Belgian design house Flamant is known worldwide for its beautiful take on interiors and elegant European style. Unsurprisingly, it’s fitted perfectly into the Westbourne Grove scene and with local guy Rupert Baird-Murray behind the brand, things can only get better.
Rupert, what’s the concept behind Flamant?
Flamant wanted to recreate the essence of what a ‘home’ is, by reinventing the past and adapting it to contemporary standards. It’s a lifestyle brand and so authenticity, harmony and hospitality are its core values, with family tradition the main source of inspiration. All Flamant pieces are created with respect for craftsmanship, using natural materials sourced from small workshops all over the world.
How did the brand begin?
It’s a family company that was started about 30 years ago by the three Flamant brothers – Alex, Geo and Jacques – as an expansion of their father’s antique shop. Their original idea was based on the reinterpretation of antique furniture and decorative objects, with care for a perfect blend of past and present. Nowadays, Flamant is an international brand with about 300 employees and a growing presence worldwide.
What made you want to represent Flamant in Notting Hill?
The brand is unique and stylish, matching the area’s sense of elegance and chic to a tee. Hailing from Belgium, it has an undeniable European style, which of course attracts many in the area who have relocated from the continent. It’s also very versatile and so resonates with many people. I often spend summer holidays at my best friend’s house in St Paul de Vence and so I was immediately attracted to its approach.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I love the community aspect and how you always recognise people in the street – everyone is welcoming and generally without pretence. It’s also so eclectic and interesting, with so many people from different backgrounds. A lot of people say Notting Hill has lost its edge, but you can always find it if you know where to look. Because of my background in restaurants (The Westbourne and Rosa’s Dining Room), I know a lot of local suppliers from Portobello Market and still keep in touch with them. They all know my six-year-old son and give him his daily fruit!
What inspires you?
I don’t take anything for granted and I have good friends and a fantastic son. I love my job and work with some great people; I will always be a dreamer though!
What makes Flamant different?
It’s probably one of the most genuine brands; it understands that people’s worlds are ever-evolving and hectic with little time for contemplation. Flamant appreciates that everyone has a need for shelter, comfort and security. All Flamant pieces are unique and of the highest quality, with many of them handcrafted around the world. It also has a meticulous eye for detail and a timeless passion for design.
What’s your ideal weekend?
It would be a lazy summer weekend, reading newspapers and drinking rosé in the sun surrounded by the buzz of a Saturday. Perhaps Granger & Co for breakfast, while evenings at The Cow and Electric House are always entertaining. Sunday would be at The Westbourne or Julie’s, which still does the best roast. I live in a beautiful mews in North Kensington, with great neighbours, and so I love staying in
Notting Hill – there’s always something going on. I love Petersham Nurseries and spending idle hours in the café there. It’s a great escape’ I miss the house parties that we used to have in the old days though.
What’s your drink of choice?
Guinness in winter, Rose when the sun shines.
What are your plans for the summer - stay local or go abroad?
I have just returned from visiting old friends in Marrakech. We went out to a place in the desert called La Pause for the day. Unbelievablly beautiful and well run. There have no electricity and only use gas to keep the Rose cold in the fridge Would love to go back for a few nights. The South of France with is always relaxing. Nothing beats staying with friends. Far more relaxing and you can keep yourselves to yourselves. I used to go to California quite a bit- this is where I will end up when I can’t take the London weather anymore- or Sydney….
What’s next for Flamant?
We will be launching our own design studio this year, working closely with interior designers, architects and their clients. We are reaching out to interior designers and those with special projects, to visit our store and thus be invited to view the 3,000 sq m showroom in Belgium.
What inspires you daily?
I have been extremely lucky. I don’t take anything for granted and I have some good friends and a fantastic son. I love my job and work with some great people…. I will always be a dreamer though….