Shop snoop around the Loaf Shack in Battersea. The store is from the British brand and online furniture shop Loaf. Here you are invited to try before you buy mattresses, lie down on the fabulous French style beds and sink back in the most comfortable sofas. With an on-site retro ice cream parlour, it is the best place to chill out and enjoy furniture shopping without feeling in the slightest bit hurried. The Loaf Shack has been dubbed the ‘Slowroom’ (as opposed to a showroom) which is very apt indeed. Join me on a snoop (or should that be snooze?) around this laid back and relaxed store.
Treat Yourself to Jude’s Ice Cream
My Favourite Five Pieces From Loaf Shack
If you’re not familiar with this company or their products, they started off selling one mattress and some bed frames online seven years ago. Today, you’ll find a wide selection of furniture for your living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, hallway and study. They are known for their squidgy and comfy sofas, modern interpretation of classic French style furniture, light industrial wire furniture and the use of reclaimed wood along with a touch of rusticity.
I’ll show you five of my favourite pieces which you can see in-store and online. The bed frames include several styles from French to upholstered, white wood, leather, some with storage and children’s beds. I’ve picked out one of their bestsellers, and a fabulous French-style bed called the Coco. It features such a beautiful weathered solid oak frame which has been hand carved. With curvy legs and a sweeping headboard, it is super chic. Available in single, double, king and super king – £625-895.
Coco French Style Bed
Their sofas are also really popular because they are incredibly comfortable and well-constructed. All the beds and sofas are hand made in Long Eaton in Derbyshire, which is the heart of the British upholstery making industry. With a growing library of one hundred and fifty upholstery fabrics, from Designers Guild, Romo and Ian Mankin, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You’ll find modern interpretations of classic and mid-century modern settee shapes along with contemporary corner sofas. I’ve picked out the Pudding which is upholstered in this fantastic burnt orange plush velvet. That feather wrapped foam seat cushions look just so plump that you want to fling yourself right down. Available as an armchair, love seat (that’s a big armchair for two people to snuggle up on!) and a small, medium and large sofa – £795-1395.
The Conker Dining Table is quite cool with a concrete looking top which is made from a sturdy resin so you can wipe it down easily enough and it’s lightweight. This industrial-style top rests upon an oak base using sustainably sourced timber for a pleasing ascetic. It comes in medium, large and extra-large sizes – £745-895. You can team this with matching benches called Budge. These have a cross effect on the legs, which adds decorative interest and makes the seat sturdy. The sizes come in medium, large and extra-large to coordinate with the tables – £295-375.
Conker Dining Table with Budge Benches
This Sucre Sideboard is a very versatile storage piece which could be placed in your hallway, dining room, living room or home office. It includes a sizeable cupboard with shelving, two flip-door down compartments and drawers at the bottom. The design takes inspiration from French window shutters, and the hand-carved solid reclaimed fir has been bleached for a distressed and age-worn effect. It features vintage-style bronze handles for that classic look – £695.
My final item is this space-saving Birdie Shelving Unit which is a neat wall organiser with a drop-down shelf for your laptop. It’s an excellent idea for anyone with a small apartment or living in a bedsit. These are handmade with a steel frame in a gunmetal finish for a vintage vibe. It comes with organiser compartments which you can remove if you so wish – £295.
Birdie Shelving Unit
About The Loaf Shack Shop and Stock
Loaf already has a showroom in Notting Hill, but this is their first real retail foray to cater for their loyal following of 35-50-year-old style-conscious women. Although consumers have embraced shopping online, they still want to see and feel those more significant purchases like sofas and mattresses. With a high concentration of their customers situated in the vicinity, Battersea was the perfect place to open up a store. Further outlets are in the pipeline for London and possibly beyond.
This particular shop is a spacious eight thousand square feet inside. The building is situated under railway arches so you can hear the trains rumbling in the distance. They think that the premises might have previously been a place to store coal for the trains. Inside you get a sense of the building’s history with a series of arches and some of the original brickwork left exposed or painted white. Elsewhere you’ll find the walls clad with reclaimed wood. The owner has also sourced some shutters and doors from far-flung countries to add a touch of character to the décor. I love the corrugated white tin roofing which does give it a ‘shack’ vibe.
Furniture Display and Upholstery Fabric
The products are spaciously displayed, so you have room to manoeuvre. Down the centre, there are several sofas which are all very comfy and squidgy so do take a seat while you are there. You’ll also find plenty of upholstery fabric swatches to peruse so you can make an informed decision about your purchase. You’ll see retro typographic signage indicating the various zones within the store. On the left-hand side, you have the ‘Essential Loafing Supplies’ which make great gifts or self-treats. These include branded products from Brooklyn Candles, Mahabis Slippers, Artisan Du Chocolate Hot Chocolate, Hush Bed Socks and Roberts Radios. These sit alongside picture frames, cushions, crockery and rugs. Next to that is the ‘Takeaway’ section where you can pick up beautiful bed linen.
Essential Loafing Supplies
On the right-hand side, you have room sets displayed underneath the arches. These give you some inspirational ideas for your own home. You get a sense of how the furniture can work together for a cohesive look. In the middle of these arches, you’ll find the retro ice cream parlour serving Jude’s, particularly yummy Ice Cream! If you’ve got the kids with you, they’ll be very thankful!
At the back, you have the mattress testing area. This is quite important to the store seeing that the owner, Charlie Marshall, actually started his online venture with one perfect mattress and twelve-bed frames. After spending an entire day trying to buy a bed for himself, he found the whole experience a real chore which gave him the idea to make buying a bed and mattress straightforward for other people. There are just six mattresses on offer, with the emphasis on the aptly named ‘Our Perfect Mattress’ which is sold for a reasonable price. A lot of research has gone into seeking out the best mattresses which saw them test 261 over two years and travelling 20,843 miles in the process.
Mattress Testing Area
Make sure you also check out the secret corridors and rooms where you see the sign saying ‘More This Way’ but if you are tall you’ll need to crouch down a bit. You’ll find some furniture displayed in alcoves and a games room at the back. Enjoy your browse and don’t forget the ice cream.
Visit The Loaf Shack
To find out more visit the website at Loaf. The shack is located at 255-259 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London SW8 3NP. It is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Queenstown station (Southwest Trains), turn left, and you’ll soon spot the blue-tiled building. Battersea Park is also very close (Southern Trains and the Overground). If you are driving, they have a few car parking spaces next to the building. Opening times are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm, Wednesday 11 am until 7 pm, and Sunday 11 am until 5 pm (but do check online in case these should change). Read my Ten Things To Do In Battersea List before you visit.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Shop exterior and interior by Homegirl London and product photography from Loaf. Thanks: Joanna Spindler and Sally Flowers for the tour, information and ice cream!