Nestled behind a petrol station in Corbridge, north-east England, is a converted workshop with two large red metal letters (found in a Paris flea market) above the door. Opened by the retired fashion designers Simon Young and Jenny Vaughan in 2003, RE stocks a vast range of unusual home accessories, from vintage glass jelly moulds to Amish tin barn stars. Luckily, you don't have to travel to Corbridge to shop there; it's all available online via a colourful website that reflects the unique RE look.
The "RE-found objects" are organised into categories with mysterious, inviting names such as hardwaRE, shoRE and fiREside. As you browse, you feel more like an explorer than a shopper, stumbling upon serendipitous delights with every click of your mouse.
The founders say: "There's no point attempting to shoehorn the range of RE's stock into a paragraph" - and they're right. There's up-cycled macabRE dinnerware - pretty vintage floral plates decorated with sinister diagrams of skulls, lizards and scorpions, or pretty butterflies. A gREen fingers section includes antique watering cans, rusty metal letters and old flower pots, while the REalm department is filled with British-themed accessories - cushions sewn from old silk flags, fabrics printed with maps and adorned with pearl button crowns. Have a look at the REcipe collection for vintage rolling pins, elegant glass carafes and tea towels with cutlery designs.
Despite the eclectic mix of global buys and vintage finds, somehow, the products all sit together harmoniously to cREate one fabulous look, thanks, no doubt, to the expert curator talents of the creative owners. It's hard to choose a favourite, but I like the RElic range best. With hand-painted tins from Peru and multicoloured Mexican charms, it's a real celebration of Latin American style, not quite what you'd expect to find in a Corbridge garage. But that's the magical thing about RE; you soon learn to expect the unexpected.
www.re-foundobjects.com For shipping rates to the UAE, call 00 44 1434 634567