Zebra Homeware is now Custodian

Zebra Homeware was founded by partners Rachel and Tom in 2019. The idea to start an antique store came when we moved into our first home together. We quickly discovered that we both enjoyed styling our interiors with antique finds and found ourselves spending weekends travelling to local antique fairs and flea markets in search of new treasures. The thrill of discovering special and unique items each time inspired us to create a store where we could share our finds with others.

Zebra Homeware has always represented a fond appreciation for the old. To us, antiques symbolise a special part of history that should be cherished. Pieces were often built to last and were hand-crafted using natural, high-quality materials which is why they still exist today. Pieces are also limited, carrying their own unique story and when used in interiors, antiques add depth, character and interest to a room. When we reflect on what we love most about the antiques that we source, it is that they embody our values of timelessness, tradition, and craftsmanship. It is now our passion to ensure that pieces that reflect these values remain relevant in homes today by sharing our collection with fellow custodians. 

When we set up Zebra Homeware in 2019, we had no idea that our small business would develop into what it is today. Since completing our renovation on our Edwardian home, our passion for period homes and interiors has deepened which has heavily influenced the type of products that we now source. Therefore we felt it was important that our brand name reflects this, which is why we chose the name Custodian. We like to think that when you acquire an item from our collection you take on the role of its trusted custodian, playing an important role in preserving history, celebrating craftsmanship, and honouring tradition.

Introducing Custodian

We are thrilled to announce a new chapter in our journey – we have renamed from Zebra Homeware to Custodian. This change marks a pivotal moment for us, more closely reflecting what we stand for as a brand and our vision for the future.

Just like Zebra Homeware, Custodian will be a carefully curated collection of traditional furniture and objects for period homes. We will continue to travel across the UK and Europe to source antique furniture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, selecting pieces that offer a sense of heritage and character, and allow a historical home to be furnished sympathetically.

"When you acquire an item from our collection you take on the role of its trusted custodian.”

Inspired by the antiques that we source, we are also working on our very own ‘made by Custodian’ collection that embodies what we love most about antiques - timelessness, tradition, and craftsmanship. As part of this venture, we felt passionate about bringing values of old into contemporary furniture design. While antiques will always be at our core, we wanted to create a capsule collection of products that are timeless in design, use traditional materials, and are handmade by skilled craftspeople. Much like the antiques that we source, we want our products to be suited to period homes and it is important to us that the pieces that we create sit seamlessly alongside antiques. Over the past year, we have taken inspiration from some of our favourite finds and have been designing products that we hope will be the antiques of the future. To bring these designs to life, we have enlisted the support of a small team of local craftspeople who are experts in their field. We will be launching our first product very soon which we can’t wait to share with you. 

“It is our passion to ensure that pieces that reflect our values of timelessness, tradition and craftsmanship remain relevant in homes today by sharing our collection with fellow custodians.”

We can not talk about this new venture without mentioning our recent home renovation. As fellow renovators can probably relate, this process became all-consuming as we were faced with the challenge of restoring the building from scratch. This process further awoke a passion for historic buildings and interiors, and the character and charm that they carry. We were conscious to be sympathetic to the building’s historical roots, which meant restoring the original cast iron fireplaces, reinstating picture and dado rails and unveiling original floors, to name but a few. As the building work progressed, we wanted to furnish the rooms with pieces of furniture that the house may have previously seen throughout the decades. This is especially evident in our dining room, where we have a 19th-century Victorian scrub table placed next to an Art Deco cabinet, and a mid-century pendant light by Danish designers Fog & Mørup hung from the original Edwardian ceiling rose. Although the renovation was one of the hardest things we ever did, we have enjoyed being able to preserve our home’s history while making it suitable for contemporary living.

“We have a fond appreciation for the old. Whether that be a historic building, an antique piece of furniture, or timeless design.” 

What has become clear during our journey so far is that we have a fond appreciation for the old. Through this new venture we hope to talk more about our love for historical buildings, as they go hand in hand with our love for traditional interiors. Period homes and landmarks hold a special part in our landscape, culture, and society, and give us a sense of connection to the past. We plan to shine a spotlight on these buildings and celebrate their charm and beauty.

The allure of period buildings and furniture lies not just in their aesthetic appeal but in the stories they encapsulate.” 

Since we set up as Zebra Homeware in 2019, what we have enjoyed most is seeing our pieces in their new homes. As we continue our journey as Custodian, we hope that our customers gain an even deeper insight into our vision and share our passion for timelessness, tradition and craftsmanship. We would like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported us in our journey so far, we are so grateful and it is something that we never take for granted.

While change can sometimes be daunting, we are also filled with excitement as we embark on this next chapter of our story. There is lots to look forward too, including national and international sourcing trips, and the launch of our ‘made by Custodian’ collection. We invite you to join us as a fellow custodian as we strive to preserve history, celebrate craftsmanship, and honour tradition.

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