Habitat returns to Sussex '“ and launches unique collection with local artists

Popular homeware retailer Habitat makes its return to Sussex, opening its doors to a new store on Wednesday (November 7).

Brighton Artists at Habitat - Sophie Abbott, Lauri Hopkins and Becky Blair
Brighton Artists at Habitat - Sophie Abbott, Lauri Hopkins and Becky Blair

The new shop in North Street, Brighton, will be the first standalone high street store Habitat has opened in more than a decade.

To celebrate, it has teamed up with Brighton artists to create limited edition rugs.

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Artists Sophie Abbott, Becky Blair and Lauri Hopkins have each created unique designs inspired by Brighton for the collection, and explained the ideas behind their work.

Habitat's new store in North Street, Brighton

Artist Sophie said: “I spend a lot of time by the sea and seashore – swimming in it, photographing and sketching it, and really love the rock pools under the cliffs in Ovingdean. This artwork is derived from sketches of the pool formations I produced in situ on the beach there.”

Undercliff, a hand carved rug by Becky Blair

Lauri said: “The original collage that was translated for this project is called Night Swim, inspired by my memories of being a teenager in Brighton – from the reflection of disco lights in the town to night time swimming with friends in the sea.”

And Becky said: “For me, my artwork – inspired by the beaches along the under cliffs between Brighton and Saltdean – benefits so much both from the huge upscaling of the line work and the richly coloured, tactile surface.”

Habitat, which closed its doors in Churchill Square more than seven years ago, returns to Brighton with a two-storey store spanning over 6,500sqft. It will become Habitat’s third largest store in the UK and forms part of the redevelopment of the old Hanningtons estate.

Clare Askem, managing director of Habitat, said: “Habitat opened one of its first stores here back in 1969 so we’re thrilled to be returning to a city that has a lot of historical love for our brand. Returning to Brighton’s high street has always been a passion project for me so we’re delighted it’s the first new high street store that we’re opening and in such an important new development.”

Nightswim, a hand knotted rug by Lauri Hopkins
Blue Rocks, a hand tuft screen print rug by Sophie Abbott