Tips on buying one-off furniture

With a keen eye for salvaged items and rare finds, Jamie Graham, creative director of Graham & Green, shares his buying tips and reveals his love of artisan crafts

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Oona rocking chair, £489; Sabah grey and orange stripe pom blanket rug, £125; Dark grey berber rug with colour, £795, Graham & Green

What should you look out for when buying new furniture?

My rule of thumb is to refrain from buying too much. My family and I recently relocated from London to Bath, but when we used to live near Portobello Road in London, I used to get carried away with buying lots of pieces and ended up with lots of junk.

Now, I say to myself – if you see it and love it, buy it. There have been many times when I have found something special and not bought it, and then when you go back its gone – it’s very disappointing. Above all, go with what makes you happy and choose pieces that you love and that work in your home without making it too cluttered. If a piece of furniture or a stand-out accessory makes you happy, why not?

What’s your top decorating tip for creating a successful scheme?

One of the most important things I have learned over the years of doing photoshoots and creating decorating schemes for Graham & Green stores is that when you’re putting a room together; work with the architectural details of a space first.

It’s not just about buying furniture and making it work in a room by chance, so think carefully about the features of a room, such as architraves and chimney breasts and think of ways to make the most of these features and build a scheme around these using furniture, lighting, soft furnishings and accessories as well as colour and pattern. I love using Pinterest to create a moodboard as a starting point to a new scheme – it’s a great way of collating your ideas and editing them down to a final look.

‘If you see it and love it, buy it. There have been many times when I have found something special and not bought it, and then when you go back its gone – it’s very disappointing’

Have you always loved interiors?

Being a family business, I’ve been involved in Graham & Green since I was born and remember spending time in the store with my mother. I was always interested in how products are made, so I went to art school and then did a degree in furniture design at Kingston University in London. I really enjoyed painting, but realised quite quickly that I’d be better turning my hand to something that would make me a living. I still enjoy painting, but struggle to find the time, but Max loves drawing.

How would you describe Graham & Green look?

When I’m buying for new collections, I try not to follow a trend, because we travel a lot and see a lot of different looks and techniques, so I do what feels right at the time and create pieces that I like first and foremost. The collections are put together much more organically – becoming a look or a feel, rather than a ‘planned’ collection.