je ne sais quoi

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Continuing on in our ‘behind the scenes’ blog series on the cool brands we meet and work with, we move on from rural Swaziland to the splendour of a particularly sophisticated London address, Belgrave Place, showing just how broad the range of at{mine}’s brands is.

Belgrave Place is the brainchild of banker-turned-entrepreneur Emmanuelle Rio. We met Emmanuelle at her elegant yet eclectic Brook Green townhouse for tea, biscuits and a chat.

True to her Parisian roots, Emmanuelle is impossibly stylish, impeccably yet totally effortlessly styled (what this, I just threw it on to pick up my boy from school..!). And like many Parisians, she has this ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes you suddenly feel totally inferior in style… In short, a woman you’d love to hate… IF it wasn’t for her also being so disarmingly warm, friendly and passionate that you’re soon chatting away like longtime friends.

at{mine}: Emmanuelle, tell us a bit more about Belgrave Place.  

Emmanuelle Rio: Belgrave Place is an elegant one-stop shop for interiors online, curated personally by little me! It’s offering a unique collection of wonderfully opulent pieces that have been carefully sourced from all over the world with a keen attention to craftsmanship.

at{m}: What brands will we find on BelgravePlace.com?

ER: Belgrave Place celebrates rare pieces made by independent craftsmen and artists that are imbued with mystical charm of international origin. No predictable luxury brands here! We represent renowned designers including Robert Kime, Vaughan Designs, Nina Campbell and Joy de Rohan Chabot – many of which have chosen us for their inaugural online appearance. Together they offer an eclectic yet coherent mix of styles for our customers.

at{m}: It’s funny that you have chosen an actual physical address as the name for an online-only shop! 

ER: Yes, it’s sort of ironic, but I feel like Belgrave Place is like a real home, much like a townhouse on an elegant London address, filled to the brim with beautiful and unique pieces from travels across the world, in a chic yet eclectic taste. The website is even divided up by ‘rooms’, so you can browse for items for your living room/dining room /study, etc like if you were taking a home tour at a particularly stylish friend’s place – with the sources all under one ‘roof’! We will also feature inspiring editorials and photography, adding a personal touch to the experience.

at{m}: You jumped ship from banking to interiors (much like the at{mine} girls!), what were your motivations?

ER: I always wanted to do something entrepreneurial at some point in my life, and my thirties seemed like the right time. I had gathered enough business experience to have the confidence to start something of my own, and also the energy & drive it requires. Coming from a family of designers, the world of interiors was a natural fit.

at{m}: How did you get the idea of a curated one-stop online boutique?  

ER: I really believe in the future of online shopping for luxury interiors. When I decorated my own home in London, while working in banking, I experienced the challenge of doing so outside normal office hours. Showrooms were closed evenings and weekends, and are very geared towards the trade – as a private customer you often get a less-than-warm welcome..! And as lovely as independent shops are, who has time to run between the myriad of them spread across town? There was a clear opportunity to create an online home for luxury interiors that delivers those handpicked items straight to your doorstep – all beautiful wrapped like a present to yourself!

at{m}: Belgrave place oozes French glamour, but there is still a lot of British eccentricity to it… how would you define your style?

ER: Eclectic, refined and out-of-the-ordinary! I would probably say feminine too, but I don’t want to alienate any male customers (!), there is definitely a lot on offer that appeals to both men and women. It’s a bold celebration of colour and patterns, from the whimsical nature of artists Joy de Rohan Chabot or Claude Lalanne, to the more ethnic chic pieces of Robert Kime or the Caravanserai Collection.

at{m}: What or who inspires you?

ER: I admire creatives in general and creative women in particular. Talented, passionate and hard working women that do it their own way, such as Parisian It-girl-turned-artist Joy de Rohan Chabot in the world of interiors, and Emilia Wickstead in the world of fashion- beautiful people, inside and outside!

at{m}: What’s next for Belgrave Place?

ER: We are introducing new suppliers, a linen collection, and antiques from travels. We will also have a bi-monthly newsletter with interviews and sources of inspiration for interior design, so stay tuned!

at{m}: Merci beaucoup, Emmanuelle!

//photo: courtesy of Belgrave Place//

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