Who would have guessed, just two years ago, that we’d get so familiar with the same four walls? That we’d rise, work, eat and sleep behind closed doors; living out our daily lives almost exclusively in the flats, studios and houses we call home?
We sure didn’t. But the lengthy lockdowns and often-tedious periods of self-isolation did come with a silver lining. Confined to our homes, we began to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of interior design and decoration. Often overlooked in the past, we suddenly started to renew and renovate our personal spaces. After all, if the work-from-home way-of-life was set to continue, it paid to put in a little effort.
Today, we’d recommend you do the same. And these changes don’t have to be big. Forget furniture or fresh coats of paint — and instead focus on interior accessories and smaller home decor essentials. A cashmere throw here; a striking wireless speaker there. These interior tweaks and touches may sound subtle — but they will make all the difference.
Thankfully, if you don’t have endless hours to shop around for new pieces, Bicester Village has curated a collection of the best homewares money can buy. The luxury shopping destination counts some of the finest electrical, home beauty and decorative design brands along its cobbles — with these boutiques offering exclusive discounts on many interior essentials, from television sets to scented candles.
And, even if you do end up buying a bigger item, Bicester Village’s unrivalled hospitality services have you covered. ‘Hands-free Shopping’ is particularly welcome; allowing guests to have every purchase picked up and packed for them, ready to be collected at the end of the day. So, if your decor is looking a little drab, here are the perfect products to breathe new life into your home at Bicester Village…
Never underestimate the subtle power of soft furnishings
It’s true. While throws and cushions may never have crossed your mind, this softer side of interior decoration is perhaps the most important part. From patterns and colours to different textures, these material goods offer a way for you to put your personality on display. Like the clothes in your wardrobe reflect your tastes and inclinations, soft furnishings work to dress your home in a distinctive, individualistic way.
And Bicester Village has soft furnishings in spades. We’d start at Missoni, the Italian luxury fashion house. Renowned for its bright, bold colours and angular patterns, it’s a brand that has perfected a playfully masculine aesthetic. Whether you opt for a blanket, a throw or a cushion, you’ll get hit of vivid, vibrant colour that will draw the eyes of every guest.
Then there’s Bamford; a brand that knows how to wind down, relax and really fluff up a cushion. Or, for a slightly firmer soft furnishing, head over to The White Company boutique, where you’ll find a range of frames perfect for displaying some of your more prized pictures.
Bamford 60x60 Flecked Pillow
The White Company Grey Resin Frame
Embrace beauty for your whole home (not just your bathroom)
If vases and cushions never crossed your mind, we’d wager you’ve never thought about beauty products outside of the bathroom, either.
But, once again, these subtle, aromatic touches can help elevate your home with minimal effort. Bicester Village is a haven of beauty brands, with many offering sweet-scented candles perfect for a modern home. Our favourite brand, tailored to the tastes of sophisticated men, would be Bamford — offering scents including ‘Frankincense’ and ‘Wisteria’.
But diffusers also make for an opulent option. Filled with aromatic oils, these calming home accessories can double as distinctive centrepieces. At Bicester Village, several brands offer decadent diffusers; including Molton Brown’s ‘Lemon and Mandarin’ option, or a selection of four different fragrances — including ‘Wild Rhubarb’ and ‘Lime & Bay’ from The White Company.
Molton Brown Lemon and Mandarin Diffuser
The White Company ‘The Mini Diffuser Collection’
Heat things up with some quality cookware
Whether you’re entertaining or eating alone, good kitchenware encourages you to up your culinary game. And, as we know, cooking is a skill modern men should excel at. At Bicester Village, there are not only many restaurants and cafés to tempt your tastebuds — the luxury shopping destination also has an enviable list of cookware boutiques; primed to sharpen up your collection of kitchenware.
Boutiques like Le Creuset, which is exclusively offering the French brand’s ‘Ultimate Set’ for just £749 until the end of August. Or Villeroy & Boch; German artisans who create bold, artistic crockery like no other brand. There’s even a touch of sustainability on show at the newly-opened London Grade Coffee, where you can pick up a pack of these idiosyncratic ‘Huskee’ cups; recycled from coffee estate waste and guaranteed to brighten up any kitchen counter.
London Grade Coffee Huskee Cups
Villeroy & Boch Rock Deep Bowl
Le Creuset Ultimate Set
Improve the design credentials of your home electricals
And, for a final flourish, it’s time to tune-up your home electricals. You may not think of these gadgets and devices as ‘interior decoration’ — but that’s because you’re not investing in the best. Look to higher-end heritage brands, such as Danish audio-visual visionaries Bang & Olufsen, and you’ll soon realise that form, function and fashion can fuse together into one stylish, decorative package.
At Bicester Village, the Bang & Olufsen boutique is packed with beautiful innovations — all available at a fraction of their retail prices. There are speakers, including the portable, waterproof Beoplay P6 and the Beoplay M5 Smart Speaker. But the real jewel in the collection’s crown? The Beovision Eclipse; a clear-cut, sleekly-designed television destined to become the stylish centrepiece of your home.
Bang & Olufsen Beovision Eclipse
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay M5
Inspired? We thought so. And, luckily, Gentleman’s Journal readers can enjoy an exclusive VIP shopping experience at Bicester Village this summer. We’ve partnered with the luxury shopping destination to offer unique, exclusive access to the Village’s invite-only VIP space, The Apartment.
Valid until Tuesday 31st August, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all-day refreshments — while also benefitting from complimentary services including hands-free shopping, reserved parking, priority entry into selected boutiques and a further saving of 10% on the Village price with an eVIP Pass.
To book your Private Client shopping experience, simply email PrivateClients@BicesterVillage.com, and quote code: BV2021. Provide your name, desired date of visit, contact telephone number and your planned arrival time. And, if you plan to come by car, please also submit your vehicle registration details in order for Bicester Village to organise your reserved parking.
Looking to turn your Bicester Village visit into a longer trip? Here’s how to enjoy the perfect Oxfordshire staycation…
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