Serving a side order of inspiring design ideas

Hattons opened its doors in June 2016. We put it down to fate as it’s on the site of what was previously one of my favourite shops, Gardener & Cook, on The Pantiles. I was shopping there three years ago when I was told the sad news that after years of trading the people who ran it were closing the doors on their beautiful shop and moving on to pastures new.

My husband Daniel and I had always loved The Pantiles and so we both decided that the Gardener & Cook premises becoming available could mean we now had an opportunity to do something that would combine both of our passions, food and homewares.

My husband Daniel is a chef who has worked for Gordon Ramsay and was awarded a Michelin star when he worked at Thackerays, and I used to manage Maison, a gorgeous French and Swedish inspired interiors shop in Tunbridge Wells.

It started off trading in Calverley Road and eventually its owners Katy and Hilary expanded to larger premises on Mount Pleasant Road, where it traded for a number of years before going solely online. It was the most wonderful shop to be part of and led me to going on buying trips as well as working with a fantastic team and helping the very large client base the owners had built up over the years.

When the opportunity came up for Daniel and I to run our own business we decided upon a blend of both food and homes at Hattons because I was fully aware after my time spent at Maison that if families are all out shopping together not everyone wants to be there! I’ve witnessed plenty of tapping fingers on tables and awkward silences so the idea behind the Hattons emporium was to try and please everyone by offering food, coffee, great wine and homewares all under the same roof. Who wouldn’t love that?

It’s certainly proved to be a successful combination that has led to us using the shop for a variety of additional events such as private dinners and wine tasting, thus proving how versatile retail spaces can be. Here is the lowdown on my world of interiors:

An independent spirit

We think it’s really important to try and support local artisans if we can. They are key and can make shopping really interesting and not so mainstream.  When we go to trade fairs there are obviously big companies that we use but we also love to support small businesses.

Their products are unique and have been designed by them, so their passion is clear to see. It also appeals that the merchandise is produced on a much smaller scale so you don’t tend to see it everywhere, and it is amazing to be part of their journey.

Simple hacks to make a home look and feel stylish

Look at one room at a time and finish it, as this will not only give you satisfaction but the motivation to move onto the next

Look at what you have already and don’t be afraid to move things around and experiment with colour

The feeling of space and clean lines can be created even in the smallest areas with clever storage, whether it’s an empty wall space to fix hooks or pegs, or a bench with built-in storage. Shelves can be used along with storage baskets which can add texture as well as being useful for keeping areas tidy.

Sustainability: people are becoming much more aware of the impact of products on the environment. We live in a throwaway society, so recycling and upcycling will be key

Texture: mixed metals and natural materials such as wool, wood and earthenware will play a strong part in stylish schemes alongside understated and tactile accessories

Contrast: the use of soft warm neutrals mixed up with dark colours and the layering of different textiles and textures to add interest to interiors will also be a strong trend

Lisa’s favourite local shops

I love to shop in many places, including Darling & Wild, The White Company,  Anna Poulson, Le Petit Jardin and The Danish Collection in Sevenoaks – the list is endless!

When time permits we love to go to Lewes and Brighton to just have a stroll. There are so many wonderful shops around and it is great to be able to wander in and out, see what you are buying and talk to people, whether that’s a small independent, a market stall or larger store. All of them help make our towns interesting, diverse and great places to visit.

Why I love interiors

I have always been interested in interiors since I was a little girl, from redesigning my bedroom, and moving things around! I enjoyed art at school and that was when my creative side started to evolve.

At the age of 18 I started a job at Laura Ashley, and that was it! I loved advising customers on all aspects of interiors, from helping with room schemes to picking out wallpaper, curtains, furniture and paint colours. I get real satisfaction out of seeing the end result.


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