I’ve bought a ton of stuff from Jeffrey’s Interiors and Acanthus since moving to Edinburgh but my favourite interior shops are The Chairwoman and now Casa Morada. Nestled in amongst the antique and vintage stores of Causewayside I never quite know what I’ll find. If I ever have a shop in London or Copenhagen I’d wish it to be as inviting as The Chairwoman. I love the Georgian windows, the clutter, the random lighting, the way the chairs spill out onto the pavement on the rare occasions that she’s open and that she hides behind a desk so large you hardly know she’s there.
In contrast Casa Morada, owned by good friend Eva, feels like my home from home. I love her quirky style, eclectic finds, humourous lighting, fabric cats and dolls but most of all I love the way she painstakingly restored a derelict shop to surpass its former glory.
Layers of paint and wallpaper were stripped back to reveal a fabulous fireplace, gorgeous green tones and wooden panelled window frames. Instead of erasing the shop’s history with the latest paint or paper she preserved its dignity with whimsical modern touches. People stop and stand in awe of what she’s created – rendered speechless by the calm, tranquility and balance in two very different rooms.
I try to visit daily as much to get ideas and grab a bargain as to hear about her latest catastrophe. Savvy business woman that she is and brilliant creative, there’s nothing you can do but laugh when you’ve discovered there’s no gas meter in the building and you’ve painstakingly installed 6 reconditioned radiators. I like hearing about other people’s mistakes. Knowing what they overlooked when starting out and how blind faith and enthusiasm keeps them focused, encourages me. That’s why I’m attending Abigail Ahern’s retail masterclass this Friday. It won’t stop me making gaffes of my own. But I’ll know I’m not alone.