosiness of her stock. For Lizzie, that’s important. “Lots of interior design shops in London that I love are quite minimalist and masculine, but don’t have much atmosphere other than it being impressive. What people enjoy about SMUG is it’s a bit more quirky and a funny mix of things. They like to stay for quite a long time.”


SMUG is also super-specific with its range of stock, choosing to align itself with a particular colour palette lifted from 1950s formica interiors. “It’s a particular blue, it’s a particular yellow and a red,” Lizzie says, “but there are also the wooden legs and chairs, so there’s tawny brown too.

“In the ‘50s, they used colour so beautifully. They’re quite bright colours and it’s a statement, but they managed to be very neutral with the wood in your home. I feel we’ve never been able to do it as well since. Nowadays, everybody has to have wood or white. In the ‘50s, they worked with colour, so that this colour palette would go anywhere perfectly. That’s what excites me about it. Even just the material of formica and the slight sheen on it, that even when it starts crumbling and decaying slightly, it’s still beautiful.”




A massive painting by contemporary argentinean artist Hernán Salamanco that greets SMUG’s customers doesn’t just adhere to the colour palette – “yellows, blues and putties” – but also defines what comes into the shop too. “The painting works with everything I buy, basically. I’m even designing some SMUG socks at the moment, which are all taken from that colour palette.”

An eye for colour and style runs in Lizzie’s family: her father and brother are art dealers, and now run a contemporary collection in the top floor of Lizzie’s building. Her mother’s in on the game too, helping out with SMUG on Fridays. (“It’s really nice,” she says, laughing. “It means I actually get a lunch break on Fridays, because every other day, I don’t.”)


The family atmosphere extends to Lizzie’s living quarters: her home is actually the top floor of her parents’ house. Although she has her own Islington flat that she lets out to tenants, Lizzie admits that the Evans family headquarters – “a big town house on a cul de sac with a huge garden” – is too nice to refuse. “I’ve lived there since I was 11,” she says.

“I was about to move out after uni, but i’ve basically stayed at home so I can afford to set up the shop.” She plans to move out next year, but jokes that it’s tempting to stay there for ever.

However, Lizzie’s abode is different from the rest of the house. While most of the house is very traditional with very high ceilings, floorboards and flagstone floors, the top floor is in the eaves of the house, and has low sloping ceilings. “Originally, it was a boring space where you would’ve had your servants years and years ago. So I’ve adapted it and made it more modern and quirky.”




Her favourite part is an ornament-filled sitting room that she refers to as “my little SMUG”. when she’s complimented about the light turquoise bluebird wallpaper featured here, she laughs. “it’s just Cole and Son,” she says, referring to an old english wallpaper brand that was established in 1875. And while she keeps separate space from her folks downstairs, she adds that the ground-floor toilet is covered in wallpaper too. “The design is called best in show, and it’s cream with big flock dogs all over it. I’ve always got my eye open for very strange wallpaper.”

In the same sitting room, on top of the old fireplace, there is a framed photograph by a south african artist called Trevor Appleson. “he went to Cape Town, took a black screen, some lights and his camera. On the beaches, he asked homeless people who live there if they’d like their photograph taken. This is an a little orphan homeless boy and his dog that he’s photographed in Cape Town, an amazing shot.”


There are, of course, also items lifted straight from SMUG stock, like the Donna Wilson “bunny” cushion that sits on her chair, and are also for sale. At the moment, however, Lizzie’s favourite SMUG items for sale are picnic blankets made entirely from the leftovers of a welsh wool company that retail for £28. “They used to throw away these pieces and now they’ve made them into picnic blankets. Whatever yarn they have leftover they put on the loom, thread it through so they’re all different from each other, and they’ve got loads of different colours in the tassels coming out the end. they’re gorgeous, completely recycled and unique from each other.”




One of her bestselling items are the freestanding 1950s seagrass and blue kitchen units that double as stock displays. Called maid servers, Lizzie says they are difficult to source since they were discarded with the advent of fitted kitchens. “Everybody had them before everybody went modern,” she says, “then people literally cut them up and threw them away.

“But they’re so practical and gorgeous. The colours they use are so easy to slip into any interior you have.” Lizzie sources the maid servers from people who’ve cared for them over the years or restored it themselves, before selling them at SMUG for between £350 to £600.


“It’s very much a treasure trove,” Lizzie says. “Things are placed together as they would be in a home. The most commonly said thing is, ‘Oh, I wish I could live here! Is your house above the shop?’ They really feel like it’s like a home.” Since she has opened SMUG, she has even been speaking to potential clients who want Lizzie for her design chops. “People have been coming into the space saying, ‘well, I want my home to look like that’. So I can help make that happen.”



frankie review issue 50

:: by Ella McCabe Barton
Looming Large


Looming Large – Belgian weaver Hermine van Dijck talks to Frankie about her journey so far as a weaver, from growing up in Belgium, through to studying textile design and now being in Paris interning for a weaving company. During the interview Hermine discusses inspiration and future projects, as well as questioning whether her work is considered craft or art? A subject that seems to be occurring more and more frequently for designers.  Her sensitivity for colour is beautiful, with accent brights appearing every now and again.


Not only is the photography inspiring, but the words and design philosophy of Hermine’s work I found especially insightful and re-assuring. As a Weaver myself, it was nice to hear someone else’s design process take on a similar formula ‘ I never know what I will create: it just happens in the moment’. This I can very much relate to! Apart from the colours (which being a weaver you have to decide on prior to making a warp) the cloth is produced through experimentation. I never quite know how well two yarns will work together until I start weaving.


The lastest issue of Frankie, while it’s still in stock – it flies out pretty fast, is for sale at SMUG in our Camden Passage shop and through our website here.