Papersmiths is a book and stationery shop nestled happily in the heart of Bristol’s Clifton Village. The store sells carefully curated items from cutting edge designers and illustrators from all over the world. Though it was the outstanding book selection, which primarily focuses on design and lifestyle, which originally drew me to this independent emporium, it’s the space itself that attracts shoppers from far and wide. With vast windows that allow sunlight to soak into oak clad walls and bounce off ceramic tiled surfaces, walls of magazines and green plants shelter beneath a distinctive larch wood ceiling.
The shop now known as Papersmiths was created by Kyle Clarke and Sidonie Warren, founders of design studio Something Good. The business began life in Bridport in an old rope making factory and after 18 months, moved to Bristol. In 2013 after a quiet spell in the studio, the pair decided to turn half their new space into a shop. Kyle and his brother set about cladding the space in wood and built all of the furniture for the new shop by hand. A year later, the shop moved to Clifton Village and Kyle attempted to bring a lot of the old store’s personality to the new space, cladding it with beautiful lengths of larch and oak.
Passers by will undoubtedly notice the Papersmiths windows, in which exposed globe bulbs illuminate products stacked on wooden and steel shelves, but it’s the flashes of green from the shop’s living wall that really draw the eye. Sidonie and Kyle worked with Jeanette Ramirez of The Clorofilas to create and cultivate a huge mossy space that houses a litter succulents. Sidonie told me that the living wall requires a lot of maintenance but that her love for greenery, and the customer’s love for the special wall makes taking care of it totally worth the extra work.
Design-led stationery and paper goods are the products that Papersmiths is best known for. The founders of Something Good already had a bunch of designers and products in mind before opening their doors so teamed up with their favourite creatives in order to stock the best of the best. The store has gone from strength to strength and now stocks items and publications from all over the world.
‘We ended up in Bristol because we had clients in Bridport and couldn’t move too far away from there’ says Sidonie. ‘Right now I wouldn’t be anywhere else. Everywhere in Bristol there seems to be something new happening; some young people setting up a new eatery, or magazine, or distilling their own gin. There are some seriously good independent shops here too. My favourite place at the moment is Weber and Trings who sell weird and wonderful spirits that are hard to come by anywhere else.’
A little oasis of calm sits in Clifton Village, selling the most stunning, unique and covetable items the worlds of stationery, publishing, and homeware have to offer. Keep up with the most beautiful store in Bristol on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Where to find Papersmiths?
Open every day 10am – 5pm
6A Boyce’s Ave, Bristol, City of Bristol BS8 4AA
Find more here
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth