Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making a house a (vintage-friendly) home

Lately - in between working, sewing and, er, not blogging - I've been enjoying indulging in homemaking. I don't have a load of wonderful vintage homewares or a very large flat, but since the recent addition of a new item of furniture I've been in major nesting mode (before you ask, no there's no big news!) and I thought I'd share what I've done with limited resources. Because I can't confine myself to a specific era I couldn't theme my decor (no matter how much I admire those who recreate 30s, 40s or 50s havens in their homes), so I've gone for a sort of eclectic, midcentury kitsch meets shabby chic type affair.

Our new G-Plan sideboard, which we got for free in a lucky break from our neighbours who just moved out. They got it for free, so they very kindly paid it forward - to us! I already thought it was cool enough, but I was really excited to find the G-Plan stamp inside one of the drawers. I'm not good at furniture so it's hard to say, but I'm guessing it's around 1960s? It's similar to the one I remember my grandmother had in her dining room.

I'm so pleased with it. It replaces the big office desk which we did have in this corner - and looks way nicer, not to mention significantly more retro. I hung the framed stocking packages when we first moved in, but they never really looked at home over the desk; the new sideboard really sets them off though. The vintage 50s rubbish bin is another new acquisition - found in Mummy's attic. It's covered in adorable illustrations - I'll have to take a close-up photo sometime.

I've made an arrangement of some of my small collection of knick-knackery. The 1950s "London" souvenir pin tray came from a charity shop, as did the sweet strawberry applique tray cloth (part of a set, but I don't have anywhere for the rest at the moment). The 1940s (?) Bakelite clock is from a car boot sale (I haven't actually managed to get it working as it needs a key to wind it up), and you may recognise the pitcher from my atomic lemonade set, another boot fair find. The pencil pot is a modern cocoa tin which I covered in vintage fabric using spray glue, and the 'hat stand' is actually a lamp base which I picked up for about 50p, again at a car boot.

My sewing area has undergone a makeover since you last saw it. The 1930s tin "work box" (purchased at an antique fair) used to hold stationery; that's now all neatly stored away in the sideboard, and the box holds my sewing tools. The vintage toy sewing machine (I aspire to collect vintage toys - so far I have just this and my children's tea set) was until recently part of a display on the top of the book shelf, but I thought it appropriate here. The vintage shoe pin cushion holds my pitiful collection of hat pins.

I'm particularly pleased with the wall collage, inspired by something I saw in the latest issue of BBC Homes & Antiques magazine. It includes Victorian sheet music, WWI postcards, 1930s mending thread, vintage button card. I have a massive collection of paper ephemera, so it's nice to have a way to display at least a tiny fraction of it. The fabric swatches are spoonflower samples.

The Chance Glass "handkerchief" bowl - one of the few items I bought in an actual antique shop - holds a small collection of sewing paraphenalia.

Yeah! Suitcases! I scored the big blue one for a bargain £4.99 + P&P on ebay - it's pretty battered and many of the stickers have completely disintegrated away, but I think it looks pretty awesome. I store most of my fabric stash in it. The two little cases hold trims and buttons and things.

And here's a wider view of the whole corner. There's not much I can do about the ugly electric radiator, but it serves as a shelf for my pin up girl glasses. The framed print above it is cut from a poster of a 1950s fabric.

Lastly here's my side table. It started out as an Ikea lap desk which we got for free as a friend was throwing it out. I had a small stash of vintage "Valentine" teen comics from 1961, which I cut up and decoupaged the illustrations over the tabletop.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that little peek inside my home - and hopefully I'll be able to share more pics as I work on the rest of the flat.

15 comments:

  1. Shaping up nicely love!!! Pleased to have you back - I wondered where you were :)

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  2. Your home is just wonderful! I have serious vintage home envu right now!!!

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  3. I love the hat stand! What a good idea, I thought it was a proper one. I'd love one but they always seem to be so expensive. Also, those rather fabulous and glamorous display busts, they are even more expensive! I share your love of old luggage.

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  4. We're looking for a g-plan sideboard at the moment!

    I love your sewing area too.

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  5. It looks great!
    A home in the mid 1960s would have contained new and old furniture and accessories so a mixture of decades does look more natural I think. You're also not restricted to a certain period and can pick up anything that would blend in.
    My 'favourite decade' changes from week to week.

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  6. This was a great post! Thank you for sharing pictures of your gorgeous home, I look forward to seeing more :)
    R xx

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  7. What a fabulous piece! I am a little obsessed with MCM furniture and our house isn't one specific era either. We have all kinds of things mixed in together...Love all your things....and your blog!!!!

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  8. It's looking so pretty! :) I too admire a lot of the thoroughly vintage interiors other recreate, but my style is far too eclectic. ;) lol. So I like to add a bit of everything! I think my favorite thing in your space is the suitcases--I'm on the hunt for some (smallish) ones to use stacked as nightstands in the master bedroom. (And stealthy storage.)

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    1. That's exactly what I have as a nightstand too! I looove vintage suitcases - especially as they're relatively easy to find and affordable. I probably have enough for the moment, but I still have to hold myself back every time I see one in a charity shop or car boot sale!

      xx Charlotte

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  9. Just adore the 'handkerchief' bowl, and what a brill way to store braid, trims and fabric!

    Maureen

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  10. Really inspiring - may have to start putting some of these ideas into practice at my home. Although the ironing mountain I have been accumulating is quite a nice design feature itself.....

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  11. I love looking into people's homes who like vintage! It's always so insightful! I really understand not having all the space you want to have. I only have about 800 and some odd square feet...I can't wait to get a real house.

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  12. These are some really creative decorating ideas! I love the idea of using a lamp stand to display hats, since I adore many vintage lamp bases but don't feel confident plugging them in (or they won't work without a transformer!) Did you add anything on to cushion the hat?

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    1. I fashioned a sort of butterfly shape out of a wire coathanger and fixed it into the top of the stand, just to give the hat something larger to balance on - nothing more sophisticated than that!

      xx Charlotte

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  13. Hi Charlotte! I have been a follower of your blog for some time now, and I'm never disappointed! You have such grace and style! I love what you've done with your home. All the details are beautiful. I too have a Chance glass handkerchief bowl, just like yours! (http://sewalittlelove.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/bits-and-bobs.html)
    Love it! Thak you for all the inspiration. I just wish I could always be as well turned out as you! Tania ♥

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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