My first piece of vintage furniture came from a charity sale and I've been a devotee ever since. It was a teak Jentique sideboard from the 1960's that was in such pristine condition that it still had the original label inside the felt lined drawer. I paid the princely sum of £10 and it is still a much loved item in my home.
I present workshops on Styling Your Home up and down the country and my advice when planning a room is to take your favourite piece and arrange the rest of the room around it. This certainly applies to my sideboard which is always my focal point!
So why should you shop vintage?
- You are perpetuating the recycling process: There's a wonderful expression that goes, 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' and this is absolutely true. It works both ways too - if you are bored of an item in your home, you can donate it and be safe in the knowledge that someone else will love it, even if you don't.
- You are getting more for your money: Vintage furniture is often far better made than something you would buy from a High Street store for twice the price.
- You're creating your own, individual style: It's easy to be trend led and matchy-matchy when it comes to decorating your home. The juxtaposition of old furniture against new pieces gives a cool and eclectic feel to your home.
- You're helping the environment: By choosing second hand furniture, you are stopping these items being landfilled.
- You're supporting the British Heart Foundation: Not only do you take home a piece of furniture that will add to the happiness of your home, but you are contributing to a charitable cause.
I've also always been addicted to upcycling. For me, the idea of giving an item a new lease of life is really exciting. We live in a consumer led society and we are constantly bombarded with options for purchasing a new piece of furniture, but in actual fact, buying vintage can be a fabulous investment. It's easy to forget that the reason that these pieces are still around today is that they were made to last and the quality is often unrivalled.