In a remote wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales is a whitewashed 17th-century wool mill: Melin Tregwynt. The mill is owned by the same family that bought it in 1912 and the products are still woven using local wool on ancient looms. Luckily for us, Melin Tregwynt also has a very 21st-century online shop.
Traditional Welsh designs have been updated with contemporary colour palettes and Melin Tregwynt's chic home accessories are found around the globe in hip hotels, glossy magazines and design-led stores. It's easy to see why this small shop is so successful: in a world full of plastic tat, there's something reassuring about the simple yet stylish bags, blankets, throws and cushions crafted in this small Welsh workshop.
The latest additions to the collection are elegant woollen lampshades made in the mill's signature double-cloth weave fabrics. They come flat-packed but are easy to assemble and there are plenty of designs to choose from. I like the archive 1960s pattern Round Cross. Don't miss the new upholstery fabrics, either - just the thing for bringing new life to an old armchair.
Melin Tregwynt is famous for beautiful blankets. The new Ember throws (in hot pink, bright orange and rusty brown) are particularly gorgeous and look stunning layered on a sofa with matching cushions. While you're browsing the home accessories, have a peek at the clothes and bags, too. There are pretty fabric-covered clogs (the lovely results of a recent Birkenstock collaboration), smart dressing gowns, slippers, socks, purses and heavenly handbags.
I was lucky enough to visit the mill recently. I watched the looms in action, sampled the cafe's Welsh cakes and bought an armful of remnants for quilting. Yes, there's a Twitter feed on the Melin Tregwynt website, but things remain largely unchanged at headquarters. As you stand at the mill door, surrounded by bleating spring lambs and blossom, hearing the distant roar of the sea, you could be in 2011 or the 17th century. It's bliss.