Stanley Cairns.

This blog is usually a light-hearted and irreverent look at the daft or funny things we get up to. But not today. Because today I’d like to remember a client who has just passed away – Stanley Cairns of Ideas in Furniture. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Olive, children Jamie and Lucy, and also to those who worked alongside him down through the years.

Put simply, Stanley was a gentleman. He was courteous, kind, modest and considerate. He was funny and engaging, always a delight to meet. And he had buckets of style and panache too, in his own cool and understated way.

As a client, Stanley could be demanding at times – rightly so, of course. Like everyone else, he wanted to see results. And because his was a family business competing with more and more Big Hitters in a new world of retail furniture, results really mattered to him. He had to be certain his budget was being spent wisely and effectively.

Naturally, we always try and spend clients’ money shrewdly and create the best work we can – it goes without saying. But (speaking personally here, although I’m sure the others agree) I think we always tried to do that bit more for Stanley. I certainly did. Maybe it was the fact that he was always very complimentary about the work. Maybe it was because he was carefully and successfully steering his business through changing times. Or maybe it was because you just always want to go the extra, extra, extra mile for the good guys – and believe me, Stanley was top of list of Genuine Good Guys. Whatever the reason, Stanley always got that little bit more from me. He deserved it too.

Once you’d met and got to know him, Stanley was a talker, and not always about business. Whenever he came into the office, he and I usually book-ended our meetings with a chat about football or music. He was a huge Northern Ireland fan and of course he was famous for his immense passion for music, never living in the past but always unearthing new things to listen to. I thought that was a terrific attitude – love the past, but keep on learning.

The last time I saw him, he brought me in a CD he thought I’d like: Other Directions by Nicola Conte. It’s a jazz CD by a young Italian, although Stanley was basically a blues man at heart – good, deep, raucous blues.

The music on the Nicola Conte CD was different – smooth, stylish, sophisticated and understated. I’m tempted to say it was a bit like Stanley himself. But Stanley would hate a corny link like that. “Awwwww, come off it Brian” he’d say and roll his eyes. And he’d be bloody right too.

Still, whenever I play his CD again, I’ll always be thinking of him. Stanley Cairns. A good man, a massive loss.

May he rest in peace.

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1 Response to “Stanley Cairns.”


  1. 1 Sophie Haslett October 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    A perfect and honest portrayal of a fantastic man, who was a pleasure to know.


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