Dashing this one off because Keith let me know (thanks Keith) that Do South, an icon at one of the pointy ends of the Crystal Palace Triangle, is closing down for good this coming Friday.

Recap: I’m buying one thing from every shop on the Crystal Palace triangle and writing about them all here, for the joy of it. This is the fifth thing.

The shop

Do South.

For 13 years this high-end interior design shop has sold bespoke design services and an exquisitely tasteful range of furniture, kitchens, lighting and homeware products. Not cheaply, though, it has to be said – so it’s a once in a while kind of shop.

The showroom is a beautiful place and I’m sad to see it closing down. Presumably the rents and operating costs mean the maths no longer works for these kinds of high-outlay, infrequent purchases. But I’m pleased to see the online offer is extensive – much more so now than when I last looked – and I sincerely hope it does well as an e-commerce business.

(Not gonna lie, I’m also curious to see what moves into this spot after. It’s a prime unit. But there’s a huge break-even target to beat every month, whatever you’re selling).

The people

The founder and creative force behind Do South is Freddie Oke.

In that way that pet owners look like their pets, Freddie Oke looks like his shop. His personal style perfectly matches his interior design aesthetic – there’s a harmony and authenticity to this man and his shop.

That’s all borne out in Freddie’s story, and how his Irish-Nigerian heritage and musicianship influence his design taste. It feels poignant to read about how the showroom got started, as it gets ready to shut its doors.

The many things

We moved to CP not long after Do South opened, and have accumulated some beautiful items from Freddie and the team over the years.

The first was a set of distressed green metal garden chairs and table. At the time, quite a stretch for us to afford. They’re gone now, after years of service (and, let’s be honest, poor care by the owners), but here are a couple of old pics of them in their heyday.

The second was this red Ruark radio. I won it, in some online competition the shop was running about a decade ago. It was the first DAB thing and first Bluetooth thing I owned and is still our main (only) source of audio in our kitchen. I listen to some of the miserable, enraging and pompous R4 Today prog on it every morning (god knows why, habit mostly) and beam podcasts and music to it when I’m cooking.

Third, I bought a resplendent, fat soft cover designer notebook with silver edges on all the pages. Again, not cheap – it was about £35 I think. I used it as a bullet journal for a period while working at GOV.UK and it got a LOT of admirers. It’s in the garage somewhere but I have failed to find it for this post.

Ater that came these amazing patterned cushions. I fell in love with these the first time I saw them through the shop window and bought two, then they looked a bit lonely so I went back for two more. They’re among the most tasteful things in our house and have been elevating our living room for years now.

A pile of 4 square cushions with afrocentric influenced graphical patterns in vibrant colours

And last but not least…

The one thing

Under the circumstances (and because the clearance sale is down to final, mostly big spend items) I’m going to have to break my own rules, and talk about a thing I previously bought. The biggest purchase we ever made at Do South.

Our sofa.

So from now on, when I wang on in my weeknotes about all the things I’m watching, you can picture me sitting on this. (Or so I’ve heard – I still find it hard to believe seeing things in your mind isn’t just a metaphor).

Freddie was a hero when we bought this sofa, speeding up the shipping for us after we made a massive mistake buying a massive sofa from one of those soulless sofa giants down the Purley Way. It had looked good in the showroom (relative to the hideous majority) but it was totally wrong for our space when it arrived.

This one is perfect in the room and we adore it.

So I guess the moral of this story is you really do get what you pay for.

In fact, we regret not buying the matching footstool extension to make it an L-shape. Maybe time to check the website and see what’s available online…


Wishing Freddie and the team all the best. ❤️

Until Friday 9 Feb, Do South is at 2 Westow Street, Crystal Palace, SE19 3AH. After then be sure to visit them online, sign up to the newsletter in the footer, and follow Do South on Instagram.

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