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
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