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The Gist

Just moved somewhere new or looking to reinvent a room? Then this hidden gem is an absolute must. An interior design emporium that’s a real feast for the eyes: paints, papers, murals, fabrics, beautiful rugs, cushions, candlesticks, copper cutlery, glassware, kitchen items, artwork, mirrors, lighting and more. It’s all about uniqueness here. Expect a large stock of vintage items as well as new, which are expertly curated by owner Rosalind Ellis. Each piece is hunted out and high-quality, including hand-made delights from local artists and makers. You can peruse the online shop which features all the same stock (aside from large furniture items) but we recommend you treat yourself with a visit (especially on Fizzy Fridays – more about that wonderful idea later).

The Story

One of Rosalind’s earliest memories is being in her grandmother’s Blackpool antique shop, at around four years old, surrounded by ornate, shiny and fascinating things. Her passion for interiors and architecture is deep-rooted in the family, what with her mum eventually also running an antique shop, creating a childhood rich in colour and curiosity.

At twenty, Rosalind moved to London and started working for an estate agent. The wife of a colleague was an interior designer, looking for help to manage her increasingly busy portfolio and it wasn’t long before Rosalind was drawn in as her assistant. She spent a few years sourcing fabrics and arranging mood boards – back in familiar, loved territory. When the designer fell pregnant and wrapped things up, Rosalind began working for a property developer, then later, working in property management – jobs which provided her with countless skills to compliment her creative inclinations, such as budgeting, inventive approaches to space and materials and overseeing projects. She then found herself moving to Chester to be with her partner and a hellish commute to Manchester where she managed a large team.

She started thinking about what she wanted out of life. From there it was a quick turnaround; selling her house and investing in a shop, coming back to her passion. Rosalind wanted a business where she could give people pointers on fabric and colour schemes and to create a shopping experience, not just a place to buy things. ‘Everything can be delivered to your house these days, so you have to make an interesting, fresh space and focus on customer service and exciting events.’

The Interiors Shop opened in April this year, after being a Hair Salon for around a decade. After some significant changes, including ripping out treatment rooms, flooring, the ceiling and a hell of a lot of plumbing, the space has been completely transformed into a boutique of alluring wonders.

At Their Best

There’s a constant influx of new products and arrangements, so it’s worth a regular pop in. Especially every Friday between 12pm-6pm, where you’re handed a glass of a fizz as you look around – an end of week wind-down with no obligation.

We also suggest you sign up to the mailing list to find out about upcoming events early doors. The shop has hosted new range launches (such as Owen Drew candles), art exhibitions and Meet the Maker days where you can witness items being crafted and even give it a try (next one of these is in November).

Rosalind is more than happy to keep an eye out for customers hunting for specific pieces, as she regularly visits auctions, salvage yards and antique shops. Seeking them out can take time, but nothing brings her more joy, and with upcycling skills in-house (including reupholstery) and connections to a French Polisher, she can also lovingly restore finds in need of TLC.

Trade Secrets

Rosalind observes that, from a decorating point of view, people often find picking paint colours really stressful. Her top tip for seeing the true colour, beyond painting in a few areas of the room (near a window, shaded corner, an expanse of wall etc.) is to cut a square in the middle of a piece of black card and place it over the painted area – then you finally see the true colour.

When reinventing an interior space – Rosalind advises starting with a piece you really love, whether that’s a cushion or your inherited grandmother’s chest of drawers, and grow the room from there. ‘You always need a starting point these days; it’s so overwhelming with Pinterest and Instagram, and easy to feel a bit at sea. Things will flow from the loved item.’

She thinks that green, especially dark green is a strong, trending colour, and part of the current tropical look, the inside-outside idea. ‘It’s here to stay. It’s since the recession (with fashion as well), they’re eeking out things longer than they used to – getting more life out of seasons as people aren’t spending as much money – and we’re moving more towards accessorising. We’re also using green as a neutral; dark green walls with things placed against them which pop. Green and pink especially are a combination made in heaven. Rose gold and copper accents also work well.’

A Quick Slice

It’s all about bespoke wall murals. This link on the Interiors Shop website will take you through to Rebel Mural’s catalogue – the concoction of a new generation, whose parents and grandparents have been making wallpaper for decades. You can add the dimensions of your wall and view hundreds of mural options, from photographs and your own images, to mountains, blooms, street art, skylines, and maps. They print the image to scale at £33 per square metre. Rosalind cites them as a great alternative to a block colour feature wall and completely transformative.

Her favourite stocked designer is Wild Lampshade, a range of lampshades made by hand, which are either completely individual or part of a very limited run. Carol gives traditional shapes funky, modern twists. ‘They make the shop look amazing and it’s always a bit sad when one goes to a new home – but all part of it! You don’t really see anything else like them.’ Prices start at £160.

Looking Forward

Long-term, Rosalind hopes to develop an interior design business from the shop. She’d love to manage design projects from start to finish on site, sourcing, buying and overseeing the re-imagining of spaces.

Workshops are also on the cards, based on Annie Sloan Chalk paints. Attendees will learn about various techniques and finishes. Eventually, Rosalind wants to host upcycling classes, where individuals can bring in their own furniture to work on. Keep an eye out for other forms of art classes such as life drawing too.

Getting There

The Interiors Shop is nestled in the middle of a residential area in Westminster Park, with a chemist, Co-op, award-winning fishmongers and butchers, hair salon, post office, and, crucially, plenty of free parking. It’s only 2.5 miles from central Chester. A city location was never really an option (Rosalind didn’t think the logistics of someone trying to collect an armchair on Watergate Street would be straightforward) and she’s proud to be part of a collection of supportive, successful businesses.

You can visit The Interiors Shop at 9 Castle Croft Road, Westminster Park, Chester, CH4 7QD, online, on Twitter and Facebook, or give them a call on+44 (0) 1244 678 444