FORMER set designer and award-winning artist Paul Helliwell took the plunge by setting up a contemporary antiques shop in Barnard Castle after being made redundant.
Nine months later, his first foray into selling fine art, modernist paintings and bold pieces was so successful that he moved from The Bank after buying the old Firkin Pub, on Bakery Mews , Horsemarket.
Mr Helliwell, who runs Antiques Affair, said: ‘I bought the building in November last year but took some time to modify the interior and remove all the fittings from the bar, installing a stone floor on the ground floor.”
After moving into the new premises, which were decorated in vibrant shades of yellow and blue, he was overwhelmed with the response from customers.
He added: “When I decided on the colors, yellow at the bottom and blue at the top, I
I didn’t realize I had chosen the Ukrainian flag until someone pointed it out to me.
“I decided to go bold with colors to demonstrate that you can have fun with antiques and don’t have to put them in muted toned rooms. You don’t have to recreate living rooms Victorians, you can have a Georgian chaise longue in a modern setting – it’s just how you arrange the rooms.
Mr. Helliwell intends to expand his offering of garden and outdoor antiques in the new location.