Lounging around

We have finally finished our 3rd room in our house renovation. The lounge has taken a while as there was so much to do and its a double room too.

So lets cast our minds back to how it used to look.

Red swirled carpet with contrasting walls. The woodwork was all painted dark brown.

An office suspended ceiling with horrid tiles was above the whole room. Why anyone would do that throughout the ground floor of your home is beyond me. It didn’t even mask a bad ceiling.

A hatch and awful huge built-in display cupboard with brick surround was a feature. An old-fashioned gas fire and brick surround took over one half of the room. Overall it was dark and gloomy.

The plus points were the retro wall lights and starburst clock that the previous owner left for us. Check out all the original house in our blog “Our Patterned Palace”

So we ripped it all out (except the hatch). Firstly the display cabinet has become a storage cupboard that doubles up as our filing office space! We have some 70s retro filing cabinets for all our bits and bobs here too.

The walls are white except a large teal wall. We based the colour scheme around 2 Mucha prints. Mucha designed art nouveau advertising posters which became popular in the early 70s when the art nouveau look made a comeback. Homes were filled with his swirls teamed with William Morris prints. We also have one cushion with these 2 colours in, so slowly we planned the scheme.

The floors are painted cream the same as all our rooms so far. Add our G Plan teak furniture, 70s rugs and Italian glass and the rooms almost done.

Our 1960s cream vinyl and teak bar is in between the 2 halves of the room with our modern record player behind. The vintage record player is in a teak box beside it.

The swivel chairs were Mr YVLs grandmas, which she bought in 1968. The footstool goes so well which I picked up earlier this year from an antiques fair.

Some of our 1960s medicine bottles have come out of storage (there’s loads more but we havent got to them all yet!). The amber ones were also Mr YVLs grandmas. The large orange West German pot was a moving in present from me to him back in February. And yes, there’s a modern TV…one of the few modern things in the room!

Our 1950s drinks cabinet houses  my glass collection. Luckily we only had one casualty in the move..I love my collection and wouldn’t be without it! The cocktail shakers are gorgeous!

All our William Morris cushions adorn the sofa next to another Mucha print and our orange rocket lamp. We had a sofa in one of these designs back in my family home in the early 70s.

It is 150 years this year since Morris was born!

The new Arkana table and chairs looks great and take pride of place in the other half of the room. This is the adult lounge so this space is now for me to sit at my laptop in peace away from the kids. It sits under our 3 bulb white space age light and our J.H. Lynch print.

It’s called The Nymph: Herbie asked if it was me the other day!

The fireplace isn’t finished yet..it will have a wood burning stove there soon. The curtains are on order.

We have new bookshelves designed and built by Mr YVL.

I love it. It’s still a little bare but give us time it will look lived in and homely.


Home-grown, Hand-made, Vintage Christmas! Vol 1

We have decided here at Your Vintage Life to share you with you some of our Christmas ideas. They are all based around home-grown, hand-made and of course vintage.

There is nothing better than receiving a gift with has had lots of thought, time and oodles of love given into the idea. So, here are is what we will be doing this year.

Volume 1

First the Blackberry Vodka.

Now is the time to go out blackberry picking. They are still very ripe but you need to be quick as the birds are eating them and this late sun is drying them out. We have only a few in our back garden so I went over to our local park, Tupperware container in hand!  Pick high as these are the juiciest. Wear boots as all the nettles will get in your way (I had to go home to change my footwear!) I picked loads..but you only need about 200 grammes of berries for almost a litre of vodka.

You will need a sterilised large jar. I have old Kilner jars but whatever you use it needs to be airtight. An old coffee jar should be fine. This needs to be sterilised. We have kept our baby steriliser as this is so quick for jam jars etc.

Now I’m not one for total precision with measurements. I filled half the jar with washed berries (about 250g as I wanted it to be very strong with flavour). Sprinkle some brown sugar on the top to speed up the process and also to take some sharpness away. I sprinkled some cloves and cinnamon in too, as this will make it very Christmassy! Use 2 cloves and a cinnamon stick (I used ground as this is all I had in the spice rack!)

Fill the jar up to the top with vodka. Buy cheap stuff..keeps the price down but also there is no need to use your finest booze here.  I used about 3/4 of a litre..but this is how much the jar holds. I would suggest using a half berry, half vodka ratio.

Now, give it a gentle shake to dissolve the sugar and store for a week or so in a dry place..room temperature, no sunlight. Give it a shake or stir throughout the weeks to help that sugar dissolve.

I would now leave it alone until nearer the time. Decant it, strain it and pour into nicer smaller bottles for gifts. I suggest getting some small bottles so you can share it around. Don’t waste the fruit either…it will be infused with alcohol so will be yummy, slightly heated poured over ice cream for a winter treat.

Now remember this is a gift not for you (although it’s always best to make enough for your own Christmas Eve cocktail party!)

So we have the home-grown and the hand-made..now it’s time to add the vintage. Team the vodka with vintage glasses, and how about a decanter or a cocktail shaker. Shot glasses are another great idea. Wrap them up in a small vintage basket and add nibbles or olives for the perfect boozy hamper. (Maybe add some headache pills too as you may well need them!) I will show you mine nearer the time after I have decanted them.

Enjoy..not long til Christmas!

p.s. Remember this will be very boozy…please drink responsibly x

Here are some gift ideas from Your Vintage Life, for your boozy hamper. Just click on the photos to buy now!


This Weeks Giveaway: A crochet throw worth £25.

Simply: 1. Sign up to the blog 2. Leave us a comment about the blog 3. Tell your friends through Facebook, Twitter etc so they can join in the vintage fun!

Winner will be drawn on Thursday 6th October x

Shaken not stirred

We were given a great pair of vintage champagne glasses recently to celebrate the birth of our second child. Kitty Jen was born in July and the champagne definately flowed.


They are really unusual and I havent seen any glasses like this before. They are the perfect his and her glasses and are so kitsch! They look a bit Spanish with her flat hat cocked to the side. The rimmed bases give them a touch of colour which I love.





They now sit in our 1950s glass cabinet along with our other vintage glasses and cocktail shakers. We found the cabinet thrown away outside someones house…we rescued it, cleaned it, re-painted it and added a mirror to the back. We have 2 1950s drinks cabinets..the other houses my 1950 handbag collection!

Here are some of our other lovelies.  Great 1950s frosted pastels…I use these for Baileys in the winter…the colour reminds you of summer on those cold nights!

Great branded glasses…Cherry B, Britvic and Babycham.

The Britvic ones have tomatoes, oranges, lemons and pineapples on. We also recently found matching champagne glasses. The Cherry B’s are my favourites…Now I don’t remember Cherry B at all…but I love the 50s feel of the kitsch cherries (although the glasses and the drink were later). Babycham glasses are the ultimate in retro drinking….I do love these glasses….when my partner proposed he had hidden a bottle of champagne in our VW campervan (hoping I would say yes) and after I did say yes we sat and drank it out of the Babycham glasses. So very glam!

Great 50s shot glasses in a red atomic ball feet stand. We have so many shot glasses in different colours and designs and we dont ever use them! I just can’t resist!

Decanters…These are so pretty, perfect to pour a shot as the stoppers fill up when you turn them upside down.

Great jugs (!). The pink frosted one is really heavy and perfect for cocktails. The gold flower one was given to me by my mother in law last birthday with matching glasses.

1930s cocktails…so so so pretty! I use these for deserts….or dips for a starter.

1980s cocktails…I havent used these ones. Every time we have a cocktail party I worry about using them as I have a full set and I dont want them smashed in the raucousness!

These were given to me for Valentines Day a few years back. I was lucky enough to receive 6 of these highballs in mint condition! The colour is so vibrant and they are a great size.

My absolute favourite frosted blue glass cocktail shaker. When you see the metal ones used today you just can’t believe that people used glass ones. I worry about breaking it with all that shaking!

And no collection would be complete without an original cocktail bar! This one is made from cream vinyl and teak. It houses our record player…complete with pineapple ice bucket on top! The ice bucket is unusually made from metal with each leaf curving outwards.

Here is a small selection of our current stock great for Your Vintage Cocktail Party. Get the Pimms out, summers not quite over! (and there are loads more available too including ice buckets, little forks, soda syphons and bowls for your peanuts!)