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 (Toileamatelas.com.au). 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.