The folk behind Walter Castellazzo Design – the bespoke furniture and design shop in Highgate Village – today open a studio and workshop behind the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park.
Owners Avril and Walter Castellazzo started out way back in the early 1990s in Camden Market. “I just knew Walt had such a creative mind,” says Avril. “He made lovely pieces which we sold in what was really a pop-up for over two years. We then bought the shop in N6 and have since built up a very loyal following.”
Two decades later and they stock Walt’s pieces along with “as much as we can” from British, Irish and Scandinavian design. “We make bespoke, including big projects, but Walt prefers individual customers. We go in, sketch up and work with our clients – all for free until they go ahead and order a special piece”.
Avril’s promise is that “nothing gets in here unless we both absolutely love it”, which sounds reassuring.
So how has Highgate mutated over the past twenty years? “Business has changed dramatically in the past five, if not longer,” she says. “The internet for sure has had a huge impact on small businesses and of course the demise of the high street, but there are now over twelve estate agents, four charity shops, three dry cleaners plus no independent coffee shops – very sad.”Which is why the duo are so excited to have found this quirky studio space in NW5: “It’s like a breath of fresh air, and reminds me of the creative, forward looking community that we had in Camden,” she says.
“Tufnell Park is just fantastic, it’s where we want and need to be. We have a lot of customers that have moved there and no longer come up to the village. And why would they when there’s such a great selection of services, from coffee shops and restaurants to baker, fishmonger and butcher, not to mention now Diverse? Let’s hope and pray the rents don’t push people out.”
And if you’re not too flush you can always just pop in for a nosey and an espresso. “We serve great Valentino coffee from Puglia,” she says.