My name is Kirsti Coley. I am originally from Wiltshire, England, but recently moved to the beautiful part of France that is the Haute-Vienne to renovate an old property and run ‘Le Hibou Chic’. I love all things France, but not only wanted to live here, but also to have my own shop and bring up a family.
My love of design came to me when I started playing with different paints to upcycle a few pieces of furniture when I was living in the UK. After several frustrating and failed attempts with other brands of chalk paint, I discovered Frenchic. One workshop later and I was firmly hooked. I’d found my paint and my passion. I was very lucky in finding a fantastic teacher in Lynn, she helped me to fully understand the Frenchic paints and then I developed my own style.
I am very practical, everything from electrics to plumbing, this helps with the restoration of furniture. I believe in upcycling old gems, not just painting them, but actually bringing them back to life as they were and repairing the furniture too. It takes many hours and much dedication to give a new lease of life to an old piece. My work includes commissions everything from a coffee table through to an Armoire which still graces the Chateau it have lived in for nearly 200 years.
Unfortunately, in 2017, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with cancer. Having never been one to take bad news lying down, I decided life is just too short, and so my husband and I purchased a run-down barn in France. Embarking upon a substantial renovation, which we are doing largely ourselves (and which is still ongoing. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel!), I have learned, developed and used many of my skills in the process, taking the opportunity to upcycle much of our furniture as we go.
In July 2019 I realised my dream and opened my very own shop in the beautiful French town of Bellac in the Haute-Vienne. My lovely shop, called Le Hibou Chic, hosts painting and creating workshops, sells the fabulous Frenchic paint, decorative accessories and taking on furniture commissions. Some of my work is also available for sale in La Chátre at the beautiful RIVA, who are also Frenchic stockists.
Some of my work is also available for sale in La Chátre at the beautiful RIVA, who are also Frenchic stockists. Today the shop continues to thrive, along with a new addition, my beautiful daughter Alicia who was born in 2021. My husband, Phil, now plays a more active part in the business and in July 2023 we are opening Le Hibou Chic á numero 5 which will be an interior design centre based in Bellac.