French-born antique dealer Bernadette Lewis has been involved in the trade for more than 40 years. Through her shop B&T Antiques in west London she sources French mirrors and glamorous Art Deco mirrored furniture, as well as other period pieces such as 1950s Scandinavian furniture. After twenty years in Notting Hill, the shop has cult status in the area and a loyal following.
Who are you? Bernadette Lewis of B&T Antiques
Where can we find you? 118 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR (020 7229 7001) www.bntantiques.co.uk
Describe your store in five words: French, eclectic, different, original, welcoming.
What makes you different? I source all my antiques myself and then put everything together in my showroom, mixing period and vintage pieces. Ever changing stock makes frequent visits a must and original window displays attract people day and night.
How you decide what makes the cut? I have been collecting and dealing in antiques for over 40 years and I follow my taste, my eye and gut feeling.
What were you doing before you did this? Bringing up kids and living in both Paris and London, but I have always collected and dealt in antique furnishings.
If you were starting again what advice would you give yourself? Always be curious and stay enthusiastic.
What are you most proud of? That my clients have remained loyal, have followed my evolution and keep coming back after all these year and also bring with them a younger generation of inspired customers.
Do you have a favourite thing in the store right now? Not really as I only buy things that interest me.
What's hot for 2013? Colour as opposed to muted tones. I've just bought a gorgeous red leather sofa by Borge Morgensen.
Every Wednesday 'Indie of the week' celebrates the best independent stores around. These places sell interesting and varied collections of design-related things you don't see everywhere else. They may support young or local designers or be great at finding unique things from around the world. By thinking a little more creatively about what they stock they are fighting the bland homogenisation of so much of the high street. And since I'm down with the realities of modern life, online only stores count too, because a beautiful and easy to use website is just as delightful an encounter in cyberspace.
Do you you have a favourite store? I'd love to hear from you.