Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen and the mysterious case of the ‘pricey’ sofa

(follow Metrodeco on Twitter – here)

We had Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, that doyen of home make-over shows, in the tea shop the other day. Well, sort of. Actually, he

TV 'doyen' Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen

TV 'doyen' Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen

didn’t come in person but sent a crew from his ITV programme ‘House Gift’, who did some filming in our basement furniture showroom as part of a show based in Brighton and Hove. We barely noticed them – they were back up the stairs so quickly I thought they were doing thigh exercises.

I didn’t think about the visit again until I casually switched on the TV one lunch time a couple of weeks later, nearly choking on my hummus and artichoke sandwich as the white washed walls of Metrodeco appeared before my eyes where ITN newscaster Katie Derham had been only moments before.

On screen, Danielle Proud, the show’s interior designer-come-TV presenter, was casually testing out one of our chairs. She was very complimentary and said we had ‘a real penchant for anything art deco’ (true). But she decided fairly quickly that it was over her budget (her task was to find a house gift for £200, while the three-piece suite that had caught her eye is nearly 20 times that price).

Things fell away a little as Llewelyn-Bowen, narrating, declared loftily (probably with a haughty flick of that coiffured hair) that Metrodeco was “a little out of Danielle’s price range”. “But…but..but… we’ve got LOADS of beautiful ornaments and gifts for less than £200!!!” I blurted out through bits of oatmeal bread, as I briefly considered tossing my sandwich at the television. And that was it – the programme cut to another shop from another area after just 20 seconds.

Overall, though, it was a surprising and very welcome piece of publicity. Not only because it concentrated on the side of the business we are keen to promote (ie the art deco furniture – we are already reasonably well-known in Brighton for our bespoke teas). But also because it is more evidence that people are starting to get to know us – what we do, where we are and how we can help make your day that little bit nicer . You see, we didn’t actively seek out the publicity but the producers had heard of us, which is gratifying.

One of the antiques in Metrodeco's art deco showroom

One of the antiques in Metrodeco's art deco showroom

If you’re interested, the show can be viewed here for another 17 days (you have to slide the ‘fast-forward’ bar to 17 minutes and – unfortunately – you are forced to watch a short advert before the clip begins). You might also want to browse our furniture – the online store has just been published today.

Another welcome piece of publicity that landed in our lap this month was the Guardian’s review of what to do on Valentine’s Day. Again, we were approached by the writer – thanks Rob Connigale also of The Brighton Hussy Magazine! – because, I hope, our reputation for style and quality is growing.

I suppose every good small business blog should have a lesson somewhere within and the obvious one here is that if you work hard at the quality of your product, recognition will follow. But a much more important piece of advice that I can pass on after this experience is that you should never shout at the TV while eating a sandwich if you don’t want your settee to be peppered with breadcrumbs. And if you’re reading this Lawrence, don’t worry about your budget – that priceless nugget of wisdom is on the house.

(follow Metrodeco on Twitter – here)

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