Unfortunately there aren’t many interior shops that really grab my attention, London does have a large range to choose from, but it’s more a case of buying bits and pieces from different shops scattered all over town. But during my recent visit to Florence, I was introduced to a shop called Flair as it was where Silia retail some of their products, and this visit helped to give me a new perspective on shopping for interiors.
The last recession really took it’s toll on the retail market, so many shops closed across Europe. Alongside the closure of brick and mortar shops, the number of experimental online shops exploded. While I love exploring online and do shop online quite a bit, when you’re in the interiors market, there is still a lot of value in seeing a product, experiencing a product and just simply being in the same space as a product.
At Flair, we were greeted by the very glamorous Alessandra who showed us around. This interiors heaven gave me a glimpse into what I think to be the future of interiors retail. A space that’s highly edited and curated, which gives the buyer a sense of the design ethos or lifestyle that he/she aspires to. It’s not brand specific, but rather lifestyle specific. It’s a space that shows you how to live with different pieces from different designers and brands. It takes away the hard work of visualising what works well together. At Flair, the primary focus is not on the brands that are stocked, but rather on the look you want in your home.
The brands and designers are of course important and only the best are featured, but my point is that the focus isn’t on the brand names, the focus is on the look, the lifestyle, the feeling.
And all of this is set into the most beautiful building. What more could you ask for?
I think that retailers are still finding their feet after being shaken up by the past recession. A few brands have approached me with new ideas and concepts that they are hoping will bridge the gap between bricks and mortar and online. I also know a couple of designers who are racing to build the Net A Porter of the interiors world too. Everybody is racing ahead, but actually, what I think they are missing is a space for people to be people, where we can just go along and enjoy a space, a space like Flair.