Mid-century

The mid-century style seems to be really in at the moment. I think perhaps because it gives a slightly more masculine break from all the vintage floral and the clean lines are pretty practical and sit with modern items easily . I really love this Sanderson ‘Dandelion clocks’ pattern and although I wouldn’t cover the walls in it, I would like a splash of it somewhere. The moodboard was just what I was feeling tonight but perhaps a little extreme for most of us who would prefer a subtle mid-century influence as opposed to full-on fifties!

Mid-century
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Vintage advertising prints

As you may have noticed from the last post, I rather like vintage advertising prints and, truth be told, I have a LOT of them. I think that you can get a real insight into what people were like (or at least what advertisers thought people were like) years ago and they’re a piece of actual history- I love seeing the trends, the design, the products of the time. They are always so much more glamorous than the ‘hard sell’ garish designs of today and the fact that they’re illustrated makes them feel like proper pieces of art. It helps, I guess, that people had to be a lot more artistic before photography.

I seem to have accidentally acquired quite a collection of the things in the last year or two and they’re all over my walls. Hey, if you’re stuck in a single room that you can’t decorate- the walls are the focus of a lot of your creativity!  The attraction of the adverts, other than the fact that they look lovely and are black and white  (always a plus for me!), is that they are easy to come by and, at around a fiver a print (unframed), they’re pretty cheap for a piece of art you can pretty much guarantee none of your friends have hung on their walls.
So, following last week’s purchase of the 1930s Jaeger print I picked up at the Islington Pop-up Vintage Fair, I thought I’d share some of my monochrome collection…..

1931 French perfume advert

1931 French ‘Eau de Cologne’ advert

1937 Jaeger clothes advertising print- I wish they’d sold the clothes too! The bottom coat is incredible!

French ‘Charmis’ advert- unknown date. That is some seriously glam underwear.

Roman Holiday Film advert- starring the beautiful Audrey Hepburn

I couldn’t finish this post without adding this print in, I know it’s not technically an advert but for me it’s completely tied up with the adverts. These are the people that would have seen them and maybe bought the products. And there’s something about this image that I can’t quite keep my eyes off. It’s a picture of VE day and they look so happy and relieved. I see this as a little piece of history too and one quite fitting considering it was Remembrance Sunday a couple of days ago.

Guildford Boileroom Artisan Fair

Exciting news!
I’m setting up shop for the first time ever at the Guildford Boileroom Artisan Boutique fair. I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s like. I’ll be selling a mixture of antique, collectable and upcycled homewares including teasets, vintage mirrors, frames and cushions. No spoilers yet but I’ll post photos after if it all goes well. I’m really throwing myself into the deep end with this but if you don’t try it, you never know if it’s any good do you? It could be my calling!

The fair will stock vintage clothes, homewares and accessories. So if you’re in the area, stop by!

Home trends: Retro Industrial

Bus blinds, Typewriters and Ampersands

Is it just me or is it COLD? Autumn has really made its self known and my thoughts have followed it accordingly. This is the first of several posts I’m going to write on the key home trends of this (chilly) season. Everywhere I look there are metal cabinets and battered wood pieces of furniture, utilitarian lighting and wire accessories. And I don’t care because I love retro industrial. I surprised my self a bit with this as I’m usually a complete girly girl. Even I need a break from florals every once in a while….

The three things that really epitomise this trend for me are bus blinds, typewriters and ampersands. They’re definitely in vogue at the moment and deservedly so. The bus blind signs are another addition to my true love: monochrome wall art. Obviously, I went straight out and bought one (albeit a more purse-friendly poster version) but its currently sat in a dusty corner of my room awaiting more wall space and a sturdy black frame to boot.

The ampersand is a strange one. It’s been loitering at the top of our keyboards for yonks without the slightest bit of attention. But once typography really became trendy it was recognised as by far the most elegant of symbols we have. I recently bought an entire hand stamping kit, I’m not going to lie, almost exclusively for the ampersand- it just looks so darn cool. Plus, how awesome is the ampersand board?! I wish I knew where it was from.

Finally, typewriters. Need I say more? We all want to go back to an age when typing wasn’t so mundane and tipex was the only way to correct the inevitable typos. Typewriters come in all ages, shapes and sizes but like all industrial home accessories, they appeal because they are also functional; they can be used as well as looked at.

And just to show you can be industrial and girly….(phew!)….

For more retro industrial ideas visit my pinterest board, where all of these can be found: bus blinds, typewriters and ampersands.

Awesome August thrifty finds

Don’t you just love it when you find something great when you weren’t even looking for it? I’ve been scanning the (many) charity shops in my town for mismatched teacups to make into beautiful candle gifts (as seen here) to no avail. I usually see them all the time but, sod’s law, when I want to buy a couple, I can’t find one anywhere! I’m not too upset though as, in the last shop I visited, I bagged a load of different things.

These vintage red kitchen scales were the first to catch my eye. Very industrial and they’ve seen a fair bit of use but they’re so solid and sturdy and I love the idea that they have been (and will continue to be) passed down generations. They cost me £20 which is loads cheaper than the reproduction models you can buy.

I also nabbed an authentic retro tin sign (only £4) to go with the scales. Together with my beloved amaretto tin from Milan, they’ll make for a lovely red-themed kitchen when I get my own place. For the time being they’re occupying a corner of my bedroom and the scales have even become storage for my hair nik naks, clips and bands.


Other bits that i picked up include a lovely mercury glass tealight holder (£2!) , some adorable floral boxes (also £2) and a circa 1900 map of China (£5).

I love the feeling of getting something that is good-quality for a fraction of the cost that you’d buy it new or even from a vintage shop. You can get some really great stuff from charity shops, you just have to be prepared to trawl through some not-so-great stuff to find it. My biggest tip is to be patient. Sometimes you won’t find anything at all but other times you’ll leave with bulging bags.

What’s your greatest charity shop find?