We are delighted to still be family owned and run after 23 years in the wood flooring and shutter business.
Living Floors original showroom was born in Chester in 1997 and created by my parents Blair and Eleanor Smillie. In early 1997 my father, Blair, was working in Sweden and saw the gap in the market for a wood flooring specialist in the UK, the timing was perfect with the boom in DIY TV such as ‘Changing Rooms’ and we have never looked back. Not only did the new trend for wood flooring look superb, it was also practical so its popularity has grown and grown. As a 14 year old, I was tasked with helping out on a Saturday for a small wage. In my father’s true style, I was thrown in to the deep end. He dropped me off at the store at 9am and left me for the day. I realised I had to learn about wood flooring fast and from that day on, the family business has been my life.
Soon after, my sister Elaine joined the business and we because a true family business. We opened our Wilmslow store in 1999 and quickly became the leading wood flooring experts in the two areas. In the early 2000’s Elaine spotted a gap in the market for plantation shutters and Living Shutters was born. Again, we grew it quickly and gained a reputation as experts in Plantation Shutters. The third part of our business was The Sanding Man, a sanding and renovation service my father opened to restore existing wood floors. Under the brand Living Floors and More we worked across the north west from Abersoch in North Wales to the Lake District.
Over the years, Elaine and myself worked in different parts of the business and experienced it all from working in the showroom, working in client homes, to driving the forklift truck and unloading pallets of flooring by hand on a freezing winters morning. The true joy of a family business is that you do a little bit of everything.
Sadly in August 2017 we lost our father Blair and it rocked us all. It was a tough time for all of us but with great staff working together we continued in the way my father would have wanted us to. Since 2017 Elaine and myself have consolidated the companies and shuffled things around to make the business work better logistically for us both and our customers. I run Living Shutters to provide beautiful plantation shutter to Chester, Wilmslow and the rest of Cheshire and Elaine runs Living Floors and More in Chester. In our own areas, we strive to provide a great customer experience and work to the same high standards we were always taught. We talk daily and often use the phrase “What would dad have done?” We believe we have added our own knowledge and experience to things now and both Living Shutters and Living Floors are businesses we know Blair would be proud of
Living Shutters is proud to be completely independent and this allows us to work with all the top brands such as S-Craft, Santa Fe, Tropical and many more. If we don’t have it in our showroom we will source it for you. As a small, specialist business we develop and nurture close relationships with our customers, giving attention to detail and bespoke solutions. Or staff are like family to us and we like to think that we treat all of our customers as family too.