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The Collection in Cobham - Surrey's best interiors shops

PUBLISHED: 10:04 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:23 20 February 2013

Of all the interiors shops in Surrey, Cobham's The Collection is one of the best for unusual designs from faraway places. Janet Donin takes a wander through this exotic emporium

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2009

Of all the interiors shops in Surrey, Cobhams The Collection is one of the best for unusual designs from faraway places. Janet Donin takes a wander through this exotic emporium

Name of store: The Collection
Address: 28 High Street,
Cobham KT11 3EB
Tel: 01932 860246

In less than a year, Greg Becker and his girlfriend Susie Garden have created an exotic emporium of home furnishings in the heart of quintessential England. Hailing from South Africa the couple, who both have backgrounds in design, are actually fulfilling the dream of Gregs parents in their quest to showcase the best homewares from South Africa and beyond. Happily, their unique style hasnt gone unnoticed in Cobham and now The Collection has just opened a second branch in Londons Kings Road.

Arranged over two floors, theres a distinctive ethnic style to many of the pieces. Susie told me that most of the stock is by well-known South African designers, who in order to promote their work are willing to adapt their designs to her specifications.

That way, our customers can have something totally original for their homes, she says.
Here, too, youll also find chests and desks in natural or painted wood from India; oh so comfortable dining chairs covered in cashmere from Holland; triptyque works of art from France; and gorgeous bags by San Franciscan designer Mary Frances.

Shop for
Stunning cowhides bought in South Africa from government regulated sources. The hides, from the indigenous Nguni cattle, are huge. We were a little nervous about selling them at first, admits Greg. But they have been very successful. You can buy the skins as a floor covering, but they also use them to cover chairs, ottomans and trunks to great effect. And dont miss the Springbok skins dyed in exotic colours to make cushion covers.

Also worth a look are the unusual metal pieces created by South African designer Carrol Boyes, who incorporates the stylised human body in all her work. I saw an unusual trolley with a spread-eagled person forming its sides, together with bowls, bottle openers and cutlery.
Theres fabulous wall art, too, with African landscapes by English resident Julia Timewell, Italian street scenes and unusual abstracts, all of which you can take home on a trial basis.

Favourite product
A feathered African tribal hat, which when opened out makes an exotic wall plaque.

Worth a visit
Because youll find so many unusual items from designer furniture to gorgeous cowhide handbags, amazing lamps to must-have Pandora silver bead jewellery, all under one roof.

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