Interior view of Les Interieurs Have you ever been to Les Interieurs in Newport Beach Sydney? If you haven't, you must make a beeline to its doors. Les Interieurs is arguably one of the most beautiful homewares stores in Sydney. It is the creation of Pamela Makin who is a renowned interior stylist.
Pamela's retail concept is refreshingly unique in that she curates a new homewares collection every few months. Each new collection is based on an always stylish colour way. Pamela sources one-off pieces from around the globe that best reflect and capture the essence of the chosen colour way. Her range is a mixture of vintage furniture, original finds, hand-crafted objects and soft furnishings and irresistable decorative pieces.
Pamela also loves to support local designers, artisans and craftspeople: that's were Little Dandelion comes in to the picture. It is so refreshing when you find people who understand the importance of supporting local craftspeople. To have someone like Pamela like what you do is also a great compliment. Pamela's taste is exceptional.
When I first walked into Les Interieurs I was a little overwhelmed because everything is just so darn beautiful. This shop is seriously a case of "what not to buy here". I have spent years on the periphery of the rag trade so I understand that the ability to visually merchandise product in a way that makes it irresistable is a gift. Anyone can be taught the technical aspects of visual merchandising but to do it successfully is a whole other matter. You need to work intuitively to be really good at VM. You need to be able to visualise your space and your product on a macro level. You need to have a commercial eye to ensure that you place your product in a way that will make people want to buy it. Above all, you need to have exceptional taste. Pamela has all of these abilities in spades.
OMG - I love those hand knitted twine baskets in the picture above. I love the colour, I love the concept, I love everything about them. I understand they are made by another local craftsperson so that makes them even better. When I first visited the store, Pamela had a stunning floral arrangement made from twigs and foilage coming out of them. To die for!
I LOVE white linen. It is classic, it is elegant but it is also relaxed. There is something extremely luxurious about the notion of white linen. It makes me think of summer holidays, azure blue water, lounging poolside with a cocktail in hand.........
The bed runner in the above picture is made from a heavy grade linen. I cut the strips of linen by hand from a 20 metre roll which was 150cm wide. What was I thinking??? Clearly I wasn't at the time and the exercise taught me that the practice of cutting the fabric myself is totally unsustainable. Once the strips were cut, I then machine stitched them together to create a seam. I then machine washed the strips, deliberately frayed the strips to the seam and then dryed them on a low setting in the dryer. Just to get the strips in a form ready for knitting took me 5 days. The runner used up the entire roll of fabric and took me about 8 hours to knit. Again, what was I thinking?
I think it's hard for people to understand what goes into making something by hand. That's why the "back story" of any hand made item is both extremely interesting and important to tell.
This linen throw is made from an incredibly supple linen which has a self-herringbone stripe running through the fabric. The linen drapes beautifully and it is so soft against the skin. I have made two custom order blankets now out of this fabric but in a different colour way. Both owner's have kindly reported how much they love them and how comforting they are to use. Linen is like that though - warm in winter and cool in summer.
One more thing - I have to mention the amazing black ceiling light shades in the picture above. Pamela had these flown in from France especially for this collection. Now that is commitment to a cause as far as I'm concerned. Importing things like this can be such a palava. The shades are hand knitted and look stunning. You need to see them first hand to truly appreciate their scale and beauty: a bit like my knits really.
If you happen to be in Newport anytime soon, you must drop in for a visit. Les Interieurs is Christmas present mecca.