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

The Decorative Living Fair returns to London!

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I went to the Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park in April this year and had so much fun wandering around picking out things for my friend’s bedroom. We ended up with various bits and bobs, including scented candles, a vintage pair of scissors (both mine), and a green glass jar + silk flowers (her). It was like going to a little brocante! There were so many things I wanted to buy though, especially those apothecary jars in the second-to-last image above – sadly, a guilty conscience (I had been spending too much) and common sense (we live in a tiny London flat) prevailed, and my husband+wallet were much pleased for it.

Tomorrow, the Fair returns to its home in London, at the Old Chelsea Town Hall, from 10am to 6pm. Unfortunately I will be stuck in Canary Wharf all day and will not be able to make it – but you could be there! The Fair/Courage & Dash are giving away a pair of tickets to the event – first person to email us at courageanddash@gmail.com will get the tickets! Otherwise,  you can purchase tickets at the door for £5. Ready, steady, go…!

 

Images: Caroline Zoob (The Decorative Living Fair)

Guide to antique-hunting in Lincolnshire/Hull

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I’m sorry it’s been AGES since I last posted!!! Between working long hours (waking at 5.30am is becoming increasingly difficult), harp practise (exam in November!), spending time with the husband and seeing friends, I’ve barely had enough time to write (or go to the gym, eek).

Last month, I went to Yorkshire/Hull to see some really fun+fab friends, plus do some antiques hunting (of course!). The weekend was so great for so many reasons – and not least because we had the most delicious BBQ at the home of our friend’s grandparents. As ex-antique dealers, they have a stylish home filled with the most beautiful treasures. Swoon. It was a fantastic, relaxing weekend – can’t wait to go back!

Here’s my guide to that part of the North East of England, if you ever do go:

1. Hemswell Antique Centres
Open Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

Caenby Corner Estate,
Hemswell Cliff,
Gainsborough,
Lincolnshire, DN21 5TJ

Relaxing and easy vintage-hunting as all the stalls are beautifully laid out and all indoors. The centres are housed on an old airfield which belonged to the RAF (home of the Lancaster Bomber in WWII), and each one has a fairly extensive collection of furniture, jewellery, dining room bits, wall hangings, and decorative items.

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2. Kevin Marshall Antiques Warehouse
Open Monday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm

17-20A Wilton Street
Hull,
Kingston Upon Hull, HU8 7LG

Get ready for some proper rummaging. Drew Pritchard (from Salvage Hunter) said it was one of the last few remaining true-English junk shops, and if he means utterly eccentric and rammed full of treasure, then this is it! The warehouse is fairly large, set across two floors, and every inch of the shop floor is piled high with old treasures, apart from a path about 4 feet wide, winding through the shop. There’s plenty of Ercol furniture and industrial-style seating, as well as older Georgian chairs. I loved the 1920s cigerette advertising mannequins and Eastmans Tea cupboards. Didn’t buy anything (thought it was a bit pricey although am sure Kevin is up for some bargaining) although really enjoyed digging around and meeting Kevin.

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Images: Courage & Dash

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

Sarah Moore & Friends Vintage Barn Sale

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I love Sarah Moore’s vintage style, which often features colourful floral prints. Sarah Moore is an interior and homewares designer, and the winner of BBC2’s 1st Great Interior Design Challenge. She organised a barn sale at Hill Lands Farm,PO18 9JY, at the end of June, and I was gutted not to be able to attend. Look at what we missed out on! The sale was created/curated by Sarah Moore Vintage, Goose Home & Garden, Found Country Antiques, Primrose Lane, Sea Thrift Interiors, and Simply Country – it looked like such a fun day out in the countryside with scrummy tea+cake, and stacks gorgeous vintage fabrics and homewares!

Lucky for us, the wonderful Sacco & Sacco Photography were one location to document the day – and what beautiful photographs. If you are tempted, there is another barn sale on September 12 and 13 this year, which I have already blocked out in my diary. Cannot wait!

Images: Sacco & Sacco Phorography

(Please let me know if you were involved in the sale and you were not mentioned or  your website has not been linked.)