The Collective Leeds: Unique cafe and interiors shop where you can buy anything inside from the sofas to the cutlery

We’ve all been there - out in a restaurant, eyeing up the wine glasses, thinking about how great they’d look in our own drinks cabinet.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th December 2021, 1:30 pm

But unless we have insider knowledge of the hospitality industry's latest designers, we often have to settle for the crockery on offer on the good old British high street. That is, until now.

A new interiors shop and cafe concept has opened in Leeds city centre and it aims to blur the lines between home and hospitality.

The Collective, based at 34 Boar Lane, is a working showroom where customers can take their experience home.

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New cafe and retail store The Collective has opened in Leeds city centre. The concept is that almost everything you see, from the sofas to the cup you are drinking from is for sale. Photo: Steve Riding.

Almost everything is for sale, from the table you’re eating at, the sofa you’re sitting on and even the coffee cup you’re drinking from.

Inspired by the LA laid-back, creative scene, The Collective is the brainchild of directors, Dale Wynter, of Oakwood’s Chophaus, and Ellen Pryce, the director of successful design company Nanu Soda.

Ms Pryce has always been a creative person and loved drawing portraits she copied from her dad’s newspapers as a child - something her daughter does now.

“I live, sleep and breathe design I always have done, to be honest”, she says.

Pictured is Ellen Pryce and Dale Wynter the co-directors of The Collective. Photo: Steve Riding.

Now after collaborating with Mr Wynter, who also owns The Beehive at Thorner, she says she has been able to fulfil the “dream” of having her own brand of furniture and lighting.

Ms Pryce said: “A couple of years ago, my company designed Chophaus and Dale approached me and asked if I wanted to design a cafe for him in town.

“I've always had a bit of a love of Restoration Hardware type places in America. We got talking and said, why don't we do that here?

“Why don't we design our own furniture and lighting in the cafe and have them all available for people to buy? So when they're in here, and they pick up a plate, or like the look of the chair that they're sitting in, they can buy it.

The Collective has an extensive food and drink menu on offer, whether you want breakfast and coffee or a early evening cocktail. Photo: Steve Riding

“One of the things that everyone seems to do at Chophaus is pick up the plates and look underneath so we've developed a range of crockery, which the food is served on, which people can buy if they like it.

“At first we were like, 'that's crazy, it's never gonna work', but I was like, ‘no, it will, it is brilliant.'

“It is something different for Leeds”.

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As well as bespoke items like the furniture and lighting, the have curated a range of ornaments, soft furnishings and candles available to buy and take away.

The vast majority of everything you see at The Collective is available to buy. From the sofas, tables, kitchenware and lighting.

Guests can peruse the British-made furnishings, lighting and finishes made and sourced in collaboration with manufacturers and artisans such as Tyson lighting, Stucco & Stucco, Ceramique Internationale Ltd, and Staunton & Hughes.

Most of the furniture is made to order and is customisable. Interior design experts will be on-hand to discuss bespoke furniture and finish options with guests, helping them to pick the perfect pieces to suit their home and style.

For those wanting a more extensive interior design service, appointments with The Collective’s experienced, award-winning interior designers can be booked.

Ms Pyrce said: “I think the exciting bit is about to start because we will change the interior every 12 to 18 months, selling off the furniture in here and then within that period we'll have designed and gone into manufacture with different styles. It will be evolving.

“We've partnered with Whitewall Galleries and they're going to change their artwork out every six to eight months, which will make the space feel different and showcase what we can do as designers.”

She added: “It’s an extension of a showroom for me and my design team and it's great to be able to bring clients in, provide them with a great lunch and show them a site that we've designed.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own furniture and lighting and it complements my company well because it means that we're all-encompassing.

“Everything in the store you can buy. Everything's bespoke from the lighting to the furniture - nothing's bought off the shelf.”

The food matches the curated design, with brunch and lunch options, including all-day bowls, New York deli bagels, artisan pastries and salads.

Charcuterie and cheese boards are ideal for nibbling on and are made using locally sourced ingredients.

Whether you’re meeting a friend for coffee or you’re looking for a new after-work drink spot, The Collective has got you covered with a selection of coffees from Maude Coffee, organic wine from Eden Wines and an extensive cocktail menu.

Take-out food and drink options are also available.

As well as the café and retail space, The Collective has moveable bookcases that reveal cosy corners for hosting meetings or catching up on work emails.

A full programme of events and creative workshops is planned for the 1,819 square foot space.

Ms Pryce said: “We will be doing events each month, where we might have a new artist come in and showcase their work or we might have a book reading by a local author.

“We also want to do things like wreath-making at Christmas and we're going to have an art class with a friend of mine.

“We want people to bring kids in, we want families here.

“One of the things I found when I had my daughter was that I wanted to go into these nice places, but I never felt like I could take her in them.

“I want people to bring the kids in here, sit them down at the table at the back, let them draw while parents sit and have something to eat.

“We want it to be a warm, inviting space."

She added: “Ultimately, we wanted to create a feast for the eyes as well as offering a space where people could re-fuel with some incredible food and drinks.

"Guests can peruse the art and dreamy décor in a chilled atmosphere, giving them time to immerse themselves in the great-quality, hand-crafted goods we have for sale.”