Urban Village LDN, Made in Fulham

Melinda Shelbourne of Urban Village LDN talks to Pascal about his relationship with Fulham in the mist of 2020’s pandemic, and how Pascal Huser Design & Build came to be.

The article can be found on Urban Village LDN

How long have you called Fulham home? After graduating in Fine Art in 1985, I rented a flat on Hurlingham Road as well as a studio in South Ken, though I spent most of my time painting from my flat.  There was definitely a surge of young people moving to the borough and both the Fulham Road and New Kings Road was buzzing with wine bars, restaurants and delicatessens.  As a young twentysomething, it was the place to be!   

Tell us a bit about yourself/and your family. I am French, have lived and worked in Paris and Zurich, but London (Fulham) is where I feel totally at home.  We are fortunate to have found a great house next to Bishops Park.  I am married to Kate, my childhood sweetheart, with whom we have 3 children.  No dog yet, but it’s a constant topic of conversation.  

What’s your favourite local haunt and why?I feel it’s about sharing the best of experiences with friends.  There are too many places to name as each are unique and as much about the people who own or run them.  But if one place truly stands out, it’s The River Cafe.  

What is your slice of Fulham heaven and why? So many like walking the bridges, but I prefer to stick to this side of the river.  I enjoy seeing the changes taking place, new buildings/developments and restaurants opening such as Sam’s, Brasserie Blanc and The Blue Boat.  

What have you missed about Fulham life during the pandemic? The beauty of the internet and Zoom is that we could stay in touch with friends and family regardless of where they were.  There was a tremendous sense of community and local support, which I hope will continue post Covid-19.  It was really sad seeing shops and businesses close, but a huge relief to see them re-opening again.  

What local shop/service/business has helped make life easier during the pandemic?As my business continued throughout, we were reliant on suppliers delivering materials such as Hitchcock & King (Carnwath Road) and Action Building Supplies (Dawes Road) – there were uncertain times at the beginning of lockdown, but the message was clear – businesses had to continue doing business!  On a personal/family level, obviously local supermarkets and the tremendous Parsons Nose and Bayley & Sage.  As we are fortunate to have a large garden, there’s been a lot of BBQs!

If you could do one thing to improve Fulham what would it be? Replace the current parking permit with one you can use throughout the entire borough, such as in Kensington & Chelsea.  I would be happy to pay more for the privilege.  

Tell us about Pascal Huser Design & Build and how it came to be.  From an early age, I have always been quite practical.  Art and Design stills remains a constant passion of mine.  Having been on the receiving end of some ‘pretty average’ refurbishment work in my first home, which for many was seen as the norm, I saw an opportunity to offer a service of real care and exemplary execution.  Everything matters!  That philosophy still remains true – bringing together talented in-house Architects, Interior Designers and trusted construction experts, setting us apart for over 20 years.   

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own enterprise?Always put yourself in the place of a client.  What would you expect?  Have high standards, you don’t have to be different, just better.  Detail is everything?  If you love and are passionate about what you do, then you will succeed.  And read your email twice before you press send!

What is the key piece of advice you always give to clients? Transparency, trust and honesty.  This a wonderful creative opportunity on which to travel together.’

Text from Made In Fulham, Urban Village