"Last week I caught up with the AGC team to chat about..well..me! Read on to find out how it all started and what's coming up next." —Lydia Lavelle
Earlier in the year, we saw Accouter Group of Companies launch of luxury furniture store, Bazaar. Bazaar allows you to shop an exclusive selection of furniture seen in our luxury interior design projects, including the award-winning Marylebone Townhouse. We caught up with Associate Director of AGC and Founder of Bazaar, Lydia Lavelle, to discuss her journey in the industry and all things Bazaar.
How did your journey in the interior industry begin?
I saw a job advert online for a role at KLC School of Design and with luck and very little experience I was hired. To this, I am very grateful for them taking a chance on me. I spent almost 4 years there, during which time I was exposed to so many talented people and spent most of my lunch breaks wandering around the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour admiring the beautiful luxurious showrooms. I quite quickly realised that I was desperate to enrol on one of the courses they offered, so eventually, I handed in my notice and walked across the hallway to start as a student. I then worked harder than I had ever worked at anything before and loved every minute. A few short weeks after graduation in 2012, again by chance, I saw another job advert online for an internship with a start-up company, which at the time went under the name of, Accouter Design Ltd. Fast forward 8 years, myself and the company have evolved, and is now known as our very own, Accouter Group of Companies. Home to an international award-winning portfolio of interior design brands including, A.LONDON and Bazaar. I remember saying at the time, I think this is it, I think I’ve found the one! When you know, you know.
Describe a typical day as Director at Bazaar?
First, I will start with a morning meeting with our Head of E-commerce, Veronica. Our list of priorities varies from day to day, one minute I will be writing a blog post for Et Cetera, the next I’m designing a new product. We are currently working on a small Murano glass collection which I’m really excited about, sign up to our mailer to be the first to know when they are available. We stay connected to the wider AGC team by having regular meetings with Marketing, Buying, as well as the designers and new brands which keep us busy.
What makes Bazaar different from other luxury furniture stores?
Over the years, when sharing our beautifully designed interiors, questions came endlessly rolling in; “where can we buy the sofa?”, or “where can I get a table like that?”. The answers were incredibly frustrating; “it’s bespoke”, “it’s from a trade only supplier”; basically, “sorry, you can’t have it”. Our philosophy is simple; spill the secrets and be the shopping destination for interior design. Share our luxury interior design projects online but make them shoppable.
In addition, our customers can take virtual tours of A.LONDON’s award-winning interior design schemes, and shop the look directly through the tour; or you can simply browse our curated selection of furniture accessories in a more traditional way. We have paired the best UK and International craftsmanship and materials with a fun and user-friendly shopping experience. Our products are top quality and are designed to last a lifetime, something we are really proud of. With the support of the buying team we are building close relationships with our featured brands and are developing various exclusive products which we are excited to share next year. What really makes us stand out is that Bazaar is part of a family of working interior design studios, not just a luxury furniture store.
What is the BIP Club?
The BIP Club, a private members club for Bazaarly Important People, is a community, of like-minded interior enthusiasts with whom we can share all the special industry perks. We offer our members private tours of our newest projects, invitations to interiors and art world events, first access to all of our new product launches and promotions. The most exciting one, I think, is that our members will be able to have a one on one virtual design consultation with one of our designers about a room in their own home that they need some professional help with. The team are excellent; they can solve even the trickiest of interiors related problems. From time to time, our BIP members will receive a surprise in the post. You can sign up to our BIP Club, here.
What are your current top picks from Bazaar and why?
My first choice is the crisp white Bow Street Dining Table, as seen in A.LONDON’s luxury show home Covent Garden Pied-à-Terre. Inspired by the Brutalist era architecture and its buildings, I love the scalloped edges and the fluted legs. We are able to finish this table in any colour and if it were coming to my house, I would make it pink and green, a long-time favourite combination of mine.
My second top pick is the Silhouette Rug from Nanimarquina. The beautifully made rug has 9 faces depicted in the design make me smile from all angles of the room.
I can’t forget about the coolest piece of furniture in town, The Rockstar Bar by Buster and Punch. You’re going to want to dress the best to visit this bar, even though you’re only going as far as your living room.
My final choice is going to be a bit more general, our accessories. We have beautiful cushions from Bivain and Romo, perfect for adding colour and pattern to your upholstery pieces when interior styling. The scented candles from Saint Fragrance are delicious, when you’re creating luxury interiors you can’t forget about the scent. Often overlooked but I think it’s a vital finishing touch.
You can find out more about my favourite pieces on Bazaar’s blog, Et Cetera. View our latest collection of products in our first lookbook. It also makes the perfect addition to any coffee table! To receive your copy and to keep up to date with the latest news and events, sign up to Bazaar’s mailer, here.
What A.LONDON schemes should we look out for coming soon on Bazaar?
We are currently in the process of shooting a collection of bespoke furniture from A.LONDON’s up and coming interior design portfolio, Caroline Terrace. Follow the interior studio on Instagram to see behind the scenes from the bespoke project.
Learn more about Bazaar’s story here.