Scarlet Fever

The Spring/Summer ’11 issue of trend forecasting magazine Mix Trends is predicting the colour scarlet, anchored with a neutral palette, as a look we will see coming through in the near future.

Red always works well as an accent colour, The interior designer David Hicks said that a room was never finished without a touch of red. It certainly brings a look to life, think of Coco Chanel with her monochrome uniforms and a slash of red lipstick which lifted the whole palette and turned her monastic designs into something sexy and sophisticated.

On this note the next purchase for my spring summer wardrobe will be this vintage inspired dress by Pearl Lowe for Peacocks. The bright red fabric across the back of the dress is the perfect surprise and at £40.00 leaves change for some statement wedges. Don’t think I’ll be working it quite like the lovely Daisy though!

Bargain Hunter

Last Thursday I had a great day out at Newark Antique fair in Nottingham. It’s a treasure trove of antiques, textiles, vintage and retro finds. The 2 day event is held 6 times a year with 100’s of dealers from the Uk and Europe. The first day of trading is the day to go if you’re looking for something particular, as it’s trade day with all the dealers, buyers and stylists attending, so make an early start and prepare to part with £20 entrance fee before you get past the gate. I was looking for some industrial sewing machine chairs but reckon the Pedlars buyer must have beat me to it as there wasn’t one there!

The second day of trading is only £5 entrance fee but again get there early as many of the traders start packing up around lunch time to make their way back home, especially if they’ve had a lucrative day the day before. This means however there are lots of bargains to be had as they all want to take an empty van back on the ferry so be prepared to haggle.

Amongst my finds this time was a bag full of old french linen and lace pieces for £1.00 each, which I intend to make into patchwork curtain panels (see the pic on my last blog) and a beautiful sequinned art deco collar to smarten up all my plain t-shirts and dresses, for £10.00, very Alexa Chung!

Check out the calendar on the link below for next Newark dates and other antique fairs around the country.

Pale & Interesting

All this sunny weather is making me want to lighten and brighten my home. It’s time to store away the velvet cushions and wool throws and bring out the crisp cotton, polish the glass and make some sprig floral fabrics into cushions. I love the pretty curtains in the picture below, made from a collection of vintage tablecloths, which have really inspired me to get my sewing machine out.

Vintage Vacations

With the sun shining in the sky, the blossom on the trees and the days lasting longer, my thoughts have turned recently to holidays. As the lucky owner of a 1976 Westfalia Camper, I love the idea of getting away from it all, no TV, phones or laptops for me or my family (if we can possibly avoid it) A few years ago my day job was selling vintage clothes and textiles and one of my regular customers was Helen Carey, the owner of vintage vacations. Back then Helen and her husband owned a handful of Airstreams which they kept in a small field on the beautiful Isle of White. Well wow how times have changed, Helen is now the owner of her own site and has bagged a few amazing rental properties along the way. All are very special and are the perfect hide away for anybody obsessed with vintage and retro styling. Helen was a London stylist in a previous life, so knows exactly how to pull a scheme together. Take a look at some of the properties for hire and drool.

Another vintage caravan site which I am hoping to visit is based near Whitby and if you liked Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, you’ll love these caravans. I hear Kate Moss is having a BFGW theme for her hen weekend, this would have been a great venue for her and her hens!

Another gorgeous retreat which offers shepherds huts, old school caravans loving restored and outdoor bathing in a roll top bath is Love Lane in Cornwall. What could be more relaxing and decadent than neck deep in bubbles in a field on midsummer’s evening?

Re-used, Re-cycled, Re-loved

I’m always fascinated and interested in the ways designers re-use unwanted items to create something to covet.

Last year I was introduced to Sasha Gibb at The Harrogate Home & Gift Show.  Sasha is a lovely lady living on the Island of Jersey, with the most exquisite taste and uses her time sourcing vintage blankets made from natural fibres, such as wool, cotton and hemp, which she re-colours by hand. She then makes the blankets into cushions, bags, throw and the cutest rabbitt egg cosies, perfect for an easter gift!

Who would have thought re-cycled rubber could look so stylish? Well I recently came across these gorgeous mirrors and interior accessories made from old car tyres. As well as the fantastic mirrors, which look very Moroccan, the tyres are also re-made into storage chests and outdoor planters.

Finally for all the vintage lovers out there who hoard suitcases(as I do) but never know how to make use of them, other than for their aesthetic qualities, check out this coffee table. With the aid of some 1950’s style table legs screwed into the base of the suitcase, it instantly becomes a useable piece of furniture with storage combined. Genius!