Back in the habit of high street design

Lyra rattan armchair,  �280, Margo rattan shade, �60, large and 'medium ceramic vase, �35 each, Habitat.
Lyra rattan armchair, �280, Margo rattan shade, �60, large and 'medium ceramic vase, �35 each, Habitat.

SOUTHSEA GREENHOUSE: Enjoying an early harvest

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While famous names collapse and disappear from Britain’s high streets, one of the most iconic household design brands is revving up for a spectacular comeback.

Habitat, the brand which transformed millions of homes back in the 60s and 70s, is aiming for a revival.

Ceramic parrots and side tables.

Ceramic parrots and side tables.

But will it be successful in the harsher, penny pinching world of 2013?

That’s the challenge for Polly Dickens, seemingly handed something of a poisoned chalice when she was named Habitat’s creative director in January 2012 – just six months after the brand almost disappeared from our high streets as 30 stores went into administration.

The company’s condition was widely viewed as terminal. Just three shops in London were rescued when Habitat was bought by Home Retail Group.

But now, it’s coming back in fighting form. The Spring/Summer collection includes quirky accessories, from paint-splashed cockatoo ornaments (£40) to camel candle holders (£20). An array of elegant, sleek contemporary furniture pieces made special with details, finishes or bold colours, is proof that the affordable British design brand has once again found its form.

Dickens says: ‘This has been about breathing new appeal into a much-loved brand. I believe there are a lot of Habitat fans out there who still love its timeless classics but are now looking for fresh pieces, exuberance, fun, a sense of humour and edginess.’