The Curious Shop: Loafing around.

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Remember that time I was super excited Loaf Shack was opening near me in Battersea? I went to visit the other day and it was so much fun! Set under the railway arches under double-height ceilings with some exposed original brick work walls, Loaf Shack Battersea is the sort of place you could spend your day in, either working, browsing, or just sleeping on one of their many sofas and beds! In fact, they actively encourage people to do so (it’s not a showroom, rather, it’s an experience venue), with free wifi, an ice creamery (say what?!) and a secret underground bunker-style recreational room – there’s a table football set, a pin-ball type machine, a television, plenty of loungey sofas and cushions. Apparently it’s where all the cool kids from the local school hang out nowadays!

If I worked from home, I would definitely be popping in lots. You could go and get your larger items of furniture (sofas, beds, wardrobes), spend hours picking fabric swatches, or just run in and out for a candle, some bed-linen, or cute glassware. I got myself a couple of pairs of hand-knitted bed socks (yes!) and a candle before I left.

Go visit and let me know what you think!

Visit Loaf Shack Battersea at 255-259 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London, SW8 3NP, of see http://www.loaf.com/.

P.S.: Loaf is having a birthday sale until January 31! Don’t miss it 🙂

 

Images: Courage & Dash

 

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The Curious Shop: Goose Home & Garden

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One of the downsides of renting is being restricted (usually) to playing around with your soft furnishings; one of the upsides, however, is being able to change the style of your space as regularly as you would like!

Today, Sarah & Paul from Goose Home and Garden, our new favourite online shop, join us to tell us about their business. The online shop stocks a range of decorative vintage, from quirky signs to old furniture. One of our friends, Jessica Alice, was so inspired by Sarah that she decided to start her own business selling second hand lifestyle items. 

Sarah’s love for collecting started many years ago as a child trailing after her mum to house sales. Both Paul and Sarah started dealing in vintage homewares 20 years ago in Brighton, and now they sell regularly at fairs in the south of England. By the way, if you were wondering why “Goose”, it is because that is what newborn Sarah was christened by her older brother! We cannot wait to see them at a fair.

For more, visit http://www.goosehomeandgarden.com/.

Images: Sarah Kingston

Curious Shop: Fresh Produce and Vintage Kitchenwares

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Right. Put me on a train to Oxford now, please. How delicious does the food at 2 North Parade look?? The husband and I are often moaning about the lack of greengrocers/fishmongers/butchers around us… you know, traditional small specialist businesses which provided fresh food that hasn’t travelled hundreds/thousands of miles. We are surrounded by about 5 supermarkets, and sadly, I admit that’s where we do most of our shopping. It’s very convenient, but doesn’t stop us from being slightly jealous of Oxford for having 2 North Parade!!

If you have been following Courage & Dash for a while, you would know that in addition to a (healthy) love of antiques/vintage, I also have a great soft spot for food. Fresh, homely food, good produce… makes me all warm and fuzzy (I know that sounds a bit sad, but it’s the simple things, is it not?).

2 North Parade is a neighbourhood produce store run by Peter Slade and Jojo Goodfellow. The business works closely with local farmers, producers and suppliers, which is great if you are concerned about the provenance of your ingredients. You can also get recipe ideas for cooking with the seasonal stock available – I’m a big advocate of eating seasonal as food tends to be tastier when grown during the time of the year it is supposed to! Even better, Peter and Jojo are developing their own courtyard kitchen garden to offer cut-to-order herbs. Yes, please.

If you like your kitchenware to be stylish (of course you do, that’s why you are here!), 2 North Parade now also stocks Old Made Shop items, specially curated for the store. Old Made is an Oxford-based online store which carries vintage and handmade homewares… check out their old measuring spoons and wooden pizza boards.

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For more foodie/kitchen goodness, check out 2 North Parade at http://www.2northparade.com/ or visit them at 2 North Parade Avenue, Oxford, OX2 6LX; see Old Made Shop at http://www.oldmadeshop.co.uk/.

 

Images: 2 North Parade (via Peter Slade)

Styling Your Home with Vintage

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If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you just might have picked up on my slight vintage/antique obsession. Just a slight one, of course. Not like I run around the country (or continent) hunting down fairs and shops or anything like that…

You can imagine my delight when I discovered Bring It On Home while I was looking for an antique Singer sewing stool. I love the selection of items they have in stock and the way the products have been styled for the website. If I could have done so, I probably would’ve bought the entire store; we don’t want me turning into the hoarder next door yet, do we?

In 2011, founder and owner of Bring it on Home, Amy Page, decided to give up life in the city and turn her passion for vintage furniture into a business. Amy only buys pieces she would love to have too – always a good sign!

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Part of the reason I love old things is that they are so quirky – every object has a story and tells us something about how people lived. My favourite items are old advertising and glassware, shop fittings and random decorative items (e.g. dead stock labels or a travelling candle set). It just makes home that bit more interesting, a bit like a gallery, with things that can spark one’s imagination.

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Here are Amy’s top 5 tips on styling your home with vintage/antique pieces:

1. Mix & Match: To make vintage furniture work in a modern home, you should try to mix old with new. Scandinavian homes have this look nailed – think fresh white walls and black floors paired with pale vintage wooden furniture and pops of colour in the accessories. If you prefer the dark side, then mid-century teak furniture looks amazing against a dark wall.

2. Random knick-knacks: I love to collect curious vintage knick-knacks on my travels. It’s a really great way to add some vintage flair to your home without spending a fortune and a great way to display them is on a bookshelf. If I think of my bookshelf in my home, I have a vintage string puppet, some taxidermy, an antique bible, vintage toys, a vintage camera… I could go on!

3. Re-purpose/Upcycle: I love to up cycle vintage finds and again this can be a cheaper way of adding vintage furniture to your home. Keep an eye out in charity shops or on gumtree for a piece of furniture that has seen better days and give it a new lease of life. Take Grandma’s old chair with it’s brown upholstery covered in cat hair and have it re-upholstered in a modern fabric! My favourite upcycling project was a mid-century sideboard, I spray painted the drawer-fronts in different bright mid-century colours and it looked amazing.

4. Make a statement: You don’t need heaps of vintage furniture to make a statement, just one statement piece will do the trick. For example a grand antique dining table (Courage & Dash: We wish we had space!!), or some amazing pendant lights, anything that draws the eye.

5. Let your walls do the talking: If you already have a happily furnished home but want to add an element of vintage then look to your walls. Try hanging a large vintage map or posters. I personally love the old hanging medical and anatomical charts.

Thank you Amy! By the way, did you manage to spot Batman, Amy’s Boston Terrier? Too cute! Do check out Bring It On Home (don’t tell anyone, but I’m often browsing during the day when I leave the desk to grab some coffee!) – they also have a prop hire service, so if you wanted, theoretically you could basically have everything you want from the shop…

For more, visit http://www.bringitonhome.co.uk/.

 

Images: Amy Page

Favourite Finds from Violet & Percy

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One can never have too much stationery or storage, I think! Although the husband agrees regarding the storage bit, he has second thoughts on my love of stationery. I found Violet & Percy on Instagram, and really enjoyed their selection of writing instruments (the Kaweko pens are too cute), notebooks, and prints. I browsed through their website and found some of my favourite items for the study…

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Clockwise from top left: 1. Mini flip calendar clock (£79.95), 2. Let it Grow poster (£12.80 – Sale!), 3. Time Capsule (£29.99), 4. White pegboard – 8 large and 4 small pegs included (£31)

For more, visit http://violetandpercy.com/.

 

Images: Violet & Percy

The Curious Shop: See the Foodie Bugle IN REAL LIFE

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The Foodie Bugle has always been one of our favourites brands – not only do we enjoy the fact that Silvana and John-Paul de Soissons used to work in banking, the range of stylish living products and tasty-sounding ingredients in the online shop gives us hours and hours of joyous browsing.

So imagine our excitement when we found out that they had opened a store in Bath! Wooooo.

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We first wrote about the Foodie Bugle here, when we were drawn to their charming mix of vintage and new items for the home. The brand can be described as having a relaxed, old world feel – I particularly enjoy the focus on artisan crafts and on good, homemade food, something we could always have more of in modern life!

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The Foodie Bugle shop carries everything their online store has, and also has for sale fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and deli food. There is also a tearoom where you can pause from your city-wandering.

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Visit the Foodie Bugle store at:

7 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LP | http://www.thefoodiebugleshop.com

The shop is now open from 8am to 6pm every day, Monday – Sunday (longer hours in the summer, please contact store for information).

Have you been to the store yet? What are some of your favourite kitchen products?

 

Images: Jason Ingram via The Foodie Bugle

The Curious Shop: Ink + Thread

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Eeek! We are so excited to share this AMAZING shop we have just discovered. Well, we haven’t just discovered it, per se…. We’ve been following their Instagram profile, and after a while of fan-girling, finally asked to have them on the blog, and here they are: Ink & Thread!

Ink & Thread was opened by Emily Baker in November 2011 in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter. The idea was to have a store that stocked the best of British made things that were both useful and good-looking. To be honest, that does go back to the bones of British products – design with purpose.

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“I’m very proud that we only stock items made in the UK – we have an ever growing range of design items from fantastic, small creative companies,” Emily tells us. Emily has always had a love for interiors and design, which comes through in her store layout and the items she has chosen to stock.

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“I wanted to showcase and support all the fantastic independent makers out there who care about great design, and not just that, they care about how and where their products are made. Every item in the shop has a story.” We love that!

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We absolutely adore the fun and colourful products – the shop has such a lively feel, and it’s pretty clear that Emily has an excellent eye for curating collections.

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For more British-made goodies, visit Ink & Thread at:
No. 28 The Strand, Derby, DE1 1BE | http://shop.inkandthread.co.uk/
(Images: Holly Booth, via Ink & Thread)