Treasured

I have spoken earlier in the week about visiting my late Great Aunty Joan’s home to collect some treasures for us to keep and remember her life by. It was not an easy day by any means but I wanted to share some of her things.

You will see that both her and my Great Uncle Jack had great taste. They kept everything, valuing its function and it’s worth rather than spending loads of money on new un-needed things. I suppose they were frugal, but what they had was of great quality and probably not cheap. Their house was full of mid-century furniture in immaculate condition. They looked after their things which for me is fantastic….as I have some real treasures that can continue to live in my home and be appreciated by my family going forward.

My Aunty Joan was very intelligent, she had a degree in Horticultural Studies…which back then was rare for women to be educated. She worked for ICI using her studies as well as enjoying her garden in her spare time. She was a private lady, enjoying reading and her cats. What was interesting in her home was the lack of flamboyant “stuff”. There was not hoards of handbags and shoes, makeup and jewellery..which means the items that were there were treasured and used.

I have her dark green leather Ackery handbag with matching leather gloves and purse. It would have been a non showy piece back in the late 40s/early 50s. I love the colour (how rare is it to find dark green?) and grey silk lining. It oozes quality yet simple elegance.

I saved some soft toys for the children. The home-made elephant is so Cath Kidston isn’t it with its ditsy flowers on a soft needle cord. Paddington bear stands tall above the simple rag doll. I love things like this for our children: traditional and non plastic.

I have 2 pairs of curtains from their home. My Uncle Jack’s bedroom had these 1950s curtains hanging..they will go so well with our kitchen and Ercol day bed which will be in there too. I may hang them or make cushions.

I had ordered brown curtains for our new lounge from Next. But these high quality teal silk curtains are amazing in our new room. They don’t totally match the colour of the room but I think they are perfect.

This patchwork rug/throw is hand knitted and backed on to a quilted base. It was in her bedroom over a table…I think it will be lovely in my little girls room.

Then there was so much retro there too. I wrote about the 1960s bubble vase earlier, which now sits on our Arkana table. I work here so its fabulous to see in the morning when I start work. It has no chips and even its original sticker on.

The 1960s yellow glass mushroom light will hang on the landing.

And the cat, Peach, seems to have laid claim on the red vinyl footstool.

The Ercol chairs will be added to our collection (check out in our blog Ercol-lection).

She had lots of books but I was drawn to this one…what amazing reference material for my writing. I look forward to reading it.

Finally, I brought home my uncles shoe cleaning kit for My YVL. I love this old-fashioned styling.

And here are is a photo of my family. This is my Great Grandma and Granddad, my Grandma, my Great Uncle Jim and Aunty Lily and my mum aged about 10??? On the right is my Great Uncle Jack and Aunty Joan..she is the one holding the dog. My whole family. Minus my Granddad who I presume is taking the photo.

I am so glad that we took the time on Monday, however hard it was. The 3 generations of girls that are left…my mum, me and Kitty…went to see the house one last time.

I’m also so glad I am the person I am…who values possessions for their history, their style and their beauty. These treasures will live on in our home and our hearts.

Treasured things, treasured lives, treasured memories.

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Beauti-flea retro

We are selling at the upcoming Furniture Flea on 27th March. It is a retro furniture and homeware sale at Bethnal Green. The fair comes from the same team who bring Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair that we also sell through.

The aim is to sell mid century treasures at affordable prices…something a tad rare in London these days. And here is a little taster of some of our beauti-flea retro items that we will be bringing…

Dark elm Ercol coffee table and 60s retro tea set

 60s medicine bottles, Murano glass and chrome coffee tables

50s, 60s and 70s curtains

G Plan coffee table and West German ceramics

1950s room divider and Seaforth homewares

1960s lighting

 Retro telephone table and phone

If you like what you see, come and check out the Flea!

Your Vintage Playroom

Your Vintage Life will be launching a new shop category this week to coincide with our latest article in Vintage Life Nostalgia magazine. It is called “Play the Vintage way” and gives you some inspiring ideas on how to create a vintage nursery or playroom.

Your Vintage Playroom has 6 sub categories: Nursery, Toys, Books, Storage, Learning and Games.

Nursery is full of pretty vintage treasures to help create a real sense of innocence.

Ceramics to line your shelves with Peter Rabbit, Holly Hobby and Love Is on….in years gone by christening presents were displayed for many years which is a great idea to bring back.  There are bowls, bells, vases and christening mugs all in pretty pastel colours.

We also have a great range of vintage styled hand knitted baby blankets: in bright colours as well as pastels. We have one of these for our little girl which always gets admired when she has it in her pram. I love the fact that no two are the same and are hand-made.

There are some great 1950s nursery curtains too. These are called ABC and were designed by Frieda Clowes in the 1950s. They are covered in letters with kitsch characters all over: pirates, kittens and toy soldiers. They are great for either a boy or girl which is perfect if you don’t know what you’re having! We also have fab 1970s Paddington curtains which really remind me of my childhood!

The Toy section is full of toys from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Chad Valley humming tops, Mettype metal typewriters, Fisher Price drums and a horse ride on are our personal favourites! The ride on toys look great sitting in the corner of a nursery, or as my 2 year old is currently proving, are great for riding up and down the hall!

We even have hand crafted vintage skittles dating from the early part of the 20th century.

Vintage children’s Books are great for your little one but also look great on a shelf in their original dust covers. We have 1950s early edition Ladybird books, Beatrix Potters and 1970s original Mr Men.

I personally love the ladybird book’s illustrations with 1950’s ladies in swing dresses and a kelly bag slung over their arms. However, you must all remember that some of them aren’t very modern in their thinking: Mummy seems to be always doing the washing up with Daddy reading the paper in the background!

The Storage section has vintage tins with bright pictures on to store pens or chalk in and blanket boxes for your clothes or toys.

These are great for nurseries as well as playrooms.

Learning has games which will teach your little ones something. We have a rare 1940s Essex sewing machine complete with instructions, a 1950s weaving loom and a 1970s Fisher Price activity centre. Our little girl has one of these attached to her cot. She loves playing with it in the morning, enjoying the squeakers, dials, twisty buttons, mirror and ringers. They are made so well and have already lasted for generations.

There are lots more in this section which will give your playroom that nostalgic feel as well as stimulate.

Finally, Games has board games that you can all play together as a family. Housey Housey, Lotto, Snakes and Ladders all come in their original 1960s boxes. Our favourite is a magnetic 1950s Pin the tail on the donkey!

So, exciting times ahead for us here as well as for your little ones! We will publish the article next week on the blog and then we can all start to play the vintage way!