A Design for Success: Ideas Interiors relaunches as The Station
Right in the heart of Ashby De La Zouch is an old Victorian railway station. Set back from the road, it's a beautiful neoclassical grade 2 listed building with side pavilions and Doric columns, in-keeping with the nearby Royal Hotel of 1826. What's even more stunning than the exterior, however, is the interior. And it's no surprise really, considering an Interior Design company has acquired the building, taking it from a derelict structure with great bones, to what they hope will become a flourishing business.
Previously called Ideas Interiors - they were based in Loughborough for eight years - the newly named The Station Ashby has been painstakingly created by entrepreneur Steve Housden and his family, who wanted to bring their dream of an international standard interiors store to the region; a showroom that would cleverly combine the very latest in bespoke kitchen and home design - whether from top international designers such as Rempp or Hacker or the hand-crafted bespoke designs of Steve himself - right through to appliances from household names such as Miele or Glas Italia. It's a concept that sees the creation of interior solutions, from concept to completion. This 'one stop shop' certainly looks like a design for success, as we found out when we visited their stunning new showroom...
The Station has an incredible building: what do you know if its history?
The Station itself was built for the Midland Railway in 1849 and ran between Burton and Leicester. Ashby was fashionable in the Regency period as a spa and the station echoes earlier buildings in the area like the Grecian baths and the Royal Hotel. The Station was partially built on the remains of the horse-drawn Ticknall Tramway, which previously connected the Ashby Canal with the Ticknall lime quarries. It's clear that, for many years, Ashby can be seen to be an incredibly well-connected town and we hope The Station will live up to its previous incarnation and see visitors coming from far and wide to visit us.
Have there been any challenges in bringing the building up to date? What state was it in when you first took it on?
When we first took it on, it was rather damp. Lead had been stolen from the roof and it wasn't spotted for a while, so the damp set in. There was mould and even mushrooms growing in some parts!
The railway station is clearly a beautiful building, but what else attracted you to Ashby?
The location, really. It has incredible access to the main motorway networks, so it's really easy to get to, plus it has ample parking. We also wanted the opportunity to expand our former kitchen business, to be able to offer more choice across every room of the house. The aim is to become THE destination for high-end, inspiring interiors.
Is having so much retail space daunting, or have you plans to make use of every inch at The Station? What services will you be offering here?
We have so many exciting plans! We've got enough space for each of our room settings to have huge interior pieces displayed, and it's our intention to add high-end living and bedroom furniture and children's bedroom furniture, eventually. The space at The Station has allowed us to create 'real life' room settings, so you can really visualise how it might look and work in your own home. Every appliance and gadget you see in the showroom settings work too, which is unusual. We've carefully picked the appliance brands we wanted to work with, as we wanted to create an environment that showed them off to best effect, again, to help you visualise.
So, it's dinner at The Station?
You jest, but our working kitchen installation will be put through its paces, as we're planning cookery demonstrations and even a supper club. We're also in the process of developing part of the building into a café and tea room, with private dining facilities; although you'll have to wait until next year to enjoy that.
If you had to summarise what you want to be known for, what would you say?
We want The Station to be known for offering incredible, beautiful and practical kitchen and living solutions - from design to fulfilment. We want to be recognised for our care and support from start to finish. We support the client with as little or as much help as they like. The idea of The Station is for clients to walk through the door and believe that what they see could be all or a part of their home.
So whether you want a traditional kitchen or something a little more contemporary, they'll guide you in the right direction. What's clear is that every stage in creating a new kitchen or living space is as important to them as it is to you; from concept to completion. They'll work with you, offer advice and provide an imaginative and original design that really works for you and your lifestyle. Everyone's different and it's this individuality that excites them and inspires their solutions.
For anyone that's thinking about having a change in their home, we definitely suggest visiting Steve and his family at The Station Ashby, Station Road, Ashby De La Zouch, LE65 2GL. Tel: 01530 412380.