In need of some furniture inspiration Charlotte Pearson heads to Rye.
There are many occasions where you come across items you may have forgotten you even owned, be it when you are moving house, clearing out your wardrobe or venturing into the loft.
For Marcus Crane and Gareth McCully moving from east London to Rye these items formed the basis of a shop.
“I was doing up the house and our stuff was in storage for about a year,” explains Marcus. “When we were all ready to move in we got the items out and found stuff we hadn’t seen for months.
“We had so much of it so we kept the items we loved and the others bits we decided to sell.”
In 2009 Marcus found a little shop in Rye to stock what he had and McCully and Crane grew from there.
“Now we have a much bigger shop,” he says. “We have the original shop and the gallery next door, it used to be a hairdressers and when they moved we took over and put in the gallery.”
Describing the shop as ‘eclectic’, it currently features an antique zebra head and a very large cherry red disco ball.
“I try to redecorate the shop every year,” reveals Marcus. “At the moment we have the taxidermy zebra so we have a lot of monochrome. There are white walls, exposed brick and a pink wall with hessian.”
Full of beautifully crafted and reworked statement furniture, the walls are covered with emerging artists, alongside decorative antiques, lighting, modern, contemporary, vintage and retro pieces all picked by Marcus.
“What I get depends on my mood really,” he says. “You have to have conviction in what you sell and everything I have here is something I love, and have gone ‘oh my gosh I need this in the shop’.”
But he is quick to admit that this doesn’t mean his own home gets cluttered with stock from the shop.
“I have a rule not to take anything home,” he begins, “but I do break it once a year on Christmas eve.
“If there is something I love still in the shop on Christmas eve then I take it home as a little gift to myself.
“But then if there are items at home I have bought that aren’t working I will sell them.”
As for the stock it comes from a range of places.
“I go to Ardingly and Gareth comes with me,” says Marcus. “I also have a lot of people coming in with something they have had for years and they are now downsizing so want us to sell it for them.”
And he adds: “We have rescue dogs so these keep us very grounded as we can’t always get away to buy things.”
Although the business features both his and Gareth’s surnames it is very much Marcus’ baby.
“He doesn’t really work in the business but I took his surname as I liked the way McCully and Crane sounded,” he laughs. “He gets the glory while I do all the work.”
The shop has also seen Marcus take a sidestep into interiors.
“It happened by accident really,” he admits. “We became friends with Katie Clark, the owner of The George Hotel in Rye.
“I helped her source some items when she redecorated, then someone they knew saw it and asked for me to create and install interiors for the amazing 11 bedroom luxury holiday home Tregulland in Cornwall.
“I do get people coming in to buy pieces of furniture and they ask me to visit their home, help them pick a paint colour and place the items, it all just grew from there.”
Putting pieces together is something that Marcus is used to.
“For ten years I worked in floristry working on lavish weddings and events in London,” he reveals. “It is similar to what I do now, putting different components together to make them all work.”
So what brought them from London to Rye?
“We looked all over Somerset and Norfolk but didn’t want to move to another city and wanted somewhere really different from London,” says Marcus.
“We looked at Brighton, Hastings and St Leonards but it was all too much like what we were leaving behind, but when we found Rye it ticked all the right boxes.”
Something which could also be said for the shop.
McCully and Crane, 27 Cinque Ports Street, Rye. For Instagram accounts for the shop follow @mccullyandcrane and for the gallery @mccullyandcrane.art
For more information, visit www.mccullyandcrane.com
May 10, 2016 Interiors and Property