New Store Opening | Utility at The Albert Dock, Liverpool

19th June 2017

Exciting times ahead on Liverpool’s Albert Dock

We’re delighted to announce the opening of our newest gift pop-up store in Liverpool’s iconic Albert Dock. The store will be located in Unit8 The Colonnades and will stock a carefully curated edit of contemporary items for design aficionados.

As well as our usual selection of the best in modern jewellery, watches, greeting cards, and gifts – there will also be a number of exclusive Utility products championing Liverpool’s cultural heritage and world city status to whet the appetite of Liverpool residents and tourists alike.

As the Albert Dock seeks to re-position itself as Liverpool’s premium independent retail and restaurants location, we feel as though the time is right to test the water (excuse the pun). The goal is to improve the tourist experience and re-engage Liverpool residents who don’t necessarily visit the dock – something we’re very passionate about and excited to get behind.

New Store Opening | Liverpool at Albert Dock Liverpool

To celebrate the opening…

To celebrate the store opening (Friday 23rd June, just in time for the River Mersey Festival) we’re giving away 15% OFF in store purchases when you display the Facebook Event or a Utility Leaflet (handed out around the area on opening weekend).

We’re also running a competition that gives you the chance to WIN £250 Utility gift voucher. To enter, simply provide a member of staff with your email address. Doing so will also give you 10% off your first order online and a first look at all special offers via the Utility newsletter.

View the Store Opening Event on Facebook here


Got time for more Liverpool goodness? What’s on in Liverpool this Summer Best Sandwiches in Liverpool | 36 Hours in Liverpool City Guide



What’s on in Liverpool: Summer 2017

15th June 2017

From a secret cinema showing of Grease to a round the world yacht race, Liverpool’s cultural calendar is jam packed with events to fill those magical Summer days and nights. Utility is even opening a pop-up shop in the Albert Dock, which just goes to show you don’t need to hop on a plane to discover amazing new sites! Check out our round up of the best of what’s on this Summer in Liverpool.

Independent Liverpool Cult Cinema Night

Get the events calendar rolling before those summer days start driftin away. This Friday Independent Liverpool are hosting a secret cinema night in Grand Central’s Victorian-style theatre & event space, showing the 70s cult-classic Grease. The space is equipped with a bar so leave Sandra-dee behind and prepare for a night of boozing, singing and dancing along to your favourite Grease hits! Buy your tickets here.

Summer events in Liverpool | What's on in Liverpool | Utility Design

Hip Hop Wine Shop

The Hip Hop Wine Shop puts a spin on the traditional wine festival! This all day party will offer 50 wines from all over the globe, as well as cocktails, fizz, and a selection of cheeses! Tickets are still available so book your space asap. Why not make a day of it by opting for a boozy brunch at Camp and Furnace before the festival begins?

Summer in Liverpool

Africa Oyé Music & Culture Festival

The UK’s largest free celebration of African music and culture- Africa Oyé – returns to Sefton Park this weekend (which, as it stands, is going to be hotter than Gran Canaria!) With a line up including Max Romeo, Mookoomba and Grammy award-winner Dobet Gnahoré the festival hosts artists from all across Africa, as well as the Caribbean and South America. There’ll also be stalls selling food, drink and crafts from Africa and beyond, making it a true celebration of multiculturalism and tolerance that shouldn’t be missed!

Mersey River Festival

Another popular annual event, the Mersey River Festival returns to Liverpool on the 24th-25th June this year for a family fun weekend of Maritime magic. Head down to the Waterfront to  see ships sail into the city and to enjoy land and water boat displays.  Like last year the programme includes the Northern Boat Show and the British ThunderCat Racing Tour, but will also take on a special dimension as it coincides with Liverpool being the national focus for Armed Forces Day, and with Utility opening our new pop-up shop near the Tate….

What's on In liverpool Summer 2017

Utility Pop-up Store!

Speaking of which….Come and join us for the grand opening of our Pop-up shop on Friday 23rd June at the Albert Dock and see what we have in store for you. As well as our carefully selected range of design led greetings cards, gifts and accessories we will have exclusive offers on the day, 15% discount when you show our Facebook event at the till, 10% off your first online order and a chance to win a £250 Utility voucher! The store will be located at Unit 8, The Colonnades – just a short walk from the Tate. Find more details on our Facebook page

Baltic Market Opening Weekend

Independent Liverpool’s highly anticipated Baltic Food Market will finally launch on the 30th June, kick-starting a three day local food and drink extravaganza to celebrate the opening (it will run Thursday-Sunday every week thereafter). The launch nights will feature plates from the city’s best street food traders as well as a special cocktail menu, a selection of R&H Fine Wines and  a bar full of local Liverpool craft beer, because eating’s thirsty work, right?

Everyman Rep Company Finale

This year saw the launch of the Everyman Theatre Rep Company- an in house company of 14 actors staring in five Everyman productions. If you missed any (or want to see them again) then you’re in luck! From now until July the company will re-present the whole season, as Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers are joined  by a storytelling giant, zero hours’ workers, Antarctic explorers and a Russian peasant milkman. Head to Hope Street for spectacular performances of Fiddler on the Roof, the Story Giant, The Conquest of the South Pole, The Sum and Romeo and Juliet. View all performance dates here.


The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is an award-winning production based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel of the same name. Winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards and five 2015 Tony Awards® it’s not to be missed when it comes to Liverpool Empire Theatre for a four day stint in July and makes a great family activity. Book your tickets here


The sensational Liverpool International Music Festival kicks off in July, with another fantastic line up of new talent as well as big names. This year’s theme is Remember The Times and will explore and showcase pivotal music moments throughout the decades including those that gave rise to genres such as hip-hop, house and pop. For music lovers it’s a great event as unlike other festivals it caters to all music tastes. View the full line up here.

Liverpool Pride Festival

Staying firmly on the festivals, Liverpool Pride will take place across two days at St George’s Quarter on Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July 2017. Shining a light on diversity, we’ll see a return of last year’s stunning ‘Come out of the Shadows’ project. Iconic buildings, venues and city businesses including St George’s Hall, Liverpool Central Library, the Everyman theatre, FACT, Merseyside Police Headquarters and Barclays Bank will be lit up in the colours of the iconic Rainbow Flag – helping make Liverpool the most visibly LGBT+ city in the UK.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The world’s longest ocean race (400,000 miles!) is back and will once again be starting and finishing in Liverpool. The Clipper Race Fleet arrives at the Albert Dock on Monday 14th August, with events and activities being held throughout the week leading up to the take off. A full schedule of entertainment is yet to be released but Albert Dock’s Chief Executive Sue Grindrod,  said: “The Clipper 2017-18 Race Start is going to be yet another spectacular event this summer for our visitors….The yachtsmen and women are guaranteed a warm Liverpool welcome in August before they embark on their intrepid adventure.” We can’t wait to find out what they’ve got in store!

What are you looking forward to this Summer? Let us know on Facebook & Twitter 

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Events, Featured Posts

Utility x Vitra | Exclusive Limited Edition Eames LCM Chairs Available Now

14th June 2017

Utility x Vitra Exclusive | Ltd Edition Eames LCM

The Charles & Ray Eames LCM chair is part of the iconic Plywood Group of chairs designed in the 1940’s. Featuring sheets of premium face veneer on both sides of the seat and back, the LCM was designed to follow the natural contours of the body and flex with a person’s movements

The chair’s production was somewhat revolutionary in 1945, utilising the application of shock mounts to plywood chairs. The method provided strength, resiliency, and flexibility within the composition. Today the chair is produced by Swiss furniture giant Vitra.

Vitra Eames LCM Plywood Group Chair | Limited Edition Black / Walnut

As a long time Vitra stockist, we’re excited to announce that Utility have secured exclusive rights to sell the new Limited Edition Black/Walnut Vitra Eames LCM chair.

Out of the 50pcs available in the UK, Utility have 10 chairs available at £760 inc VAT. The limited edition version of this design classic won’t be around long so act now to secure your chair.


Sign up to the Utility newsletter to find out when the LCM will be available to purchase online. Also, please feel free to get in touch via if you’re interested in pre ordering your chair.


Time for more? Fritz Hansen VIA57 Wins NYCxDESIGN AwardInside Carl Hansen & Son’s London Showroom | Forget The Flatpack : Consider Investing in Design



Events, Products

Fritz Hansen VIA57 Chair | Introducing your new favourite

13th June 2017

Fritz Hansen wins 2017 NYCxDESIGN Award with VIA57™

NYCxDESIGN is an annual celebration of design that takes place across New York City every May. Various events including exhibitions, trade shows, open studios and installations are held to bring together all the disciplines of design, commerce, culture and entertainment. Interior Design & ICFF created the NYCxDESIGN awards to recognise and honour the exceptional product on exhibited throughout the city.

The submissions were reviewed by a panel of 30 design luminaries. Winners and Honorees were recognised live in a ceremony at MoMA on May 20, 2017. Among the winners were Danish design powerhouse Fritz Hansen for their VIA57™ chair, designed by celebrated architect Bjarke Ingels.


Fritz Hansen VIA57 inside the NYC based VIA57 West Building

Fritz Hansen VIA57 by Bjarke Ingels

The Fritz Hansen VIA57 chair was designed by Bjarke Ingels specifically for the VIA57 West building which casually leans into the Manhattan skyline. Ingels, who is known for his innovative architecture and KiBiSi, which is known for its idea-driven approach, took Danish design abroad by reinventing the American skyscraper and presenting the VIA57™ chair.

The partnership between BIG, KiBiSi and Republic of Fritz Hansen is a unique example of architecture and design going hand in hand, as it did in Arne Jacobsen’s SAS Royal Hotel in the 1960s.

With its adaptive and inventive design, the VIA57 is a chair that perfectly fits the modern lifestyle, allowing you to reconfigure it to suit your individual needs. Combining Scandinavian simplicity with American comfort, the VIA57 is both a chair and an inviting piece of sculpture with great visual appeal. The design expression softens the traditional lines of a room and offers uncompromising comfort.

Find out more about the VIA57 and order yours today at

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Celebration Of Modern Architecture Styles

9th June 2017

As it’s London Architecture festival this month (June 1 – 30) we thought we would share and celebrate some of our favourite architecture styles with you. Architecture is like a timestamp, leaving a lasting impression of the current world climate and architects’ state of mind; making it one of the most complex yet breathtaking art forms.

From Brutalism to Minimalism, we’re going to take you on a whistle stop tour through the modern Architecture ages; covering the wonderful and wacky world of modern architecture.

Architecture Styles

Brutalist; 1950 – 70

The name Brutalism derived from the term Le Corbusier used to describe the material used for his work – ‘béton brut‘ (raw concrete). British architect Reyner Banham then translated the term into Brutalist – fitting for such a harsh and drab style of architecture. Brutalism uses raw concrete and brick to create strong, clean lines that divides opinion with architects and passers by – some find Brutalism ugly and clunky whilst others enjoy the bold simplicity of the style. Although traditional Brutalist buildings are a thing of the past, it’s clear that the use of large concrete facades and open spaces has inspired plenty of architecture today.

Seeing as Britian is famous for it’s dismal weather, it’s only right that it’s home to lots of Brutalist architecture too. Head down to London Southbank and you will be immersed in Brutalism through the National Theatre and IBM headquarters. Check out the below images of our favourite Brutalist building – The Barbican – below.

Brutalism : The Barbican

Images via Joas Souza – Brutalism Project Part I – Barbican Estate

Want to read more about the Brutalist movement? Read Dezeen’s guide here.

Mid-century Modern; 1930 – 60

An architecture style synonymous with the West Coast of America that personifies the laid-back and laissez faire attitude of the Californians. Mostly restricted to private residences, the Mid-Century modern movement was influenced by Bauhaus and International architecture styles. Characterised by clean simplicity and an integration with nature through large open areas and strong natural lighting, Mid-Century modern homes are still highly coveted to this day and has heavily influenced modern day interior trends.

The Kaufmann house in Palm Springs, California is the epitome of Mid-century modern design and is famous due to the pedigree of its original owner Edgar Kaufmann. Kaufmann also owned Fallingwater, one of the most famous private residences to date. Check out the Kaufmann house below – don’t you just want to live there?

Mid Century Modern : Kaufmann House

Images via Archdaily

Want to check out a list of other examples mid-century modern architecture? Check out this list on Mid-century Home.

Japanese Metabolism; 1960 – 1980

Metabolism was a post-war Japanese movement that combined ideas of architectural structures and biological organic growth. In essence it was an idea for a futuristic form of architecture and social living that could be expanded/reduce depending on demand. Gaining international publicity a proposal made at the 1960 Tokyo World Design Conference, Metabolism was largely theoretical and there were actually very few buildings created using this style. The majority of Metabolism architecture was created in 1970 World Exposition where Kenzo Tange, an advocate of metabolism, was tasked with planning the whole site.

The most famous ‘Metabolistic’ building is the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo which was made in just 30 days in 1972. Built using two steel supports, the Nakagin is a modular building where the components (rooms) can be removed, hwoever it has never been altered. Still inhabited by around 15 people although some of the rooms are falling apart and inhabitable. If you want to experience this intriguing infrastructure yourself, you can also stay at the Nagakin for around $30 USD a night – bargain!

Japanese Metabolism - Nakagin Capsule Tower

Images via Noritaki Imami

Contemporary; 2000 – present

Modern day contemporary architecture encompasses many styles, often lending itself to Brutalism and International style through the use of large concrete facades, open plans and clean lines. However, contemporary architecture has the benefit of major technological advancements allowing for more expressive sculpture like structures being created. Although much of the postmodern 20th century architecture was based in the US and Europe, contemporary architecture is truly global.

Contemporary architects like Zaha Hadid have paved the way for buildings that take the form of sculptures on a much larger scale. The Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan which houses a gallery, theatre and conference hall eschews sharp angles to create a flowing, mesmerising structure.

Architecture Styles : Contemporary

Images via Archdaily

Minimalist; 1960 – present

Minimalist architecture may not necessarily be classed as a style of architecture like Brutalism or Mid-century are – just yet. However, it has certainly taken visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest by storm due to its clean and photogenic aesthetic. Minimalist structures are pared-back, simple and often only use the necessary elements needed to create them and aim to reduce visual and physical clutter to create an open, often vast space. That doesn’t mean the structures are bland and simple, architects are bold in there appraoch to minimalism and there is a lot of focus of how a space feels as well as looks.

This holiday home in Okinawa is minimalist architecture in its truest form. Practically a blank white canvas on the coast of Okinawa, the holiday home has a windowless facade but the rear has large open windows that peer out onto the sea, taking inspiration from the Mid-century modern mantra to integrate nature into architecture.

Architecture Styles: Minimalism

Images via Dezeen

Want to check out five more Minimalist homes? Read this blog post from lifestyle publication Manimalist.

That’s the round up of some of our favourite architecture styles. What’s your favourite style or builiding? Share your thoughts with us over on Facebook and Twitter.

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