6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Tatton Interiors - a treasure trove in Knutsford

PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 January 2017

Francesca Archer at Tatton Interiors and Decorative Antiques in Knutsford

Francesca Archer at Tatton Interiors and Decorative Antiques in Knutsford


At the age of 70 Francesca Archer has opened a new antiques and interiors shop in Knutsford.

Dining table ephemera Dining table ephemera

Tatton Interiors, a new shop opened in Knutsford by Francesca Archer, is a little Aladdin’s cave of delights, presided over by a welcoming and knowledgeable lady, who I’m tempted to describe as the doyenne of antiques in this area, though she would probably refute that.

‘I’ve been in the antiques business for 40 years, on and off,’ Francesca tells me. ‘Before opening this shop I had two rooms in a shared space on Minshull Street in Knutsford, so I know what I need to do to make it work. It’s nice to think you can change the direction of your life at any age.’

I confess, I did wonder if this wasn’t a surprising step for a lady of 70 to take, but her experience – and impressive collection of contacts – means that it’s not the risk it might seem at first glance.

Not that risk is something Francesca shies away from; in her spare time she indulges her passion for being airborne, whether it’s hang-gliding, open microlighting or flying fixed wing. She’s currently taking flying lessons and studying for her PPL, yet another example of her go-for-it attitude.

Ibis Ibis

Francesca’s new space is a delight. Saffron and charcoal painted walls show off her eclectic collection to perfection, colour choices she made not purely for aesthetic reasons.

‘I decorated it all myself,’ she says. ‘You need deep colours to set everything against and I’m a bit of a ‘colourist’ too. believe that colours affect your mood, and yellow is a cheerful and chatty colour so was an obvious choice.’

Francesca’s collection falls into three genres: ‘French decorative’; ‘English country house’; and ‘Exotic taxidermy.’ From a gorgeous pair of Louis XV-style Fauteuils armchairs in their original Aubusson tapestry covers to a dramatic stuffed Ibis to English dining table silver and china, it’s a fascinating insight into times gone by – and into current trends, as this is what sells today as well as it did generations ago.

Francesca’s customer base has changed over the 40 years of her time in the industry, following trends in interior décor and increasingly, fascinatingly, by developments in technology.

An eclectic selection An eclectic selection

‘In the early years, it was mainly people who collected antiques for their love of a certain age or style. Today, there are more people who see antiques as an element of a larger interior design – and not only do they enhance the beauty of their home, but they are an investment too.

‘Now around 50% of my customers are other dealers and interior designers, who buy with specific clients in mind. This is helped in great part by the facility to use social media to promote the business and my collection. I have a Facebook page and an Instagram account and in just a few weeks have realised the opportunities they present. Instagram is, for me, a little like being in a big dealers’ club; we all follow each other and can post items we have in stock, which often then get sold.’

Francesca travels far and wide in search of stock, buying items often with a specific customer in mind.

‘I buy what I love,’ she explains, ‘and learn all about it. There’s something to be learned every day in this business. Every piece has a story. The only problem with buying the things you like best is that it’s then very hard to bring them into the shop! My house is just full.

‘This is also a benefit of course – it’s possible to be constantly refurbishing my home, bringing previous purchases into the shop when I find something else I just have to have.’

‘It’s a challenging industry, but totally addictive.’

Tatton Interiors

Above No. 4 Minshull Street, Knutsford, WA16 6HG, or rear access from Tatton Street.

07842 186502

More from Out & About

Friday, June 15, 2018

Looking for somewhere new to explore this weekend? Why not follow Mike Smith to the unspoiled villages of the Dane Valley.

Read more
Peak District
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

One great plus point of this walk in the Wirral is that there are no nasty hills to climb.

Read more
Monday, June 11, 2018

The Royal Cheshire Show is one of the best summer events in the North West and always draws a great crowd. This year, we’ll be there showcasing our fantastic range of motorhomes – come and meet us on Stand B5 Plot 15.

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

Run by cyclists .. for everyone

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

Community spirit and hard work create a transport day, an 11-day festival and a host of local groups in Lymm.

Read more
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

We’ve teamed up with The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall to offer one lucky prize winner a luxury stay for two people

Read more
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cheshire Wildlife Trust supporters Sue and Tom Makin have created a wildlife friendly garden at Clemley House, near Tarporley. Sue explains their passion

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

There are few finer thing than exploring the countryside surrounding the many rivers situated across the county.

Read more
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Settle into a spacious seat, sit back in luxury and enjoy the ride before landing in the grounds of the stunning Goodwood estate - travel doesn’t get much better than that!

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search