Pop-up homewares: Home Is In The North

Stevie Mackenzie-Smith

Home Is In The North is the latest pop-up homeware event to come to Manchester- and we’re giving away two tickets for it.

To market, to market! Now that spring is with us once again, the prospect of spending a Saturday mooching around one of the city’s markets or fairs isn’t quite as daunting as it was a few months ago. It’s all thick blossom and warm climes, an ideal combination for dragging people from their houses like blinking bears out of a winter slumber.

The appeal of the weekend market is no new thing; just look to the recent relaunch of favourites Levenshulme and Altrincham Markets. But the glut of newbies cropping up in Manchester are doing things differently. Interesting venues – warehouses and deconsecrated Victorian churches among them – are the backdrop for multi-faceted events that serve up design showcases, seminars and workshops alongside more familiar market fare. Home Is In The North is the latest offering: a pop-up, independent homeware event taking place at the wonderful Hallé St Peters in Ancoats on 26 April.

Showcasing 30 independent craft and design-makers from across the north, the one-day homeware fair will run alongside interactive workshops, demos and seminars. Workshops include furniture restoration, cushion cover tutorials with the Chorlton Sewing Bee and a talk from interiors blogger Kimberley Hughes, who possesses that admirable (if not irritating) knack of finding time for ingenious DIY restoration projects in her Cheadle Heath home.

It’s this interactive element that adds to the value of these pop-up market events, so that even if you don’t have the loose change for a mid-century armchair you can still grab a coffee, take a pew and take in a talk. Alongside Home Is In The North, the likes of Judy’s Vintage Fair and design exhibition BCN MCR are also taking a similar route, the former bringing film screenings and homemade food stalls to Victoria Warehouse in addition to their usual vintage fair. BCN MCR similarly recently hosted a series of design-led talks at Hallé St Peters and the Friday Night Food Fight, hosted weekly at Upper Campfield Market is remoulding the market formula into a food-fuelled night-market experience.

For those who fancy a quiet wander around the exhibitors’ wares, we recommend looking out for surface pattern designer Annabel Perrin, whose geometric furnishings take inspiration from the contemporary architecture of Salford Quays. Charlotte Nash’s Aztec hanging lights, Electic Chair’s reupholstered modernist furniture and Jack McConnell’s hand drawn illustrations are also on our list.

Shake Moroc & Roll is laying on a Moroccan menu outside the church, while local roasters Ancoats Coffee Co are on hand for caffeine re-fuels – because no weekend market-meander is quite the same without beckoning food smells.

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