UK Showroom Manager Sian Davies can usually be found offering advice and expertise to customers in our UK Showroom where she helps them choose furniture and accessories for their homes. As well as assisting Showroom Director Chrissie Marshall in the day to day running of the showroom, Sian also supports Chrissie with our ‘Just Rooms’ service, helping our clients transform their homes one room at a time.
Sian has just returned from a fantastic trip to Barbados where she enjoyed exploring the island, visiting the beach, sampling local food and spending time at our showroom in Holetown, St. James to see how we do things there. Now I’m going to hand you over to Sian so she can tell you a little bit about it in her own words!
What were your first impressions of the Jenny Blanc Barbados showroom?
The first thing that struck me was the colour – because of the beautiful sunshine in Barbados colours have to be so much brighter to make an impact and this is reflected in the stunning shades of bright blue, green and coral that are so popular in the Barbados showroom. White also plays a key role as its cool, fresh and very easy on the eye. Prints and patterns often have a tropical theme with monkeys, fish, shells, turtles and of course coral being very popular motifs on everything from fabric to coasters. In Barbados the local wildlife is really celebrated and this is reflected in interior design and home accessorising.
What are some of the differences between the UK and Barbados showrooms?
The lifestyle in Barbados is very different and this is reflected in the types of products we carry. People in Barbados love to throw parties and entertain so it’s very important for us to offer a range beautiful hostesses gifts as well as everything you need to entertain in style from coloured glassware to placemats. As you can imagine with the beautiful, warm climate most of this entertaining takes place outside so we also carry hurricane lanterns and other unusual lamps to create soft, ambient light. One thing the Barbados showroom has in common with the UK is that our regular customers call in to visit time and time again so it’s very important that we always have fresh things to offer them!
When it comes to the Barbados Just Rooms service, what are some of the more challenging aspects of interior design in a tropical, marine climate?
Barbados is all about outdoor living so high grade outdoor furniture is absolutely essential. This has to be specially designed and very well made in order to stand up to the heat, wind, humidity and salty air which will rust anything other than marine-grade metal. The Barbados showroom has been open for 6 years now and in that time, we have sought out the very best products to meet our clients requirements – for example, our tried and tested parasols that are fitted with flexible poles suitable for withstanding strong breezes. Caribbean Director Emma Blanc and her team have built up a library of the best fabrics suitable for both indoor and outdoor use in a tropical marine climate and have a real understanding how materials like coral stone and pickled pine behave over time. There’s so much more to interior design than meets the eye and this is especially true in a tropical climate but the knowledge and expertise of Emma and the team is really unparalleled so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to learn from them.
Last but not least, what were your three favourite things in the Barbados showroom?
I absolutely fell in love with this stunning coral lamp (pictured below) with a bespoke lampshade featuring tropical fish – the fabric is so vibrant and you can really appreciate this intricate print when it’s illuminated like this. I also love our set of coloured glasses and pitcher (also pictured below) which are exclusive to Jenny Blanc and hand made by a French artisan. The set we commission for our English customers features much softer colours so it’s lovely to see the Barbados version looking fresh and bright. Last but not least I would have to choose one of our fabulous cushions. A cushion is the perfect way to add a little dash of your favourite print to your home and can really change the look and feel of a seating area or bed without having to embark on a full re-design!