do south shop crystal palace gem

Do South Shop Crystal Palace gem

Shop spotlight on the Do South Shop.  This is a real gem located in Crystal Palace, which is quite a sizeable store perched on top of a hill with fantastic views over the surrounding area.  If you can’t visit in person, don’t worry because they also sell furniture and accessories online.  Their philosophy is about bringing the pages of an interiors magazine to life, pulling pieces from a variety of brands, vintage treasures and unusual finds from across the globe and styling them to feel like one.  So you can expect a visual treat when you venture inside the expansive décor haven, which is all about interiors with imagination.  They sell everything from designer furniture, contemporary lighting, unique home accessories, decorative objects, soft furnishings and vintage homeware.  So come with me to explore the Do South Shop.

do south shop ecrol sofa

Ercol Sofa, Cushions and Decorative Objects

Meet the Do South Shop Owner

Freddie Oke is the owner of this fabulous shop.  He talks me about his background, “I previously worked in the marketing industry before going to live and work in Melbourne back in 2002.  I’ve always been a creative person with an interest in music and a love affair with interiors.  It’s as though I feel vibrations and energy from particular trends and styles which I can now harness through my shop.”

do south shop owner freddie oke

Freddie Oke

On his return to the UK, Freddie noticed that the property located at the top of a hill on a shopping street in Crystal Palace was vacant.  He reminisces, “the opportunity arose by chance that this space became available; it was a former newsagent that had no beauty about it whatsoever.  However, the views from the shop overlooking the city made me dream of all the wonderful possibilities.  Looking at the shop and imagining the potential, I had an epiphany and knew this was my destiny and the reason I had returned from Australia.”  Freddie opened up his doors in March 2011 and launched the website in February 2015.  As for that exciting shop name, that was an easy decision, as Freddie explains – “The name is almost a call to action – South London has so much to offer, so Do it.  Venture into the streets, find the hidden gems and see what we have to offer.  The name refers to our location and what we recommend … Do it.”

do south shop exterior

Shop Exterior

From humble beginnings, the shop is now a destination store for interior lovers from all over London.  There is a team of five staff from design backgrounds, and Freddie considers them to be his extended family, and luckily they all share Freddie’s passion for style and interiors.  He likens the shop to having a child, “you watch it grow, taking care of all the bumps and bruises and making sure that you’re prepared for the hard days.  The best thing is that it’s yours, and it’s an extension of your personality and imagination.  Ultimately it’s doing something that I love day in and day out.”

See Inside The Do South Shop

Owning a shop is more than a dream for Freddie; he enthuses, “I love the tangibility that a store offers.  Customers come through our gates and into our world.  We offer interiors with imagination.  As wonderful as our online shop is, you can only really see the Do South ethos, heart and soul by visiting our store.  We combine the old with the new, the bonkers with the muted; we show how to live.  The store is our home, so I’ve tried to curate the shop to show the ultimate home.  The showroom is on the corner of two streets, so we’re lucky enough to have wall-to-wall windows along two sides of the store, providing the most wonderful sunlight as well as the views!”

do south shop sofa

Relaxing Sofa

As for the products, Freddie tells me, “we fill our showroom with design-led furniture from the likes of HAY, String, Ruark and Ethnicraft (to name a few!).  These sit alongside restored vintage finds, one-off designs from local independent designers, artists and makers and wares from my travels far and wide.  I collect wherever I go, and I’ve been told I have an eye for this.  If I like it, it goes into the store, and luckily this equation seems to be working!”

do south shop rustic console and decorative accessories

Rustic Console with Decorative Objects

In terms of the approach to merchandising, Freddie explains, “we keep everything very natural and organic.  So there are no bold ‘Buy Me Now’ signs or big, red ‘Sale’ signs to be seen.  Everything must feel natural and approachable.  We want our customers to see how each item might look in their own homes, as well as to feel inspired.  It’s a tough outcome to achieve, but I’ve been very fortunate to find such fantastic staff to help create my vision.”

do south shop, ruark audio, furniture and home accessories

Ruark Audio, Furniture and Home Accessories

Freddie finds it helpful to interact with clients; he says, “I love to engage with our customers.  Not only is it useful to hear their feedback, thoughts and opinions on our store and collection, and it’s also great to give them the story behind each item.  Our vintage selection has many a story to tell, and equally, the new brands we work with are all so individual and worthwhile.  Our customers like to know why something is so special to us; we hope they continue the story too.”

Do South Shop Collection

The collection includes a real mix of contemporary, design-led furniture and accessories, as well as vintage mid-century items, with a few additional one-offs and global pieces thrown in for good measure. Freddie travels all over the world, visiting flea markets plus international antique fairs to seek out unusual objects, home accessories and furniture for his store.  In terms of brands stocked, these include a long-standing relationship with Zanotta, HAY, String, Ruark, Ethnicraft, Plumen, Jake Dyson Lighting and Established & Sons.

do south shop desk and storage unit for home office

Storage and Desk Unit

Freddie is also keen to support local talent, and he elaborates, “we have a very close relationship with Crystal Palace native Sarah Campbell Designs.  One of the founding members of the iconic Collier Campbell back in the 80s, Sarah has recently launched her solo brand, and we couldn’t be happier and more proud to stock her debut cushion collection, Calico Birds. She’s a wonderful, inspiring lady and will often also hand-paint window decorations for our store too.”

do south shop joseph blue armchair and sarah campbell cushion

Joseph Armchair and Sarah Campbell Cushion

To give you an idea of some of the vintage finds available, Freddie has selected five items for you to admire.

do south shop vintage chairs and decorative objects

1950s Yellow Cocktail Chair £750 / 1950s Blue School Chair £75 / 1970s Large Scheurich Scalloped Vase £150 / Vintage Horse £75 / Mid Century Modern Candle Holder £95

Buy Do South Shop Products

To give you an idea about prices points – Sofas are £830-3950, Dining Tables £650-2500, Cushions £40-90 and Accessories £4-750.  If you want to shop online, visit the website: Do South Shop.  They can also ship overseas, which is excellent news for my international readers.  If you can visit in person, head to 2 Westow Street, London SE19 3AH, which is in Crystal Palace.  The opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm, and Sunday from 11 am until 5 pm.  They also provide an Interior Design Service for domestic and commercial hospitality. Enjoy your visit.

Author: Homegirl London.  Photographs: Do South.  Thanks: Freddie Oke and Laura Baldry.