FROM WOODEN BARROW TO BOUTIQUE SHOWROOM
Born from a desire to be different and transform rooms, Hot House has been delivering bespoke curtains, blinds and interiors around Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire for 13 years.
Our boutique Ampthill showroom has been open for 6 of those and we’ve always prided ourselves on bringing our client’s vision to life through bold, vibrant, modern and contemporary design.
We’re not your average interiors company, and you won’t get us just turning up with a book and telling you to have a look through the options. That’s not our style. We believe that the best design starts with you. From honest advice to a vast range of finishing touches we’re passionate about producing intuitive, unique and timeless style for all of our clients.
Our personal approach will never change either. From day one when we first opened to trade with just a wooden barrow unit, and founder Louise’s Dad fitting every order, to our current team of 4 highly skilled experts, we go above and beyond to push the boundaries and deliver that wow factor for you.
Whether that’s Sharon who heads up our bespoke soft furnishings workroom, or Mark who delivers and installs every order, to Niamh and Louise in the showroom we’re with you every step of the way.
Our passion for creating vibrant spaces has seen us work with some clients for over 10 years and we would love to work with you to bring yours to life.
Hello! I’m Louise, founder and owner of Hot House. I’ve always been attracted to all things vibrant and daring so interiors and fashion have always been some of the things I love.
I remember when I was about 8, and I had a lovely layered dress with three tiers. But to my Mum’s horror I insisted on wearing it inside out. I wore it to death and I rocked it. I loved that it was so different and every time people told me it was inside out, I would just say “I KNOW!” I think it’s one of the reasons why bespoke designs are so key to what we do here.
And the other thing my parents, well mainly my Dad, instilled in me is my passion for nice things. He didn’t spend money very often but when he did he only bought the best and I bring that mindset into our philosophy of quality to this day. He was a car mechanic, and when I was about 8 he started his own business, so I think he probably inspired my entrepreneurial spirit too. I’ll never forget handing out leaflets and being ‘trained’ to answer the house phone as ‘Hello Car Repair Services How can I help you.’
I’ve always been inspired by those around me, especially my Mum, and my Italian husband Luigi’s mum. They’ve helped me grow into the independent woman I am today, and showed me that I could more than hold my own in a trade dominated by men. I mean, I’ve been doing this since I was 15. I think the Italian side of the family have definitely enhanced my fierce passion for design and style too.
Going back to the start, my journey began with a Saturday showroom job at a local curtain factory where my Mum worked. I had a week’s training on all the products by Peter, the 80 year old director, and from then on I was pretty much left to my own devices. Just me, out the front on my own in the showroom, with a doorbell if I needed back up. I loved it.
I left college and I was promoted to Branch Coordinator at the curtain factory, a role they basically made up to keep me as I was always looking for the next promotion, but I jumped at it and I stayed there for 10 years. I was trusted and given a lot of responsibility from a young age, travelling to countries like Germany, France and Spain for trade shows. But I was always looking for another challenge, some of which included a 5 year Interior Design course, and even opened up another store which I ran.
Eventually I did outgrow the company, I wanted more of a challenge, and I landed a job at Liberty London on Regent St. The idea of working in London had always really appealed to me and it exposed me to a new world of wonderful furnishings that I didn’t even know existed. But I quickly realised it wasn’t right for me. I was frustrated being in such a large company, without the freedom to make my own decisions, and the chance to deal with customers face to face. It was all meetings about meetings and that’s just not me.
I knew I needed to get back to my passion; designing and creating beautiful spaces. But I couldn’t go back to my old job, and my family were so proud of me so I didn’t want to let them down. That’s when I decided that the only way to create my dream job was to set up my own business. And that’s how, inspired by browsing fabrics on the Liberty shop floor, Hot House was born.
I did some enquiring into how and where I would retail, and I fancied an RMU in Milton Keynes shopping centre, 20 mins from home. It was just outside John Lewis and next to Costa, perfect. So I made it happen, and the rest you could say, is history.
That was 13 years ago, the company’s grown, my family’s grown with the arrival of my daughter Olivia, who’s 9 now, and I’ve been turning people’s visions into reality ever since. The best bit is I still feel like I’m only getting started.