I hesitate to use the word chic when describing BODIE and FOU as it feels like a cliché when applied to a store set up by two French sisters – but it is – it's just very chic. Counting Helena Christensen, Claudia Schiffer and Meg Mathews among its legion of fans, BODIE and FOU offers pretty much everything a person could possily need to create a truly beautiful modern home, including the work of designers like Ole Jensen, Betsy Benn, Marimekko, Famille Summerbelle and dozens more.
Co-founder Karine Fou takes us inside the world of BODIE and FOU:
How would you describe BODIE and FOU to someone who had never seen the site?
BODIE and FOU is a chic, inspiring online concept store for design-lovers in search of cool modern styling for the home and unique, beautiful gifts for the whole family.
Karine, you and your sister Elodie (co-owners of BODIE and FOU) are French, but you are living in London - how do you think this has influenced the style of BODIE and FOU?
A lot :-) You can take the girls out of France but you can't take Frenchness out of the girls and our collection has a definitive cool Parisian vibe meets Provence chic, which is a reflection of our years in Paris and our childhood in the South of France.
At the same time, Elodie lived in London then Barcelona and now Paris and I have lived in London for the past 16 years and we both regularly travel around Europe, the US and New-Zealand, so everything we see abroad and around us, inspires us and allows us to discover unique and stylish designs.
BODIE and FOU has celebrity fans – can you tell us about some of them?
We are lucky to have had top models Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer buying our Angel babygro. Actress Helena Bonham-Carter bought the Family wallpaper from us, Author and Journalist India Knight has two of our gorgeous ceramic lamps in her London home (she has been very good to us and has written something very kind about our customer service) and lately it was Meg Mathews who styled her London home with one of our iconic ball chairs in fuschia.
It's nice but what we really care about are the independent reviews that our customers leave. For us, that's a very strong indicator of how well we perform with our services and for Elodie and I this is very important. It's all very good to have beautiful things to sell, but if your customer service doesn't follow, there is no point.
Which other homeware shops and sites do you admire?
Umm, we follow our hearts when it comes to homeware and pretty much everything we put on BODIE and FOU is what we would have in our homes so I don't really shop on other homeware websites but Elodie and I do scour flea markets to find unusual things.
I'm more into interior design & lifestyle blogs like Decor8, PoppyTalk, Vosges Paris, A Cup of Jo.
I have a budget of £50 for each and want to buy great gifts for: i) myself; ii) my best friend's birthday; and iii) a friend's new baby. What would you recommend from the site?
Umm tricky, if I only had £50 for myself, I would save for four months until I get this bag! Because considering the amount of happiness this bag has given me and its cost per wear, I'd rather wait. For my best friend's birthday, I would go for either the London or Paris map print (both beautiful) or the Rob Ryan plates and for my friend's new baby, without hesitation our Angel babygro, which I initially bought for Elodie's daughter Lily and then sourced for our shop.
Which items from the shop do you have in your own home?
We have two Paulistano chairs, the Old Oak Last Dream print, the Feathers poster and the Lima floor standing light in our lounge.
The rocking glasses (great talking point when you have friends around) and cognac glasses are in our kitchen and last weekend, I added the EAT red metal letters by our kitchen door and they look amazing and very striking.
In our bedroom, I put Kathleen Hills' cluster light and Mila (6 years old) chose the Friends of Violet poster and the Nelly poster for her bedroom and of course, I have our best-selling Tropezienne tote leather bag and the mini sac in silver.
What are your all-time best sellers?
For women: the Tropezienne tote leather bag, City map prints and Rob Ryan plates
For men: the Cognac glasses or the London Type map print
For friends: any of our gorgeous art prints because they make a really nice gift, are unusual and easy to ship abroad