Friday, 7 March 2008

virginie fontes...contd

More from Virginie at Honey Bee Homewares and Toile a Matelas...

What are your favourite pieces from the shop? There are a lot of things I like in the store, but at the moment my favourite is the new dinnerware made in France. I love it so much that I can’t decide which piece I’m going to take home. It’s a recent discovery from my last trip to France, and it’s surprisingly very well priced too. I also like a reproduction of an old glass floating ball.
Why do you think French-style interiors remain so popular? Dunno! But I’d like to know the secret about French-style interiors appeal and longevity! Can it be explained? The only thing I know is that I can’t get enough of it and after all these years I’m not tired of it. It’s a bit like a life-long love story. I suppose that my clients must share in the same feeling without being able to explain it.
Where do you look to for inspiration? I read all the French magazines not just once but in fact I read them over and over. I’ve a huge collection, and it’s a major source of inspiration for me. Some of my friends here and abroad share the same passion, so we feed each other with new ideas and tendances all the time. I also make sure to visit the “Maison et Objets” trade show in Paris every year.
What’s a "day in the life" of Virginie Fontes like? I have no alarm and just wait for my son to wake me up invariably around 7am (I wish he could sleep in sometimes!). I like to take my time in the morning so my day at work doesn’t start before 9.30am. Then it’s non-stop till 4.30pm. I’m always extremely busy sharing my time between the store and the wholesale business ( The evening is usually dedicated to the wholesale business and to reply to the never-ending flow of emails.
How has your own personal interior style developed? I grew up in the south of France where from an early age I was exposed to a very specific French style of interior decoration. I got influenced by some publications and magazines such as Cote Sud, Maison Francaise, so my style evolved more towards the provincial style in vogue at the time. Now I think I’ve got a more personal and intimate interior style mostly based on the French products I select for my shop.
How would you describe your home? Well, it’s still a work in progress right now as we’re just completing some major renovations. We bought this place about six months ago. It was in a terrible state, but the potential is there with a large outside area and some nice vegetation and just a block away from the beach.
What are you passionate about? Sourcing and buying new products. Creating new decors and merchandising.
What’s next? We’re about to launch a new website for Honey Bee Homewares.
I’ve a lot more exciting projects in mind, but before that I’m really looking forward to some holidays!

Images courtesy of
Toile a Matelas.

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