Tag: vintage

Original finds from Original House

German industrial trolleys, £210

Last week I went for supper at my friends’ house where I spotted a beautiful, robust and wonderfully worn out coffee table which was in fact just an old crate on wheels. But it was so solid and old and weathered, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I wondered all the way through supper how such a stylish number had ended up nestled between sound systems and granny’s cushions in their cosy, hotchpotch and rather boyish living room.

The answer: Original House, a furniture store founded in 2008 by Archie and Caddie Mackie which specialises original reclaimed pieces. Describing their style as “relaxed yet exciting” – as all good things should be – they scour Britian and beyond for one off pre-loved items and sell them online and through their showroom at Northleach, in the Cotswolds. Environmentally aware and disdainful of mass production, they know what they are doing and their pieces show it. Here are my current favourites:

1950s Tulip table by Eero Saarinen, from the QE2, £540

Portugese factory toolboxes, £110

Vintage Eastern European gym horses, £1200

Dutch enamelled industrial tables, £135

See more at OriginalHouse.co.uk

Folksy love-in: Hopper and Space

Chairs, £595

Until this morning I always browsed on Folksy for sweet, crafty, handmade things like finger puppets, placemats or soap – never  believing it to be the place for big, proper, impressive furniture. (Incidentally I did just order this, which looks lovely. I have high hopes).

But today I was proven wrong as a sleek trio of contemporary upcycled pieces by sellers Hopper and Space caught my eye and I thought it was definitely worth posting on – even if they’re not everyone’s style, they are proof that the UK’s online handmade community can thrive on a big scale as well as small, and testament to how far Folksy has come since it offered cutesy pin cushions and greetings cards.

Sofa, £1,295

Joe and Ben of Hopper & Space take vintage furniture, cover it with a neutral cream or fawn brushed linen and a contemporary flash of colour – usually neon – and the designs work really well on the angular, retro lines which can often seem too tough. Shunning sweatshops, unethical factories and mass production, they reupholster whatever comes their way, usually spanning the 40s to the 80s. Two of the three pieces they’re currently selling are reupholstered 1953 chairs and a sofa by British company E Gomme, who introduced their ‘G Range’ in the fifties to provide affordable and individual pieces to design-aware homemakers.

Chairs, £695

Their thoughtfully designed 2011 incarnations do exactly the same thing and should be snapped up immediately by anyone in need of a chair. Sadly, I am not.


People we’re loving: Not Another Bill

The people behind Not Another Bill have come up with an ingenious service: susbscribe to them for however long you like (one, three or six months) and they will send you – or a lucky friend (pick me, pick me, pick me) – a surprise present in the post once a month. You have no idea or control over what the treat will be, and nor do the anonymous team, who say they often don’t have a clue themselves until they spot it at an antiques market or tucked away in a little hidden store, or design it themselves with one of their cool jeweller / sculptor / artsy friends.

Because nothing is displayed online, it really is a proper, old-fashioned red-letter-day surprise. And you know it will be fun, quirky and exciting because their website is just that.

One to watch for 2011: Amy Jane Interiors

Hand stitched Victorian cotton lampshades

Having pursued fashion since her teens, working with English talents Bruce Oldfield and Jenny Packham at the age of just sixteen, 24 year-old Camberwell graduate Amy-Jane Adams designs furniture pieces with a distinctly sartorial edge – her textiles are rare and wonderful and bursting with texture and colour – and, refreshingly, a million miles away from high street fads and trends.

After her foray into the world of tailoring, Amy returned to the Cotswolds, where she grew up, to design and make interior accessories for antique dealer Christopher Howe and furniture maker Stephen Perkins. Cultivating an ever-growing love of upholstery and hand crafted furniture, she eventually set up shop after graduating from Camberwell, and her business has slowly but surely soared over the last twelve months. With such characterful and distinctive pieces, it’s easy to see why.

Her latest design, the Maharajah dog bed (below), is fit for a king.

Maharajah dog bed

Tea chest laundry bin

Vintage fruit crate dog bed

For more designs and info visit amyjaneinteriors.com

Funky trunks

Since bounding out of school aged 18 with my tattered old navy trunk in tow, I have not given it a second’s thought. Until last week.

Wandering down London’s Pimlico Road last week – a treat in and of itself for any design fan – I spied the most elegant pile of vintage Louis Vuitton trunks heaped one atop the other, in faded leopardskin; understated, not garish in a WAG way, but indicative of true old-school glamour, from the days when the American Apparel weekend bag wouldn’t even make it past steerage.

I was so consumed by desire I decided to hunt around for some good trunk images and figure out the best way to incorporate one into my new flat.

In my opinion, the older and tattier the better. A good trunk is made for circling the globe and that is exactly what it should have done by the time it ends up on your floor. Embrace the dents and scuffs and wear and tear. And for that extra sparkle, line yours with your favourite fabric or wallpaper and smile every time you open it.

Images via: Decorpad; birchbarksoap and ihearthome on Flickr; Country Living; SimplyNaturalDecor

Summer inspiration: coloured glass

When the sun is shining, there is no prettier way to brighten up a room than with coloured glass. I used to have an irrational dislike of it, thinking it looked tacky and a bit like cheap plastic picnic-ware, but placed carefully, an old blue bottle or cluster of bright vases can shine just as brightly as a stained glass window.

I woke up today determined to find the perfect coloured bottles for my new and empty bookshelves – ideally with a vintage apothecary feel and cork stopper.

coloured glass bottles

bubbly glass bottkes with cork

Images via Catherine Jamieson, karlah1, jrorci, DAJanzen and Dianer1119 on Flickr.