A shared passion for design brought Hayley Tarrington and Tony Robson together, resulting in Day True – a beautiful new interiors showroom with a difference
Two heads are better than one, so the saying goes, and it is certainly true in the case of Hayley and Tony Robson, the founders of Day True – an innovative interior showroom that opened recently in the heart of Maida Vale. Here you can have your entire home redesigned or just pop in for a quirky cushion from an independent designer that you won’t find elsewhere.
‘It’s a holistic service,’ says Tony. ‘We’re a design studio and showroom, so we can put a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or house scheme together or someone can buy a new floor, or just a lamp or cushion.’
The couple met five years ago, when Hayley was Head of Design, at C.P. Hart, the luxury bathroom retailer, and Tony was setting up Plug, a new bathroom showroom in Leicester, his home town. ‘I was one of C.P Hart’s dealers and had access to their exclusive ranges, so I came to London to source some products, and Hayley showed me round,’ says Tony, adding with a smile, ‘There was some flirtation.’ It was clearly a meeting of hearts and minds and romance duly blossomed. A year later Hayley joined Tony in Leicester, and with her input, Plug evolved into an interiors showroom with an architectural design service. ‘It was an innovative concept for Leicester and everyone who came in said it would be brilliant in London,’ says Tony. ‘We’d set up in the recession and could see London was in a bit of a bubble as a lot of our business was coming from developers here.’ Hayley was also missing the capital, so it was just the push that they needed to move both their business and lives south. ‘I’d moved to Leicester for love,’ says Hayley. ‘So when we saw that what we were doing would work better in London, it made sense for us both to move back and set up a showroom here.’
Originally thinking about setting up in Clerkenwell, (where there is the highest concentration of architects per square mile) the couple settled on Maida Vale, when they spotted a beautiful Victorian property and former wine shop being renovated on the corner of Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road last February. ‘It was Valentines Day,’ says Hayley. ‘We’d already seen a lot of properties around London but when we walked in here, we could see it was just what we were looking for. It still had the old fireplaces and elements that we could incorporate into kitchen layouts. Then we found out it had a basement, which was perfect for us to create other room sets.’ As the renovations were yet to be completed Tony and Hayley were able to influence the configuration to suit their specifications and have everything ready for a grand opening last October.
Located in the middle of a residential area, Day True has quickly become part of the local community. ‘People like to buy locally and get a personal service and we have a lot of customers on our doorstep,’ says Tony. ‘We use the kitchens and have cooking demonstrations, so people can pop in and see the space and how everything works, or ask advice about what would suit their home. We believe good design should be accessible to everyone.’
Much of Day True’s charm is the passion that both Hayley and Tony have for design and the way their different strengths complement each other. Hayley loves a challenge and enjoys spacial design as much as the aesthetics. ‘Technology has changed the way we live and we’re no longer confined by the old ways of doing things,’ she explains. ‘Good design can and should change your life for the better and I love figuring out the best way for a room to work’.
For Tony it’s all about tracking down the best of what’s on the market; sourcing products that function as well as they look. ‘We have kitchens by Rotpunkt, a German manufacturer, which are not only well engineered, there is a choice of 25 colours for the interior of the carcasses,’ he says. ‘It’s an extra level of design, which allows more flexibility’.
There are kitchen appliances by V-zug, which use the same technology as the professionals, with steam ovens that can be controlled degree-by-degree for precision Heston-style cooking. ‘It’s so convenient,’ says Tony. ‘It’s healthy and quick and in the next ten years it will be the new way to cook.’ Clever bathroom furniture systems by Burgbad, which need no walls, are another innovative feature, as well as beautiful bedroom furniture by Bonaldo, tiles by Refin and flooring by Crucial Trading.
In addition to the stylish furniture, lighting and accessories on offer, Day True can specify anything to suit a scheme and Tony will make it his mission to track down what’s needed. ‘I’ve just sourced a liquid metal wall,’ he says. ‘We have access to a huge amount of suppliers and what we don’t already have, we can find.’ With their warm attitude and forward-thinking ideas, Day True seems to encapsulate the best of the past and future, which is well worth a visit.