Shopfitting my way out of lockdown April 18 2021, 0 Comments

My shop is my favourite place to be , I would rather be at work than pretty much anywhere else apart from my home . 

I moved into this shop in 1996 and when the opportunity to purchase it cropped up a few years later I jumped at the chance .

Its an 1860's  B listed Victorian building in the Heart of Edinburgh old town . 

My shop is quite small , with only 1 window , but it retains a great deal of its original charm,  with an original steel plated door , a big basement and very very high ceilings which must have been useful at the time of building, due to the smoky solid fuel pollution and gas light fumes . 

Of course nowadays a ceiling of that height is really more of a  memory of the past than a practical feature . The biggest problem I've had with my beautiful 16 foot ceiling is the simple law of physics that heat rises ! Try as I have , with several heaters blasting out 10 months of the year,  90% of the time it has been freezing .

The high ceiling 

Another problem for me has been that my workshop is underground. I've spent all those years down there , with no natural light . When I moved in I was young and I didn't care , and as time went on it was just the way things were.  However I had always harboured a secret dream of building a new upper mezzanine floor  . That dream seemed impossible due to the costs and the amount of time needed to complete such a massive task. 

the back area of the shop 

So here we are,  2020 and 2021 struck with all its weirdness and unpredictability.  As you know I spent a lot of time amongst other things , making masks at home . I literally worked dawn to dusk . It was lonely and sometimes scary but the best thing was that I had windows and natural light. 


Returning to the shop I became depressed at the thought of going back into a freezing and messy basement . 

One day in February  I just woke up and decided now was the time , I was going to build a mezzanine and re fit my shop entirely in time for re opening this summer . 

I was lucky to find a great all trades company called JJ Construction Edinburgh , who I had used in the past . The owner , Jacub saw my vision immediately and we were on the same page entirely.  He listened carefully then he and his team moved in efficiently to start the job. I designed every tiny aspect of the build as I had spent so many years dreaming about it . Jacub made my vision a reality.  

the mezzanine being built 

Half way through when everything was a mess I inevitably got that " what have I done " and " I wish I never started " feeling that always accompanies a big job , but the team were great and every time I visited,  there was visible progress.  

the framework of the mezzanine 

the plastering begins 

staircase installed and painting begins 


After only 5 or 6 weeks , my new shop emerged ftom the building sight and I was super excited to see how beautiful it looked. Just plain and simple , before it was merchandised it reminded me of a mid century Le Corbusier house, and I loved that . I wanted to retain the feeling of the high ceilings and also had to accommodate a full size staircase on the ground floor without losing too much space so the mezzanine is not massive,  but just big enough for a workshop.  

the basement during the refit everything was stored there 


 I  then needed to undertake the massive task of sorting out the basement,  merchandising the sales floor,  and most importantly arranging the mezzanine into my new studio. That alone took 2 weeks and im still cleaning up plaster dust! 

the staircase now and beautiful oak floor 

a fresh and modern look

my beautiful new antique chair 

the same mirrors but new curtains 

the mezzanine 

I'm so delighted with it . Its so much bigger , more airy,  and brighter . The sales floor is so modern and  bright . The workshop is warm and pleasant to use and the basement is , at last a storage space only ! 

transformed easily into a photography studio 

Now , I cant wait to re open and show you all , its an inspiring new start for me . I hope you all love it x