Sarah Cook is the epitome of the modern working girl; she moves house, renovates, sets up her own online business, manages it from home and raises her young son at the same time. For most of us, the mere thought of all that is enough to break out in a cold sweat. But for Sarah, it’s a pleasure.
The family have lived in six different properties in the last 15 years. Yet, despite her itchy feet, for Sarah, it’s actually more about what’s in the property that counts. She adores furniture and always wanted to start her own business. Things finally fell into place last September when she and her husband set up her online shop: La Residence Interiors.
“All the furnishings I wanted for this place were often way out of our budget, so I thought let’s source it from the factories ourselves. And then it clicked. Let’s bring a load over and we can sell it! ” She recounts happily.
This home-grown business idea has meant that the majority of Sarah’s products reflect her own French style. However she also draws inspiration from other places such as Norway, which coincides with her love of minimalism.
“I don’t like clutter, and never have! And I know I can be a little bit too mad on that!” She giggles pointing to a full toy box. “But I know when you have children, you have to have it!” she says smiling. But despite the odd bit of toddler clutter, her Edwardian house is minimal, accessorised beautifully and covered head to toe in Farrow and Ball’s muted Elephant’s Breath emulsion paint.
“I love it!” She says proudly. “Some people say to me- oh you need a bit of colour in here! But in a house like this that’s all light and airy, it’s nice to keep it neutral. It’s timeless and you don’t need to keep re-doing it.”
Unsurprising, it is exactly this school of thought that forms the basis of La Residence Interiors and despite being the queen of house moves; Sarah’s furniture is always selected for its longevity. Each piece stands the test of time and can clearly cope with a move (or six…).
Endearingly Sarah has as much passion for her customers as she does her products. So much so, she has to enforce an email embargo in the evenings to switch off. But, as with any great love affair, the temptation often becomes too great.
“Of course it’s so easy to break, as we get quite a lot of enquiries in the evening, and because it’s still new, we’ll get excited and think oooh, someone’s just placed an order for some dining chairs!” “And then you go to bed thinking about dining chairs.” She says, almost as if it happened last night.
It takes a certain type of person who realises their dream, completes it so successfully and loves doing it at the same time. Sarah has achieved all of the above with great aplomb. When you buy from La Residence, you are not only just buying a piece of furniture, but also a little piece of Sarah’s passion; and you know she would be just as delighted with your purchase as you are. In fact, she will even go to bed thinking about it.