The creative owner of a new interiors store in the North Yorkshire town of Richmond tells Jenny Needham why she likes a bit of lustre in her life

Grey’s by name, greys by nature. Jane Webster loves any shade of grey. Consequently, it’s the dominant colour inside and out at her new interiors store in Richmond.

Grey's Interiors stock a wide range of elegant upholstery, lighting, flooring and accessories for the home. There’s a great range of fabric and wallpapers, from Colefax & Fowler, Jane Churchill, Larsen, Clarke and Clarke, Linwood, Romo and Voyage. Homeware accessories are by India Jane, Light & Living, Mindy Brown, Hill Interiors, Pettirossi and LSA glassware.

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Greys dominate, but they are warm greys, interspersed with splashes of ochre, mustard, terracotta and turquoise on cushions and lamps. There are little pockets of glamour too, a hangover, says Jane, from her time living and working in Dubai.

“I would describe my style as modern traditional," says Jane. "I love the texture and warmth that comes with soft furnishings, a lovely cushion, or pretty curtains. I like a glamorous look too, a part of me I associate with the Middle East. I love shimmering fabrics, silvers and golds and I am mad about chrome and silver accessories.”

It was working in the opulent surroundings of Dubai, known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and its wonderful souks full of Arabic textiles, that reawakened Jane’s creative side. She had a very busy life as technical operations manager for the Dubai Mall and found the range of homewares and artwork there inspirational. “We had a lovely villa and I thoroughly enjoyed making it our home with such a beautiful choice of fabrics and accessories,” she says.

Using the skills she had learned from her grandmother, Jane started making curtains and cushions for friends and family. She would make presents for her children’s friends, and bought a monogram machine which could embroider letters onto fabric, making cushions with her friends’ names on, which they all loved.

“I have always been creative, but it was my granny who showed me how to make things,” says Jane, who grew up in the North-East. “She could make anything from anything. She had a big cupboard full of scraps of material and we would spend hours making things together on her sewing machine.”

Though she’d always been a grade A student, a disappointing result in O-level art disillusioned Jane and made her rethink her career path. She joined the RAF police, then worked for the MOD at Catterick for ten years. “That was the reason we moved to Richmond,” says Jane, and it was to Richmond the family returned in 2013.

“I found difficult getting back into the same line of work that I had previously left and eventually decided to take the plunge and do something for myself,” says Jane. “It’s almost as though I’ve gone back full circle to do something which I wanted to do many, many years ago. People have told me for years to do something like this, but I guess it takes a lot to actually follow it through.

“When we came home, I found it really difficult to get nice different things for the home locally. I wanted to revamp my house and it was almost impossible to find somewhere that delivered an interior service and accessories without having to pay a fortune. I thought, there are some beautiful houses here that are loved, why wouldn’t something like this work in Richmond?”

Jane wanted to be able to offer the whole package to her customers, somewhere they could come and do an entire room from soft furnishings to flooring. Customers can browse the books in store, receive fabric samples to take home and decide which suit their surroundings best. “My accessories coordinate with the soft furnishings in store and I have lampshades that can be swapped around with any base,” she says. “I also offer a curtain-making service, flooring design and wooden blinds and plantation shutters.”

Jane is happy to do home visits to help her get a feel for what a customer is looking for. She also offer an upholstery service.

Grey’s Interiors sits on a busy roundabout in Richmond town centre, in a building which once used to be the local cinema. The attic space above the shop, where Jane stores some of her stock, used to be the projection room. It morphed into Rodbers hardware shop, then the Tourist Information Office, before being converted into apartments and the retail unit Jane rents.

She loves being in the centre of the historic North Yorkshire town. “I have always loved Richmond. “We used to come and visit when I was a child and I have always thought it a beautiful place,” she says. “The town has enormous character. Several new business have opened recently, something that been welcomed by locals and visitors.”

Deciding what to stock at Grey’s Interiors, and where to get the right look, was no easy task. “It was a case of looking at things I had previously bought and then attending trade shows,” says Jane. “I have found some lovely things. The main difficulty is resisting the urge to take them home. I recently ordered some lamps from Mindy Brown, a new supplier. They are so beautiful, very glamorous… and they are now sitting proudly on my dining room sideboard!”

  • Grey’s Interiors, The Old Cinema, 2 Queens Road, Richmond, DL10 4DN. T: 01748-518050; W: