Max & Melia

Meet Maxine. Having left a job in the city to start a new endeavour, Maxine has started what I think is one of the best homeware and gifts shop in London (complete with resident puppies!) Raised by a mum with a strong background in retail and passion for interiors, it seemed only natural to start the brand and it’s been going strong ever since.

What is the concept of the store and what’s different about it?
We focus on home accessories and gifts, mixing old and new together to create something that’s a bit different. The vintage pieces are always interesting and it’s nice to have something that has a bit of history, whereas the new pieces give the store a fresh, modern look. Our aim is to provide something for everyone, whether you are looking for something bright and colourful to brighten up your home, or a gift for your mother in law, we have it all!

How do you define style? What is your preferred style?
There are so many different types of style. You need to find what represents you and your personality and find something that shows that. I run the store with my mother who is from France and I take a lot of inspiration from her. I would say my preferred style is quite classic with a touch of English eccentricity.

What is the most popular product you see in your on your site?
Our most popular product online is the Venetian Wastepaper bin (http://www.maxandmelia.com/venetian-glass-wastepaper-bin). Its so simple and goes with both sleek, modern and shabby chic interiors.

Do you have any trend predictions?
Indoor gardening has started to become very popular. There are lots more ways to display plants now other than the standard planter. Like geometric style planters you can hang and large copper and glass terrariums. I think next year the trend for bringing the outdoors inside will see lots of greenery and nature in home interiors.

 Can you remember any interior trends you thought were particularly awful or amazing!?
I love the current trend for pineapples! I didn’t realise so much could be done with them. I have seen pineapples in wallpapers, pineapples as money boxes, pineapple bookends and in all sorts of materials and colours from antique gold to this seasons favourite, copper. They are fun and remind me of drinking pina coladas on the beach! Plus they traditionally symbolise hospitality and friendship so I feel like it is good luck to have one at home.

How important is colour / and or pattern in interiors as a way of expressing one’s personality?
I think tone is more important than colour when it comes to home decorating. There are so many shades of blue, but do you want one that is rich and warm or a light, fresh shade? For example if you are a morning person you might want to pick lighter, cool colours that pick up the morning light, and night owls might prefer rich, velvety tones that are cosy at night.

Any tips for injecting colour, pattern, art etc into a home?
My mother taught me that you need an accent colour when it comes to decorating. You can keep quite an easy, neutral palette as long as you have a nice accent colour to lift it. In the shop a lot of our displays will have silver or gold mixed with glass and white ceramic and then some bright indigo blue china or cranberry glassware to lift it.

If you could only own one homeware item, what would it be?
That is tough! It would probably be a vintage ornament of some sort, something that I hadn’t seen anywhere else and had a story behind it.

Favourite era for interior design?
I like the 1920’s and 30’s. Travel was becoming more popular and home interiors reflected that with little exotic objets d’art coming through. It was also still quite classic with lots of metal, glass and wood being used. I love this mix, classic but with a twist!

I can’t recommend taking a trip to Max and Melia enough, it genuinely is one of my favourite hidden homeware gems that I’ve come across – and the experience is definitely heightened due to the fact Maxine’s puppies are a resident guest. Whether you want to try out the candle scents, pick up a faux potted fern (like I did!) or whether you are stuck on what to buy for that person that is just so difficult, a trip to Max and Melia will certainly rectify that whilst satisfying those homeware cravings. For more info, head to their website www.maxandmelia.com or turn right out of Oval tube station to stumble across Maxine and her puppy gang.

Our Favourite Items From Max & Melia

Artificial Fern

Woven Storage Basket
£9 – £15

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Say Hello To My Little Fern!

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