Take your Seats Please.
In the Roman town of Autun, which is situated on the south-eastern edge of the Morvan, I stumbled upon a lovely little shop on a cobbled street near to the Cathedral, St-Lazare, in the old town. It’s located next to two of my favorite restaurants – more about those in another post.
The newly opened tapisserie d’ ameublement, is appropriately named “Seats Please”.
Anne -Laure Roty, the owner, has spent the last few years traveling the world, honing her craft. Spending her apprenticeship in France,she worked with traditional upholstery artisans, before traveling and working in Paris, Lyon, Sydney and London.
In Paris she worked for Euro Disney Hotels, and in London Anne-Laure worked for The Sofa and Chair Company, renowned for its stylish handcrafted furniture. This gave her the opportunity to experience all aspects of the industry and gain valuable skills.
As I sit down to talk with Anne-Laure in her atelier, surrounded by such familiar names as Jane Churchill, Designers Guild and Osborne & Little, I felt I could be in an interior design store In Paris, London or Los Angeles, not the small town of Autun in the middle of Burgundy.
Though Autun has a rich history in design, the iconic furniture company Tolix was established here in 1927. They manufacture the galvanized chairs and stools that are still very fashionable and are seen in many restaurants and bars throughout the world.
My first question was why Anne-Laure chose the name “Seats Please”?
She said that her love of textile design, Japanese origami and the fashion designer Issey Miyake and his fragrance “Pleats Please”, gave her the perfect name for her business.
As I sat talking with her, she was visited by a retired artisan who mentioned that the neighborhood had more than five upholstery stores at one time. You could see in his face he was full of admiration and pride that this young woman was following a traditional path.
Times have changed. In today’s throwaway society with flat pack furniture large worldwide furniture superstores, such as Ikea, have made our homes somewhat bland.
Working with traditional materials such as horse hair, burlap and with environmental friendly,natural fibers from companies like Enkev, Anne-Laure strips the furniture back to its bare bones and lovingly rebuilds the frame that gives the piece its shape and substance.
I asked Anne-Laure what her philosophy was behind “Seats Please”. She ask if I was familiar with the French saying “Se plier a la demande” which translates “bend with the request”. It is similar to the English saying “to bend over backwards to help”.
I have already mention some of the well known fabric companies that Anne-Laure works with. There are also German, Italian and French classics such as Pierre Frey and Lelievre. You can choose her selection of fun and funky retro fabrics in many different styles, colors and patterns to choose from. Which will make your room unique.
For those who want more of a contemporary look Anne-Laure works with a company that supplies elegant sofas and armchairs. You can choose from a range of designs and fabrics.
Some of the other bespoke pieces that ” Seats Please” can undertake are bedheads –
classic deep-button styles to modern padded flutes – or why not re style that vintage French bed to a shabby chic or Parisian romantic one.
Other services offered, are curtains, blinds and cushions that can be designed using the wide selection of fabrics available at ” Seats Please”.
So If you have a well-worn chair in the attic that belonged to your grandmother and didn’t have the heart to part with it, get it down and take it along to “Seats Please”. Restore it to its former glory,maybe with a contemporary fabric, giving a new life to a family heirloom for the next generation to use and admire.
Address and contact details.
6 Rue Des Bancs
Tel: 06 89 29 00 93
Open Monday – Saturday 09:30 18:30