Material @ Rivington Street

One shop Hubbie & I miss still dreadfully on every weekend is “Shelf” which once stood on Cheshire Street, off Brick Lane.
The shop specialised in art & craft such as illustration, print, jewellery, ceramic which were sourced from far and wide in affordable price.

Their cheddar cheese orange shop front gleamed cheerfully no matter how foul the weather was. Once inside, the tiny space was stuffed with the objects so lovely and sweet, it reminded me a stylish children’s room any romantic modernist design orientated adult would want to have at home!
Peeping into their lovingly maintained vintage display cabinets or flicking through well-selected hand pressed books, Hubbie & I just held our breath and marvelled at their exquisite taste. He purchased more than a few prints and I always topped up my greeting card collection at every visit to this wonderful shop.

In the winter of 2011, Shelf announced the closure of their actual premises and the shift to online-only business.
The decision was a massive blow to a devoted Shelf fan like us who looked forward to our little detour to Cheshire Street on most Saturday. There was no more free-standing shop sign “Shelf” in cheddar cheese orange on the pavement.  We were just sad, sad, sad…

Then, we discovered “Material” on Rivington Street…


I can’t remember what this place used be in pre-Material time but the shop established itself in here 2 years ago.
This airy shop sports a high ceiling and the exposed and polished concrete floor gives egalitarian vibes of East London…


Their offering encompasses a wide range of visual disciplines from voluminous artist’s compendiums to children’s picture books…



Unlike the late Shelf, the shop does not offer any ceramic or jewellery. However, stylish leather wallets in various sizes are on sale as well as beautifully designed tea towels which will brighten anyone’s kitchen.


The shop is a stone’s throw from Bookartbookshop which I reviewed previously.
Just wander in and you will agree that this place is well worth a browse…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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