At home with...Angus McArthur

Angus McArthur outside his shop Snowhome in York.
Angus McArthur outside his shop Snowhome in York.
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Angus McArthur is the founder of Snowhome on Gillygate, York. A fine art graduate, he opened the contemporary gift and homeware store 16 years ago. It is now a destination outlet for interiors lovers.

How would you describe your home and its style? We live in the centre of York in a late Georgian town house and our style is fairly eclectic. We’re obviously attracted to the period features of the property but have pared things down so the style is quite minimal and the palette of colours is fairly limited. The walls are white, the floor covering is mostly natural sisal and fabric and materials are generally natural colours, such as sage, oatmeal and oak. The house isn’t a homage to Snowhome, it’s just evolved over time. We have an antique grandfather clock that belonged to my grandmother, a mid-century modern side table and a contemporary bent ply table by friend and designer John Green all in the same room.

Angus hankers after a  CH24 Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner.

Angus hankers after a CH24 Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner.

What is on your interiors wishlist? I’d love a camper van. It’s a complete interior project on wheels and everything has to work seamlessly. The problem is that most of them either look a bit like mobile retirement homes or 80s bachelor pads. I’d really like to design and build one that has a stronger contemporary design aesthetic and consider all the little details. It’s a bit of a pipe dream.

What is your favourite piece of furniture and why? Perhaps the CH24 Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner with the oak frame and cord seat. It’s been in continuous production since 1950 and fulfils demands for comfort and quality whilst retaining a very distinct sculptural look. It perfectly captures the essence of modern Danish design and is a timeless object. I found one in a second-hand shop in Stockholm earlier this year. It was in good condition and only 80 euros but I knew that easyJet would have issues with me trying to claim it as hand luggage.

Which items could you not live without? I love my Wagner cast-iron pan, an old Alessi 9090 espresso maker and our solid oak dining table that I bought from a Normann Copenhagen trade fair 10 years ago.

Which architects and/or designers do you most admire and why? I’ve always enjoyed Jasper Morrison’s work. From a door handle designed in 1990 for FSB and the Bac chair designed for Cappellini in 2009 to the Hut for Muji a few years ago and plenty more in between, his style is effortlessly elegant and perfectly considered.

Angus couldn't live without his Alessi 9090 espresso maker.

Angus couldn't live without his Alessi 9090 espresso maker.

Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of 
design? I really like what the Danish brand HAY has been doing for the past few years. It is collaborating with international designers such as the Bouroullec Brothers, Hee Welling and Iskos-Berlin to create a fluent range of furniture and home accessories that’s realistically priced. Normann Copenhagen is also manufacturing the type of simple, functional and realistically priced design that really appeals to me.

What and where is your ideal home? I’ve always wanted a home on 
the west coast of Scotland. It’s a special place for me and my family. Dualchas architects have created some simple modern homes on the Western Isles that are sensitive to the surroundings and echo the vernacular style. I would design in plenty of storage space and try to live clutter free.

Who would you most like to invite to dinner and why? Alan Partridge for real ale and laughs; Andy Warhol to draw on the napkins and make deadpan yet insightful comments; Neil Armstrong for some interesting tales; Amy Winehouse and Billy MacKenzie for after- dinner singing. If they couldn’t make it then I’d be happy with family, friends and a good playlist.

snow-home.co.uk

Dandelion clocks paperweight, from �28, from Snowhome, York

Dandelion clocks paperweight, from �28, from Snowhome, York

One of the properties on the Isle of Skye built by Dualchas Colbost. Picture by Andrew Lee.

One of the properties on the Isle of Skye built by Dualchas Colbost. Picture by Andrew Lee.