THE TIN SHED
We’ve been in the ‘Tin Shed’ for over 10yrs now - birthed around the same time as starting the DC with the fledgling few all that time ago! The Decorative Antiques scene has certainly grown massively over that time - assisted by the DC platform of course! It’s still a great space to showcase stock in, when it’s set out properly, it’s an inspirational space to work in and I do harbour improvement plans for it for the future (post new build) but more about that later.
A new show space with workshops is a timely addition because we are rapidly outgrowing the existing buildings, so much so that the Tin Shed has become a glorified warehouse for large parts of the year with us not being able to move for stacked stock! One of the things I’ve learned in the Tin Shed during these last 10 yrs is how important natural light really is for the ‘Internet Showroom’. When selling online, photos (as well as good stock) are everything and for that, you need light. The Tin Shed does lack light and I’ve often thought how great it would be to actually build a new showroom with that in mind!
THE BUILD TEAM
It’s a nice story about the design and construction team! Elaine Graham LTD is the very meticulous Architect who has done some fantastic work. She is the wife of Anthony who heads up A + D Construction Services, the ‘D’ being Danny (Elaine’s nephew). Anthony and Elaine live in the same village as us and Anthony is an ex (trying to be) antique dealer! I couldn’t speak highly enough of them, they have so much experience and have every detail thought out in advance, every tricky point considered way before I’d think of it - no wonder they never have to advertise. I think Anthony is enjoying this build as the showroom he never got to do as a dealer and as a ‘dealer’, I must say he has ‘the eye’ as we say! That same eye works wonders in build projects!
THE NEW SHOWROOM
The Heim Studio (heim is Nordic for ‘home’) is a pipe dream coming true! From years ago thinking how cool it would be to build a bespoke showroom - it’s now actually happening. From having plans drawn up and getting planning permission 3 yrs ago, we had no idea if we could actually build it but we’ve recently had a few of the busiest years we’ve ever had and incredibly, making a start had become a reality. The steel work allows ‘open plan’ floor space, there will be a polished concrete floor, seamless joins to the walls of same colour and a full glass screen on the entrance end which faces east - I’m hoping this will enable great photography throughout the day. The glass screen is a work in progress - we have to work out how we can achieve it cost effectively without ‘off the shelf’ panels - it needs to look good. The construction is insulated block work with a larch clad exterior and slate roof which will at least keep the guys warm in the new workshops which are built into the back of the building! We’ll be installing a solar PV array on the south facing roof to make sure the new building conforms to current energy efficiency standards and go towards powering an air source heat pump. A cool 1970s French Stove will add extra heat (and effect!) in the showroom area.
The new front will look out towards the side of the ‘Tin Shed’ which will look like the poor relation but I’m harbouring plans to larch clad that side and form a new huge glazed entrance to reconfigure it and give it a new lease of life. This would also solve my Tin Shed photography problems!
ME and THE BUSINESS
I still feel incredibly blessed to be part of this great business and cherish the interest and variety it brings me (and the restoration team of Mick, Gerry and Paul) each and every day. The great thing about the dissolution of the ‘old order’ of the antiques business is the new opportunities that it presents! 20 yrs+ ago, It used to be difficult to buy good things because there were many dealers with established markets for so many things but now it seems like a level playing field and it’s fun to play!
I don’t look at what other dealers do because I think it’s important to create your own ideas and thereby your own destiny. I’ve been heavily influenced by the great French and Italian Designers of the C20th over the last 7 yrs or so and am enjoying mixing that in 17-21 style with those great antique finds that I’m still in love with.
The prospect of having 2 separate show spaces is exciting! I think I’ll enjoy both separating out ‘looks’ and also combining them but in different settings, to have the choice of platforms will be inspirational - look out for 17-21 @ The Heim!
I also suspect ‘THE HEIM’ could launch me in a new direction, we’ll have to see......
We’re hoping to be able to move into The Heim by summer - even if the interior needs to be ‘a work in progress’..... follow the journey on the DC and Instagram.