Hi! Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog! So I have a lot of news to tell you as it’s been quite busy round here! Busy in a really good way – lots of customers, great editorial in newspapers and a little expansion!!!! For any newcomers to the blog I opened an interiors retail store in July 2012 called La Vie en Rose. (I love France, Roses and Edith Piaf’s now famous song!). Well I am very happy to report that the shop is doing really well! As any of you have your own business will know sometimes it can get a little overwhelming when things are busy. When you are an owner-manager you have to wear many hats!! You are the sales assistant, buyer, marketer, financial controller, merchandiser, shelf stacker and chief floor sweeper! There just wasn’t enough hours in the day to do everything so something had to give – so I stopped blogging for a while. My eldest son Aran is a fantastic help at the weekends but the time has come to get some extra help so La Vie en Rose will soon have it’s first member of staff!! So hopefully I will be able to keep the blog going because I really missed it and all my blog friends!
Things also got a bit frantic in the run up to Christmas as I expanded the shop by opening another room which is adjacent to the main shop! I know I’m a glutton for it! But I loved making my Annie Sloan Living Room a reality- it was so much fun! So as I like to say it’s upwards and onwards for La Vie en Rose for 2013!
I wanted to create a retail space that looked like a real living room. So we turned a 40 year old kitchen in to a ‘living room’ . . .
This room was a real mess when we started. A very old dated kitchen was gutted which left very messy uneven brick and mortar walls. Once again I decided to use the old reliable pine panelling which not only covered the uneven finish of the walls but introduced some character as well – and it’s relatively inexpensive!
I stock Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan and I really wanted to show some of the colours on a large scale to make it easier for customers to select colours. A lot of customers like to see the whites in particular side by side to help them pick the right shade for their needs. So I painted each wall in a different Chalk Paint™ colour. The chimney breast in the above photo is Primer Red. As this was going to be a Winter Living Room I wanted to make it cosy and Christmassy! The temporary ‘mantlepiece’ ie. wooden shelf is painted in Graphite. The coffee table is a vintage upcycled piece that we painted in Country Grey.
My idea is to paint the chimney breast wall every season to keep this retail space fresh and highlight seasonal stock. I love the Primer Red for Winter as it works really well with the brown leather wingback Armchair and the grey-green of the bookcase.
We also framed in the windows with some more panelling and trim and it made such a difference to the room. The wall with the two windows is painted in Cream and the wooden trim and window frames are painted in Versailles which is a beautiful pale sagey green. I really love the colour Versailles. It’s a gorgeous subtle colour that seems to go with everything and is so easy on the eye. The half moon white marble console is a lovely piece and fit perfectly here the wooden base is painted in French Linen.
The back wall in the photo above is painted in Original a lovely warm white. The dining table on the left is another vintage piece re-loved by us. We painted the top in Graphite an the base in French Linen a brilliant combination – really gives you that French look.
The last wall I painted in Old Ochre a beautiful warm colour not too white, too beige or too cream it’s just somewhere in the middle – a gorgeous colour. I found this adorable hall sideboard/dresser in a very sorry state but after a few repairs and a little Annie Sloan magic it looks FAB! The colour is a mix of 1 litre of Paris Grey and 100ml of Old White. The detail is highlighted in Old White.
Some of the furniture is vintage and some is new which gives the room a lovely feel. When I first stared work on this room I really wanted it to look like a living room not an austere showroom. It must have worked as some customers apologise for walking in there and tell me that I have a lovely ‘home’ They’re always amazed when I tell them it’s part of the shop! The chalky finish of the paint in this space just makes this room so beautiful. It has a charm and a warmth that makes you feel at home. I love that it’s so easy now to show my customers the different colours on a large scale. I also now have a canvas for my seasonal displays. Already I’m planning my Spring ‘Living Room’ and I’m thinking of Henrietta (a gorgeous Spring pink) for the chimney breast!!! Hope you enjoyed the little tour!