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Ooh La La - Ladue News: Design

Ooh La La

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Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 4:14 pm

When Kendra McMahan came home from work recently, a brand new sofa awaited her from Ooh La La Home Furnishings. She did not pick it out and had never seen it before it arrived, but she instantly fell in love.

“They are so accommodating,” McMahan says of Ooh La La’s designers, who have been working to decorate her entire Chesterfield home for the past four months. “I don’t even know how many tables and couches we have brought into my house, and if a piece doesn’t fit the room, they take it away—no problem.”

With the assistance of Ooh La La, clients like McMahan can create spaces that meet their needs and aesthetic preferences. The 7,000-square-foot showroom and 3,000-square-foot warehouse in Chesterfield are filled to the brim with furniture and accessories. “Our store has a European country look to it, but we also have items that are more transitional,” says owner Dee Hencken. “We keep so much stuff on hand so we can satisfy a variety of tastes.”

While customers can shop at the showroom, Hencken and the 10-year-old company’s four other designers also utilize their skills directly in their homes. An initial consultation will help to get a feel of the space and determine the priorities of the homeowner. “When we go into someone’s house for the first time, we can get a sense of where they’re trying to go,” Hencken explains. “Even if they can’t explain exactly what their style is, we can see it by talking to them.”

After photographing and measuring the room, Ooh La La will return with a wide assortment of furniture and accessory options. Once the space is set up and items are layered in, the client can determine what they want to keep and what they want to change, Hencken says. “Some clients are very hands-on, while others just want you to take care of everything.”

By pulling items from the showroom and warehouse to use right away in a client’s home, the company can provide “immediate gratification,” Hencken notes. “Our parents used to wait six months to get a customized sofa, but no one wants to wait that long today.” Another key to the company’s success is its ability to meet anyone’s needs. “We’re very flexible. Whether it’s a $1,000 budget or $200,000, it makes no difference, and we’re not stuck in a strict time frame, so we can accommodate anyone’s schedule.”

From bookcases to lighting fixtures, Ooh La La features a plethora of options. Clients also can choose window treatments from the Express Blinds and Draperies division, or even pick up a great necklace from the jewelry line sold in store. Hencken is inspired in her selections by her travels around Europe, but avoids looks that are very trendy. “We don’t want people to love it for two years, and then have to completely refurnish the house again. We want them to love it for the next 15-plus years.”

With another room complete, McMahan looks forward to the next space in her home that Ooh La La will help transform. “You can’t find these products and service at many other stores. You not only get beautiful, quality products, but items that are unique, as well.”

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