'We've almost finished the dusting for you' said one of the shop assistants.
'So the advance party warned you of my approach?' I asked.
'Oh yes, we've been waiting for you'.
I'd never been in the Spotted Magpie before (which made the greeting even funnier). This morning, when I walked up Oxford St to Paddington, I didn't see the store behind the terracotta-coloured bars. But when the day started to warm up and the turquoise velvet upholstery on a chair at the front of the store caught my eye on the way back down the hill, I was drawn in.
Spotted Magpie is an interior design studio and furnishings store. It has a combination of antiques and new stock - mostly with a french feel. Although it could have been the french-style background music making me think that everything was so chic. The contents are from all over the world.
Out the back is a store room packed to the ceiling with rescued furniture waiting for a new life. I fell in love with this drawer unit thingy. The friendly assistant said it may have been used for paints and I immediately thought of my Mum. Maybe I'll go back to get it for her birthday or can try to get another one ordered.
The courtyard out the back has lots of white wrought-iron chairs and I heard a couple ask whether coffee was served there. Which sent everyone in the store into daydreams about how nice it would be to sit next to the courtyard's fish pond eating cake or drinking G&T's. It's that sort of place.
Upstairs is a room full of wallpaper and furnishing fabric books. Mary, the shop owner, showed me around a little. I lost myself for a bit in a Macro wallpaper book and Mary showed me some other books which I fell equally in love with.
The best part of Spotted Magpie is the people who work there. The atmosphere is relaxed and funny and inspiring - the best sort of creative environments. They run art and decorating classes there too.
Spotted Magpie Design Studio
202 Oxford Street, Paddington