12:30 11 February 2022
Nestled in an industrial area of Norwich, you’ll find a little bit of elegance and sophistication in Woods Interiors.
Offering interior design services and decorative pieces for your home, Roundtree Close firm Sprowston opened in 2018, but since the introduction of a chic new cafe at the end of the year Last, business is booming.
It is the trading arm of an already successful business, The Finishing Touch Ltd, owned and run by Lorraine Wood alongside her husband Daren and son Ross, which manufactures and supplies curtains and blinds for businesses, care homes, offices and the NHS. Now, however, they’ve branched out into retail so customers can walk in and place an order or buy off the shelf.
Candles, trinkets, furniture, vases and flower arrangements, mostly supplied by local businesses, are on offer. And whatever you buy, you can be sure that you are one of the few who own one.
“We tend to buy only a few copies of each item and keep inventory rotating,” says Lorraine. “So it’s not like you can walk into somebody else’s house and say ‘I have this’.
“We try to keep it unique, so when someone buys something, I know there’s only ever going to be three or four we’ve bought, and that’ll be it.”
It was three years later, in 2021, that Lorraine had one of those ‘middle of the night’ ideas to set up a cafe – a completely different side of the business, one she had never been into ventured before.
“People can spend a lot of money on their interiors and I thought it would be a lot nicer for them to be able to sit down and browse the books and see the displays,” says Lorraine. “It gives them a bigger picture of what it’s all going to look like.”
It came into its own, offering fresh coffee served by a barista and, among other treats, pastries and croissants provided by local Dollie’s Bakery. And thanks to a newly installed kitchen, a selection of their own delicious efforts.
“We now cook a lot ourselves – scones and sausage rolls,” says Lorraine. “We also have a full dinner menu because that’s what people have been asking for, where we do hot paninis, bacon rolls and soup. And we get regular customers for the coffee bar at him alone, which is really nice.”
The inspiring interiors combined with the smell of pastry and fresh coffee go well together, and customers love it – two-legged and four-legged ones. Despite being a place of elegance and sophistication, the place is dog-friendly and welcomes those looking for a rest after a walk near Mousehold Heath. Fortunately, Lorraine isn’t too worried about the odd muddy paw here and there.
The Woods’ own furry family member, Bobi the Cockapoo, attracts her own adoring fans who come to see her. By all accounts, she has also become a hit on Instagram. “People come in and say they’re only here to visit the dog!” Lorraine laughs.
As we’ve spent more time at home over the past two years, it’s true, says Lorraine, that more of us are looking to make the most of our surroundings.
For those of us who don’t know where to start when it comes to interior design, Lorraine asks that you either bring photos of your home or visit in person.
And if you want to stay on trend this year, her advice is to opt for bright colors and original flowers – like Laura Ashley or William Morris.