Maison Bleu in Thames Ditton
In the first of a new series, in which we'll be taking a look around some of Surrey's most stylish interior shops, Janet Donin visits Maison Bleu in Thames Ditton
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2009In the first of a new series, in which we'll be taking a look around some of Surrey's most stylish interior shops, Janet Donin visits Maison Bleu in Thames Ditton
Name of store: Maison Bleu Address: 55 High Street, Thames Ditton KT7 0SF Tel: 0208 398 5585
Background... Owner Paula Tennant, above, has had a love affair with the Cape Cod area of New England for many years.
"The first time I visited the area, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven," she says. "I just loved the clapboard houses, the simple furnishings and rustic colours. It was all very me." Then, last year, Paula stumbled across a company that produces all the furniture and accessories she loves, so biting the bullet, she decided to bring the New England look to Surrey and opened Maison Bleu. Style... As soon as you enter the store, you're enveloped in a world of quiet, neutral colours with the odd flash of red and blue. It's an easy living style that's less formal than many of us are used to, but the rustic table tops, rattan chairs and cream painted dressers are just perfect for the Surrey lifestyle. Everything is displayed in situations so you get the feel of a relaxed sitting room or an informal dining room, and all the accessories spill from glass fronted cabinets or dressers with basket drawers. The furniture and many of the accessories are by Riviera Maison, sourced in Amsterdam, but Paula also scours the artists' studios in Cornwall for distinctive pebble-based lamps and striking black and white pictures of birds and animals. Specialises in... Beautiful bed linen by Lexington, which is either white with blue piping, soft blue and white pinstripes or checks, plus the occasional red or navy star patterned spread. Here, too, are gorgeous knitted throws and large cushions in signature red, white and blue colours. Maison Bleu also offers a custom-made, soft furnishing service. In store, you can brows through numerous pattern books to find just the style of fabrics you're looking for and Paula is there with expert advice on all the latest designs in window treatments and upholstery. Best buys... The distinctive cream ware patterned with black lettering is Paula's favourite New England style china. Perfect for gifts are the 'Regular cappuccino' and 'Latte' mugs holding their own spoons, or the heavy platters declaring 'Good food only'. For everyday use, there are the larger than average wine glasses with etched lettering and the useful rattan baskets to hold mail, tea or wine, which could find a home in any country style kitchen. Worth a visit... Because this is a little corner of New England right here in Surrey where you're sure to find something that will bring a unique look to your home. Favourite product... The rattan trunks, stamped with black lettering, not only look good as occasional tables but also double up as very useful storage.