Friday, 22 February 2019


I didn't expect to be blogging about 67 Westow Hill again so soon. I loved Salt & Pickle, that address's previous occupant, and like many of you I'm sure, was saddened to see it go. But it's great to see a new business, and such a stylish one, finally open in its place. As a business, Decorum isn't actually so new. It was started 5 or 6 years ago by Christina Karoulla, and initially she was selling products at house parties. She opened her first premises in Shoreditch Boxpark as a one week pop-up, with her nephew, Stav Agapiou, who has gone on to become her business partner. After the pop-up ended, they had to join a waiting list, before eventually securing one of the containers on a three month rolling contract basis. The site is still going strong, but Christina was keen to also have a proper shop, and had long aspired to finding one in Crystal Palace, which would be conveniently close to her home in Bromley. She was first tipped off about the former Barclays building along the road, but as lovely a space as it was, it didn't really work for her. After visiting, she spotted the To Let board outside No.67 by chance, and contacted the landlord immediately.
Christina's new shop was up and running late last year, and she was immediately taken with the warm reception she received, not just from customers, but also from fellow traders. The well known Crystal Palace community spirit now brings the Triangle's traders together for regular meetings about how to draw people to the area. The SE19 late night shopping evenings proved to be a successful initiative, and now discussions are under way about how to participate in the Overground Festival this coming summer.
The shop itself is done out in a dramatic and enveloping dark grey, against which the merchandise shines. A deep stained pine floor continues up the wall at the end, giving a lovely textured backdrop to a range of frames and mirrors, while off-cuts of the floor were artfully pieced together to form the front of the cash desk. The products are of a very specific style; warm industrial meets Scandinavian, thereby deflecting any suggestion that this is just another homewares shop, of which there are several on the Triangle. But therein lies the point; not only does Christina's range differ from that of other local shops, but the number, and diversity of homewares stores in the area, collectively draw people to the area, in the way a single store wouldn't. In a former career, Christina had been an interior designer, but has found owning a retail business much more satisfying, in that she can create the whole look and philosophy of the business to reflect her vision, rather than, as a designer, having to cater to a multiplicity of tastes of different clients. Products range from furniture and lighting down to accessories, and even a small line of foods. From locally produced bamboo toothbrushes, to stylish Danish designs and more mass produced items. About 40% is made in the UK, and prices are pretty affordable.
And while you're browsing this rich, dark interior, you can also sit and have a coffee while you absorb it all. It all makes for a pleasant atmosphere, and another good reason to visit the Triangle.

Christina Karoulla

67 Westow Hill