Samarkand Design grew out of a passion for textiles. It was founded by Hilly Grumbar and Carrie Hart; a pair bound not just by friendship but also by their shared passion for design and artisanal craftsmanship. At the beginning of 2020 Carrie retired from the business so Hilly continues to run it ably assisted by Harry (her son) who is charge of everything technical and Trish who does almost everything else.
As inspired by the classic ‘English’ look as we are by our extensive travels across India and Africa, this collection of our favourite things brings together the vibrant and the eclectic, reflecting the stories of craftsmanship from across the world.
It is very much a family-run business, based in the barn next to our home in North Devon. A real Aladdin's cave we are happy to welcome you if you are down in the South West but do get in touch before arriving!
Samarkand’s stunning collection of lampshades and lamps are designed to illuminate, complement and enhance any style. Whether it’s the cool and crisp feel of a beach house or the rich and romantic ambience of an English country house, our lampshades bring a distinctive quality to every room.
The shades come in several ranges:
The Vintage Sari Collection
The Vintage Sari Collection offers a wide variety of designs. Each vintage silk sari has been picked for its jewel-like patterns, colours and textures, reflecting the richness of India’s textile traditions. Ranging from zinging oranges and fuschias to more subtle, neutral shades, we have endeavoured to curate a range to suit every design scheme.
The Jaipur Collection
Over the years we have found dozens of beautiful saris but amongst them have been some real stand-out stars - so we have now created The Jaipur Collection - a collection of shades made from screen printed silk inspired by those designs. This allows us to offer a popular design in all the sizes and in some quantity although we wont ever keep repeating it until it becomes over-used.
The Bagru Collection
Our collection of hand block printed cotton shades remains ever popular. From the traditional pink and ochre paisley to the more contemporary feel of the green chevron, these shades are less formal than the silk but still bring that spark of colour to a room.
The Kimono Collection
We now have a limited edition of vintage kimono shades which were designed to complement the Iki Lamp.
The Scallop Collection
Increasingly popular - our range of linen shades with scallop edges now comes in 5 sizes and 4 colourways.
The Assam Collection
Shades made from hand-woven cotton by artisans in the far North-eastern corner of India - we love the latest version of these shades which come in a range of candy stripes - teal, pink and pale green on cream.
All ranges are available in eight sizes ranging from the smallest at 10cm wall lights to 60cm shades suitable for very large or standard lamps.
Samarkand Design’s collection of unique and unusual lampbases is designed to complement our shades.
Contemporary lamps include the Patala candlestick, the Adita Tree, and our curly Manali are all unique to Samarkand Design. If you are looking for something sleek and contemporary then the Iki lamp with its sensuous curves is a great choice and the ever popular and slightly quirky Aakriti can be ordered in a variety of colours.
We also have a collection of vintage Turkish pots, Moroccan Tamegroute, Ukranian glass and Japanese Kokeshi Dolls
Over the last few years we have seriously branched out with our growing collection of cushions - the wonderful hand stitched cushions from Kashmir and our unique collection of hand woven cushions from Nagaland are constantly being updated.
We can't help ourselves sometimes - so whilst we try and stay focused, inevitably we can't resist and so we do now have a small collection of rugs from Morocco and India and most recently added to that with the exquisite crewel stitch rugs from Kashmir.
Vintage Kanthas and Suzanis
We also have a wonderful selection of vintage kanthas and suzanis which make for brilliant throws, bedspreads or tablecloths. We can also arrange to upholster headboards or chairs for you using any of our vintage textiles.
Fair Trade and Ethically Sourced
The idea of Samarkand grew out of a desire to encourage and promote the traditional skills of the people we encountered on our trips. Sustainability and education are at the heart of Samarkand, which focuses on improving the lives of each of the artisans we work with, bringing hope and prosperity to communities where opportunities and living standards are often limited. We aim to build lasting and positive relationships with our suppliers based on the principles of fairness and social responsibility.