If you prefer supporting independent businesses to chains, Anada is a Brighton furniture shop that has been supplying locals and visitors with unique furniture for over three decades.
Like Lombak, the emphasis is on sustainable and environmentally friendly furniture with the majority of their pieces being handmade from recycled teak, rattan and bamboo in workshops in Java. The dominating style seems to be colonial coffee tables, cabinets, drawers and benches with intricate wooden carving but they also stock a few more contemporary pieces. Complimenting the wood are rugs and textiles from Indonesia, Turkey and Afghanistan, throws and kilims from India and Persia, one-off antiques and select pieces of folk art.
I'm personally not a fan of dark or carved wood but I can see how people that are would adore Anada. This being Brighton, there's also a fair number of wooden and terracota Buddhas on display!
I'm not quite at the stage where I'm ready to furnish my own flat (I'm on-campus at the moment) but when that time comes, I'll be sure to return to Ananda on Bond Street.
The shop offers beautifully designed wooden furniture; including chests of drawers, chairs, shelving units of various sizes and almost every specific type of table available: bedside, round, coffee, end, and console.
Also available are statues and wooden carvings: mostly of the Buddha or animal varieties. Smaller knickknacks can be found on the shelves as well - I noticed some wallets for only £1.
The shopkeeper was very friendly - she laughingly apologised for nearly bubble-wrapping me on my way out the door.
Out of all of the interior design and decoration shops in the North Laine, Ananda is one of the few I can see myself returning to that offers more than just your average tat, and less bulky furniture than some of the places up on Trafalgar Street. Where a lot of these shops, closer to the North Road end of the Laine, seem really cheap and cheesy, Ananda's expensive yet tasteful merchandise will add a little artistry to any home: have a peak and see if it's for you!
Ananda seems to have a very Buddhist vibe: everything's laid out and designed with Buddhas and/or animals: all very cool and hippie for the cool and hippie Brightonians! Seriously now, even the not-very-hippie amongst you will enjoy Ananda; unlike most hippie-art places, their stock is also very tasteful and well made, not made by someone in a field somewhere.
Apart from the artwork, what furniture Ananda does stock, they stock very well: instead of offering huge dining tables, the smaller tables come in all shapes and sizes, and in a variety of different woods and styles: a nice alternative to Ikea's simplicity, Habitat's modernity and Argos' cheapness.
My one critique of Ananda is it's price. I feel like a broken record, but most places in Brighton don't seem to have a middle ground of price between the young professional population and the rich Hove and Kemptown oldies. Ananda is, again, too much for most of my crowd of friends, and even a bit pricey if I had enough money to do up my house properly. Some cheaper pieces, and some cheaper versions of some of their nicer pieces, wouldn't go unappreciated.
If you're looking for an expensive, tasteful, yet still Brightonian makeover, Ananda is a great place to start. It may be a bit pricey, but the quality is good, and if you can afford, it will probably add to your home well. As long as you like Buddhas, that is...
I popped in here when clock hunting the other day, and was pleased to see an entire wall of clocks upon entering. The display offered more tasteful options than nearby Evolution/Velvet - going for similarly in vogue designs (french cafe or old train station style), but with a more authentic look than some of the tat you find elsewhere. Unfortunately, this was reflected in the price tag. Overall, a lovely place with some gorgeous furniture (think Indonesian rugs, carvings and hard wood furniture) - I'll be back when I'm rich!
I just got a new flatmate, and he was surprised at the complete lack of furniture in the flat. Given that I spent a majority of my time in my room, I felt as though designing the lounge area was useless, since I never go in the area. But, for him, he needed things like a table, and chairs. Since he's a full-time worker, and I, well, spend a lot of time home, he gave me cash to purchase a few pieces of furniture.
The furniture inside Ananda is definitely high quality, and extravagant looking. They sell beautifully designed tables, chairs, cabinets, drawers, and many others. Since the furniture is of a high-class, expect to pay a higher than average price for the items. The staff is very friendly, and are quick to help out when you need it.
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