I fancied something French and a bit chic. A bit Inès de la Fressange if you like. I turned to the catalogue of La Redoute – this was pre-internet – and a few days later the grey flannel pinstripe trousers and jacket arrived in the post. I’m not sure I looked like Inès, an aristocratic French model, but I felt like her which was all the confidence boost I needed for my first day.
It was to the be the first of many times I shopped at the French store, which, of course soon moved from catalogue to online. I still have a military black jacket that I bought years ago. The thing with La Redoute is that the offering is vast. It’s a pour a cup of coffee, put the radio on and wander through the virtual racks kind of store. That’s not to say you can’t find anything if you dash in and out when you’re supposed to be finishing that work email, but if you can spare a little time what treasure you will find. And how much more joyful is a search through a homewares department? Now that La Redoute sells clothes for your house, we can all shop there regardless of how model-like our proportions. A cushion will fit any sofa, a throw will enhance any bed, a rug will suit any floor.
SHOP THE LOOK
Styling these two spaces was a joy. Starting with a blank canvas is always fun but, as so often, with La Redoute, I started with the floor and worked up. Their rug collection is vast, varied and there really is something for all tastes. I know that this season, in fashion at least, it has been all about the leopard print, but I have always preferred zebras. Their monochrome stripes go with every colour and every interior and make it easy to ring the changes with different accent shades. Corduroy is another strong story that is yet to hit the mainstream and these pink cushions worked perfectly in the dining area and also with the fashionable rattan of the living space.
The other great news is that La Redoute have introduced faux plants and lighting to their range. The plants are great for those of us that don’t have green fingers and make every space look better, while there is, as you might imagine, a huge selection of lighting – I particularly loved the bee lamp which I used in the dining area.
SHOP THE LOOK
Finally, if you’re thinking of updating your tableware, then Le Redoute is a very good place to start. There are lots of gorgeous green earthenware ceramics -from plates to vases - and all those faux plants are going to need a pot to stand in aren’t they?
Now, my style might not be your style, but that’s the joy of La Redoute, they have pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of catering for all styles and sizes.
Some 25 years after that pin stripe suit, I also found a pair of wide leg trousers that, while not quite Inès de la Fressange, definitely made me feel chic for the day.