Aria is located in an atmospheric space in Islington’s Barnsbury Hall. Many of the building’s original features have been restored and they now contrast beautifully with the über-modern lines of contemporary furniture and homewares. High-quality designers’ pieces are here, as are more unusual pieces like Fornasetti’s black and white hand-painted wall plates (£135) and the Bourgie table light by Ferruccio Laviani (£199). This mix, teamed with a very nice in-store café, makes Aria a pleasure to visit. Chairs are a speciality, with Starck and Patrick Jouin well represented. Smaller stand-outs include a Fisheye Kompact camera (£49.95) and pretty Taika bowl (£16.50) that would make a great gift, especially if it had some of Aria’s very tempting selection of toiletries (Cowshed, Savon de Marseilles) nestled inside it.
Aria is number 89 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.