Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Light it up!

After we had purchased a delicate period reproduction light shade for the hall from B&Q (1/2 Bola Counter Glass Shade Acid) - and I had forgotten it was in the bag, thrown it down on the table and smashed it, I was relieved when we spotted a pretty emerald green glass shade in the antiques shop for £7.

The shape, material and deep colour add a splash of interest in the hall, with its otherwise neutral decoration, which makes it a classy addition.
Adding a hint of colour to the simple, natural colour scheme.

 We spent some time deciding what kind of style of lampshade would suit the living room. We were open to any idea, from wicker to enamel.   

I am quite a fan of the enamel light shade and loved the idea of being able to create a mixture of styles within the room - a little rustic, a little country twee with a hint of industrial thrown in there with the light shade.

However, we decided that the feel of the room called for a much more delicate shade and in the end choose a cream chandelier style light. Which really does look lovely in the room!

 The lampshade cost less than £30 from B&Q. So its been great when people have mistaken it for a Laura Ashley, as their equivalent costs £200.

To complete the look we are thinking of installing a simple ceiling rose to complete the look.

Future project...

I made a discovery on a favourite website of mine ( http://www.etsy.com/ - a sort of eBay for artists and traders) of a quirky idea making lamp shades out of vintage glass jars.


The most popular jar to use are antique American Ball Mason canning jars. These are unfortunately scarcely come by in the UK.

Watch this space for our own UK version...

The vintage Kilner jars we purchased in Malvern

Friday, 16 September 2011

The splendour of vintage cutlery and crockery

In June this year, to celebrate my birthday, we took a trip on the Seven Valley Railway. We took the train from the quaint Kidderminster station through the beautiful countryside, stopping at handsome little stations on the journey to our destination Bridgenorth.
A sign inside the gents toilets at Kidderminster station

Kidderminster station

We could have done with one of these for a coffee table!

Once we had arrived in Bridgenorth we headed to our favourite antiques shop and its there that Ste spotted some vintage cutlery bunched up and tied with ribbons. Ste began to reminisces of times gone by in his childhood - layering thick spreads with the same cream handled style butter knife.

The cutlery - six starter folks, six forks, six knives and six spoons were carefully wrapped up in brown paper and placed into a paper bag. We had lunch and then returned for our (heavy!) purchase, just in time to catch the train home!

We now use the cutlery daily - we wouldn't want to preserve these wonderfully homely pieces to 'best'. The material, weight, style and history of them means to use them every day just makes every mealtime feel that little bit more extra special.

They go perfectly with our crockery:

The only draw back of the set was that it came minus teaspoons! Now, we drink a lot of tea and so these were a necessity for us! However, a few weeks later during a trip to the historic town of Ludlow we struck lucky when we found some quirky apostle teaspoons on the flea market. A set of 6 for £5.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A little tender love and care...

...Is all a little wooden cabinet we found slung outside a charity shop needed!

We had gone to the charity shop to drop off some old books and clothes of mine when outside in the drizzle was this poor cabinet looking sorry for itself, covered in dark varnish, dust and bird poo!

There was a very friendly woman who was helping us take all our donations in from the car and I asked her how much it was. "I`ll get the manager!" she shouted. About five minutes later a woman in her late 50s with a tight perm and glasses on a string appeared out of the shop. Without acknowledging me, she began to study the cabinet closely, pulling open drawers and twisting knobs. She rubbed her chin and stepped back-  I though all of this was a bad sign - until suddenly she looked at me and inquired..."£5?!" with a look on her face to say "is that too much?"

Well as you've probably guessed, we took the cabinet!

When we got it home we got straight to work together rubbing in nitromors varnish remover. It took a few coats and lots of rubbing! Then, once it had dried we sanded with sand paper and Ste finished it off with the small electric sander (the good old one used for the floors!) - As I cannot use it without getting serious pins and needles in my hands!

We then applied a couple of good coats of bees wax and here is the finished cabinet (which fits perfectly in the space next to the fire)...

Breathing new life into unloved objects

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The trunk coffee table

Why buy an unoriginal Ikea coffee table when you can have something more unique and be able to make a feature of it!

Originally we were umming and ahhing over whether Ste should make a home made coffee table, buy an antique table or a beautiful wooden antique blanket chest.
The blanket chest sounded appealing, we found a local guy who had one too, very similar to this one. But then I suddenly realised we were heading for wood overload! "Oh Ste! I exclaimed "We`ll have too much wood in the room! Wooden doors, wooden floors, wooden cabinet, wooden Tv bench..."

So it was then that I started looking into old suitcases and steamer trunks..but Ste wasn't impressed because they were all so low! I totally agreed with him...we would have bad backs in no time! But alas! I found a steamer trunk 20" tall...the perfect height!

So after another extensive search on the net, we finally came across one on eBay. Fortunately there was a 'Buy it Now' price, so without hesitation, probably due to the fact we had spent so long procrastinating over others we had become delirious; at the click of a button it was ours. For some mad reason we thought it would be easier to collect in person and so arranged to take a trip down to Northampton to pick it up! Unfortunately we chose a Friday afternoon and after an hour of being in various ques on the M6 the £30 delivery seemed like a bargain. Still, we got there OK and the guy selling it, 'Sebz' was incredibly friendly. We had a great chat about furniture, fashion, his life and the new buzz term 'Squaller-Chic'. He made us laugh because every time we told him about something we were doing on the house, he would shout "ITS ON FIRE"

So here it is, our lovely, quirky trunk coffee table...