Right so blue plastic wasn’t the ideal frontage I had in mind but with over 1,200 square feet of space and positioned on one of the prettiest shopping streets in Leicester, we could get over that!
Number 10 had potential! That’s what counts right? So hard work, much mess and a tad of stress lay ahead. What made things more difficult was the age of building and that it is in a conservation area. All my plans had to be passed by Leicester City Council . . . Number 10 had to reflect Pomponette style on the outside and the in: I love old buildings, I deal in vintage furniture – I was not likely to start thinking neon signage at this point! The changes got the seal of approval (eventually) . . . and that gym interior/ exterior had had its cards marked!Gyms and Interior Boutiques have different needs; lilac and lime green walls with grey and navy carpet tiles (not the easiest to get up may I add!) were not in my plans. That secondary double glazing was another thing on my ‘chop’ list . . .
Inside, one of the main issues was the amount of partitioning. I needed the large space to flow. It seems someone was a little ‘wall happy’ a while ago as a lot of the internal walls were not original. From an aesthetic and sensible retail persepctive, two shower rooms right bang in the middle of the space were a complete no no for me! On first viewing, I immediately walked into these ‘closets’ and shouted ‘Card Room,’ and after Sean’s initial and over exagerated sharp intake of breath (and a few lectures on the hassle of moving complete plumbing systems) he could actually see where I was coming from with a view to creating a useful separate area for our greeting cards & wrap.
The experienced team of shop fitters, carpenters & joiners moved in mid-October. It was very messy to start but what a difference the removal of the partitioning and secondary glazing made!
Out came those shower rooms too!
And the space ended up being transformed into this . . .
I didn’t want the shop to feel like a shop. I didn’t want to do harsh lighting or display racks and don’t get me started on how hideous I feel slat wall looks. We are a Home Boutique and yes, the merchandise is for sale (of course) but I wanted a homely, low lit environment that feels more like a domestic setting. I needed a bit of wallpaper to set the scene. The far back wall also needed ‘bringing in’ as although the shop front is small, the shop is very long once you are in! I chose Little Greene Albemarle Street in Charcoal (below left) as I love the design and it is dark and atmospheric. I have the Flame (below right) in this design in my dining room. I love Little Green wallpaper as they replicate original papers from the English Heritage Archive. Albemarle Street c.1760 is from their London Wallpapers Collection and Albemarle Street itself is just off Picadilly if you are ever in the area!
Wallpaper up. What a difference!
I wanted a permanant display unit for the long, rear back wall so designed a structure that the carpentry team could make and we could paint. When this was fitted it really changed the feel of the back space . . .
Chandeliers and display lighting also sorted. Tick.
Gorgeous Georgian coving came to a halt at one point . . .
I wanted it to continue with it all the way round so the shop fitting team had the painstaking job of matching to the original as close as they could. They did a brilliant job. You can hardly tell which is which . . .
Exterior taking shape (and just to point out, I hadn’t scribbled ‘Jo’ on the window as some assumed. It was the number ’10′ for the Postie!)
Sress over. Let the merriment commence. Happy Christmas all . . .