We have a new home in London – our flagship store at 14 King Street, Covent Garden! We spoke to interior designer Rachel Chudley about the inspiration behind creating a little piece of Lulu’s world in the heart of the city.
THE STORE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL! COULD YOU TALK ME THROUGH THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE CEILING?
"The overriding idea was to try and encapsulate the things that drew me to Lulu Guinness in the first place and to capture David’s interpretation of that. It’s classic English with a bit of a twist – and we thought pearls were the ideal way to show that – with the twist being the fact they are stuck to the ceiling. It’s all about taking something very traditional and twisting it on it’s head, making it kind of funny. We continued with the pearl motif through into the tiles that we had made for the floor. And there’s a little border around the ceiling which is the same pearl design – both bespoke made and designed in our studio. "
HOW ABOUT THE FURNITURE? WAS IT MADE FOR THE STORE?
"The cabinets were actually inspired by Lulu’s swirly signature – I was thinking about how we could turn that into a bit of furniture. Basically the whole thing curves. The little kidney bean shaped units were imagined in the studio. I was looking at vintage store designs for these displays which is where the idea of curves came from – we wanted to keep that going throughout the store. The tall, slim shelves were inspired by the decorative columns on the outside of the building – we wanted to pull them into the store in a way that was unusual but delightful. Basically the only thing that wasn’t made bespoke was the sofa which we managed to find. We had it reupholstered and it fits in perfectly."
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE PROJECT?
"Lulu reached out to me – she called the studio one day and just said, ‘hi it’s Lulu Guinness here, would you like to do my new shop?’ I was like, ‘yes!’ I grew up at a time when it was the absolute heyday for Lulu Guinness. I was fully inspired by her style, her presence and her attitude in a way. I think a lot of people from my generation somewhere along the line have been inspired by that witty English romantic element to Lulu’s work. It was an amazing experience working with Lulu and David and a true collaboration. Lulu has wonderful ideas – I would suggest something to her and she’d go away and think about it and come back with a way better idea."
THERE ARE SOME ARCHIVE PIECES IN THE STORE – HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO INCLUDE THOSE?
"Very. I think David has really focused on what made Lulu Guinness so special originally, to get back to the core of why it speaks to so many people, so we knew we needed somewhere to showcase these amazing pieces."