Paradise Works is a collective of four companies; House of Twenty, Archive Furniture, Alizon Bennet Upholstery and Bennet & Brown. They moved in 2010 and opened the doors after some renovation. The front of the house is a walk-in shop where you can browse, get inspired or sit down on the sofas if it is raining outside. At the back they have workshops and offices where all the magic is happening. For those of you who haven't been to this part of Clapton, this area is a tiny town on the outskirts of Chatsworht Road's northside with a shop, nursery, offices, nursery, pub on the canal (Princess of Wales) and the home to what used to be Project 142. Project 142 was a big party squat and creative hub before it was demolished in favour of flats made out of cardboard. Garfield Hackett who was a regular at 142 wrote a piece about it in the first issue of our paper.
The Paradise Works team love the community feel of the area and the diverse mix of new businesses. They also enjoy being near the river and Millfields Park, which they cross to get coffee from Cooper & Wolf.
We asked who is the best furniture designer ever? They said Nanna Ditzel (1923-2005) - a Danish furniture designer and architect.
House of Twenty isrun by Natalie Harding and they specialise in mid-century vintage and industrial furniture and props, sourced mainly from the UK and Denmark. They also work closely with other shops, theatres, restaurants etc to help style their interiors. Natalie ran other antique stores for 8 years before forming House of Twenty in 2009.
Sara Madsen is from Denmark and speaking of Danes, As early as 894 the Danes came travelling up Lea River on their boats kicking of the of the Viking Age. Sara runs Archive Furniture, which restores furnitures and sells vintage and mid-century furniture.
A couple of years ago we photographed a gentleman called Stanley up by Clapton Pond who had run an upholstery business for 50 years. Now 92 he complained that no-one is restoring any longer. He couldn't be further from the truth. Alizon Bennet runs her own upholstery business and sells refurbished one-off pieces in the Paradise Works showroom. She also produces artwork, crafts and cars selling through a variety of outlets.
Dominic Bennet wasn't around when we came to photograph. He runs Bennet&Brown, which deals with furniture and artefacts from the first half of the 20th Century.