After two years of lockdowns and working from home, our living spaces have never been more important and many of us are now wondering what we can do to make them even better. Whether you’re renovating a period property, hoping to make your mark on a new build or trying to bring the vision from your Pinterest board to life, you’ll find everything you need at one of York’s fantastic homeware shops. Below we list some of the city’s best independent retailers to help with your DIY and decorating projects.

Freckleface Fragrances, The Shambles

Located on York’s Shambles, Freckleface sells ethical fragrances that will make your home smell heavenly. Offering candles, wax melts and diffusers in their own unique scents such as orange, lime and basil or strawberries and cream, you’ll also find luxurious bath bombs here to relax with. The brand was founded in 2017, when Tara Carlile-Swift decided to help her young son Noah to turn their hobby into a business. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength and now own four high street stores with their products being stocked in hundreds more. A visit to Freckleface is always a treat for the senses – call in to enjoy their incredible aromas for yourself.

Heima, Gillygate

Selling environmentally-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing homeware, Heima turns everyday essentials into objects of beauty while saving the planet from even more plastic waste. Here, you’ll find everything you need to keep your home functioning smoothly while ensuring it also looks immaculate, including kitchen tools and utensils, children’s toys and gardening and cleaning equipment. Almost everything in Heima’s carefully-curated product range is made from natural or long-lasting materials such as enamel, metal, glass and wood. Many will withstand a lifetime of use, but if not you needn’t worry about them lingering on in a landfill. This is a great place to shop for practical gifts – a washing up brush might not seem like the most thrilling present but Heima’s cleverly-designed hanging dish brush from Eco Living will add a classy finishing touch to any Scandi kitchen. Their terracotta egg racks are also unbelievably cute.

Barnitts, Colliergate

Independent department store Barnitts opened its doors on Colliergate over 100 years ago and is still one of the best places to go for kitchen gadgets in York. You’ll find a tool here to assist with almost every conceivable culinary task, from cheese wires and bean slicers to berry pickers and yoghurt makers. You’ll also find plenty of attractive accessories to deck out your table for a special occasion, including gorgeous crockery, napkins and candles. If you’re moving into a new home, or making last minute preparations for a party or event, you’ll find everything you need under one roof at Barnitts.

Pextons Hardware, Bishopthorpe Road

Describing itself as ‘the little shop that has everything,’ Pextons is a traditional hardware store that’s been serving the residents of Bishy Road and beyond since 1933. If you’re planning a renovation, you’ll find all the tools and materials needed to get stuck in, from sand, plaster and cement to dado rails, paint and even post boxes. Pextons’ friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to provide advice – so if your DIY project is going wrong, it may be time to get off the internet and pop over here.

Cleggs, Goodramgate

Situated at 6 Goodramgate, a short walk from York’s historic city walls, Cleggs is a welcoming and characterful homeware and gift store that sells all sorts of colourful creations to brighten up your living space. You’ll find a selection of beautiful kilim style rugs for sale here, alongside an array of prettily patterned plant pots, mugs and more. Cleggs also offers charming children’s mobiles and handmade fabric doorstops. Shop here for a home that’s an individual as you.

The Verdigris House, Scarcroft Road

Taking its name from the bluish-green encrustation that forms on old copper, Verdigris House is a true Aladdin’s Cave selling decorative antiques from across the eras. Run by David Sheard, and frequented by his adorable Tibetan Terrier Bodhi, you’ll find all kinds of curiosities here with which you can add detail and intrigue to your home. There’s so much to discover, perusing Verdigris’ collections would be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Upside Down Design, Bootham

A unique space for interior design enthusiasts, Upside Down on Bootham is both a shop and a design service. Their ‘house doctor’ is available to provide a ‘consultation, diagnosis and cure’ for those who feel their home isn’t working as well as they’d like it to, while the shop sells a selection of second hand and vintage furniture as well as new home accessories. Some of their best offerings include the recycled ‘beach clean’ range, linen cushions in sumptuous shades and their simple yet effective table lamps with glass bases.

Hare & Wilde, Market St., Malton

Malton is well-known for its interior design stores so, if you’re looking to style your home, a trip to this picturesque market town is highly recommended. Family-run homeware shop Hare & Wild was founded by couple Will and Laura who bonded over their love of renovating old homes. Finding beauty in handcrafted furnishings, they source their products from British and Scandinavian makers, carefully selecting timeless pieces that they hope will become a treasured fixture in their customers’ homes.

Helston Street, Scarcroft Road

Run by mother-daughter team Vanessa and Lucy, Helston Street is a rustic homeware shop specialising in dried flowers. Their wreaths and mini bouquets would make an excellent treat for yourself or a friend and you’ll also find dinner candles, bar soap and old enamel number signs for sale. The shop’s style is inspired by the French countryside and browsing here is a soothing experience due the smell of the soaps and the many flowers hanging overhead.

Images: Hare and Wild, Heima, Helston Street, Verdigris House