Priscilla Carluccio is not a retailer – she’s a shopkeeper. In her view there’s a critical difference between the two. Rather than concern about the ‘bottom line’, her primary focus is a passion for the things she sells in her shop. Indeed she thinks its time to bring back more shopkeepers and stall the rise of the retailers.
This ‘passion’ is evident in the array of beautiful furniture, jewellery, clothes (not ‘fashion’!), ceramics, glassware, stationary and even food stocked in the haven that is Few and Far on Brompton Road, South Kensington. Everything has a touch of the unique, picked out with a photographer’s eye for detail, texture and colour. The ever-changing collection is the result of a lifetime’s worth of keeping an eye out for beautiful things. She sources from as far afield as Tibet and India, as well as much closer to home, with the emphasis on handcrafted pieces and natural materials. However in spite of this it is not stylistically confined – Few and Far is essentially an Aladdin’s cave of things she would choose for her own home.
Every season the store is completely remodelled – for spring it’s full of fresh greens, whites, metallics and hand blown glass, as well as a mossy bed full of sprouting daffodil bulbs inlaid into the timber floor. The centrepiece is ‘Home Work’, demonstrating that the home office needn’t be a mess of paper, screens and hand-me-down furniture, but should be well a organised and serene space that deserves as much interior design input as any other room.
Since its opening in March 2008, the shop has taken up all Carluccio’s waking hours; it’s her brainchild and total focus. Having spent the majority of her working life putting her obvious design talents to use for the benefit of others – brother Terence Conran and husband Antonio Carluccio – she seems to be now glorying in a project that is entirely her own.
This article also appeared on Blueprint’s website.