When decorating, I’m not one for sticking to a particular style, I’d rather just do my own thing. I think when you decorate purely in one theme, your rooms end up looking void of personality, in my opinion it’s better to just do whatever you want, exactly how you want it. No one else is living in your house, it’s yours; there’s no point decorating your home like a photograph in a magazine!
I love vintage everything; most of the time it’s so much better made, unusual and cooler than more modern stuff. Having said that, modern things do have their advantages, modern furniture can often be more comfortable and offer smart storage solutions. This is why I’ve ended up having an assortment of new furniture and vintage décor. I’ve bought some big white shelving, a matching TV unit, a really clever gate leg table and the pick of the crop, a new big four seater lounger sofa, (with one of those big chaise lounge sections) for properly relaxing on.
I’m then surrounding these modern, functional furnishings with cool, vintage bits and bobs which are even more stylish. This combination of modern and retro really works for me and allows me all the practicalities of modern living with the superior design and character of vintage. It also equates to some really quirky juxtaposition of old and new. Below you can see a 90s leather recliner, next to a 60s Chinese Octagonal Hatbox, with a modern lamp on top. The cherry on the top of the cake is the uber awesome, 70s UK Cinema Quad. The poster is an authentic Jaws 2 Teaser poster, which I’ve had framed. Jaws 2 has one of the most famous movie taglines; “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water” and has got to be one of the most precious things I own.
Another one of the super precious things in my house is a collection of old postcards my girlfriend and I have. The postcards are all of places we’ve been together. We try and get really old sepia postcards (which are even cooler if they have writing on the back). They’ve been living in a little leather-bound photo album, but we’ve decided to put them all on show in one of these frames from Graham and Brown. The frame has a mount with lots of different windows for all your different pictures. We haven’t quite got enough postcards to fill the huge frame so it’s going to be a little while before the project is finally finished but I’ll be sure to show you all when it’s done. What is really cool is that the frame comes with cool artwork of birds so that it still looks great even if you haven’t filled the entire frame yet.
Some of my retro belongings have been given or passed down to me, where as others are things I’ve seen, sought out and purchased. For instance, on this modern and very minimalistic, white Ikea table and slate placemants, I’ve got a 40s Art Deco, ship shaped cruet set. The funnels of the ship can be removed and used as salt and pepper shakers. This is far cooler than any modern alternative and works brilliantly. I snapped this up after seeing it in an art deco shop.
I’ve also invested in lots of old continental glassware, these cool pilsner glasses look so much better than bog standard supermarket stuff. Along with all this table top awesomeness, I’ve got some beautiful retro cutlery from the 60’s made by Viners. My gran, who had bought this at the time, gifted it to me as she had grown bored of it and fancied a change. The set was almost complete and had about 70 pieces, I’ve been searching ebay looking for this missing items (like fish knifes and cake forks) trying to complete the whole set. (FYI the Slate place mats and coasters are from Garden Trading)
My huge 5 by 5 square, Ikea Kallax unit gives tones of great, adaptable storage and allows you to get at all of your stuff and somehow makes everything look even better. The plain white design of the Kallax gives a blank backdrop so that you can really focus on the quality of design and manufacture of things like my 80s Genie phone and leather cased, Nikon binoculars from the same era. I love these these binoculars and they are easily the most stylish way to check out the birds on the feeders at the bottom of my garden.
As part of the renovation, I’ve replaced all of the light fittings, switches and electrical sockets in the house so that they are all shiny and new, just like the rest of the place. In key places, like by the sofa and either side of the bed, I’ve even fitted these plug sockets with USB ports for easy charging of phones and iPads, the ones by the sofa are really useful for everyone that cones to visit. In the photo below you can see one of these really awesome modern gadgets above my bedside table. The table also has a great piece of retro adorning it, a 90s Sonic the Hedgehog lamp. It’s great to mix up the decades! This Sega era lamp was one I had when I was a youngster and still love today…