Cottage industry revival

00:47, Dec 25 2012
cottage stand
Carol Thompson has set up bijou eliot - a design and art studio.

A New Plymouth antique dealer has turned a rundown cottage into a contemporary design studio.

Carol Thompson bought an 1880s Eliot St cottage 18 months ago and totally refurbished it.

"Everything is brand new except for the floor boards and the two doors," Thompson said. "We pulled it apart."

One half of the building was now her home and the other half is set up as bijou eliot - a design and art studio.

Thompson said she was attracted to the 1880s building because she hated to see heritage buildings pulled down.

"My vision was not only to restore the place but to open up a design and decor studio."


Bijou eliot specialised in selling fabrics and vintage and contemporary lighting and furniture, she said.

Its range included both new and secondhand goods.

Bijou eliot was also a gallery space featuring a new artist every two months, she said.

Sales had been going well since opening two months ago, she said.

"I pulled the blinds up and everyone pulled in.

"People have been watching the building and waiting."

Thompson said she used to be an antique dealer in New Plymouth and a lot of her old customers were happy to see her back.

"I've had a break for the past eight years."

The aim of bijou eliot was to stock goods which no-one else had, she said.

Much of the stock was sourced from auctions around the country.

"It's all about the mix really, it's just how we live."

She called the shop bijou eliot because bijou meant something small and perfectly formed, she said. Eliot came from its location on Eliot St.

Taranaki Daily News