London sample sales 2014
SCP Warehouse Sale
This became a hectic smash ‘n’ grab very quickly. The stock included familiar pieces from the SCP range: bits of String shelving, a beautiful upholstered Donna Wilson armchair, several Hay and Artek dining tables, Kay and Stemmer bookcases, what appeared to be a Vitra Utensilo, some Modernica/Eames shells – all of which were mysteriously “withdrawn” from sale – I blame the eagle-eyed staff – and George Nelson lampshades, including the largest Bubble saucer I think I’ve ever seen. Some of the discounts were decent (the armchair was about £500 down from around £3,000), whilst others were a bit less of a bargain (the random bits of String Shelving were only about 50% off).
Due to the limited space in the warehouse, the staff arranged the larger pieces of furniture outside and left the fragile items (mainly lighting and String shelving) inside. Given that the start of the queue was at the warehouse entrance, early birds were only at an advantage for grabbing the stuff in the warehouse. I would still recommend getting there early i.e. at least three hours before the official start time. Everything decent (both inside and outside the warehouse) had been bought up in around three minutes.
I waded through the scrum to grab a George Nelson bubble lantern pendant lamp (£65 down from £345), which was a good buy, and a single full length white String bracket (£50 down from £110), which in hindsight was a terrible buy due to the fact that I now have to buy about 5 other components in order to use it and I have no space left in my study. This was a prime example of hasty sample sale grabbing.
Donna Wilson sample sale
In short, the stock was excellent with a lot of stuff I’d seen sold at full price in various stores but the prices were still pretty high (cushions were still about £40, blankets about £100 and plates £10 each). The staff sensibly operated a staggered entry system which meant that things didn’t get too hectic inside.
A word of warning for next year: what might look perfectly normal alongside other Donna Wilson creations might look decidedly odd when you get it home and attempt to integrate it amongst your more conventional possessions (see below).
Two overpriced but seemingly one-of-a-kind cushions in the shape of a cloud and a tree, which made me question my sanity once I got them home, plus a great set of plates, which will probably never be used.