Mid-century Modern Love

I’m feeling inspired this month and perhaps even more in love (if that’s possible) with Midcentury Modern style and it’s versatility and ability to  blend with other looks. I love the thinking behind Midcentury Modern designs, particularly architecture with the emphasis on integrating clean simple lines with nature, creating spaces with ample windows and open floor plans, bringing the outdoors in.

Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design, generally describing mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.

It’s emphasis on clean organic lines , bold splashes of colour and integration with nature have lead to stylish, inspiring pieces of

furniture..

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pottery…

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textiles…

Textiles

and interiors…. 

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Many Mid-century houses utilized then-groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Emphasising the importance of a close relationship  between the indoors and outdoors.

Function was as important as form in Mid-Century designs, apparent in these shelving and storage units that have become symbolic of this retro look..

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As I mentioned earlier I love this looks’ ability to seamlessly integrate with contrasting styles. This month’s Living etc Magazine demonstrates how, by mixing Mid-Century Modern designs with contemporary crafts.

Shot by Damian Russell and styled by Hannah Franklin…..

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For more Mid-Century Modern inspiration be sure to venture down to The Mid-Century Modern Fair at Dulwich College this November

Modern Shows

and for textile and interior inspiration check out one of my favourite websites

Roddy & Ginger

Kitchen Style – The Hub Of The Home

Now days a kitchen is the hub of a home, a place to spend time with family and friends and a place to be creative with culinary skills. Time has evolved from when the kitchen was once tucked away from the rest of the home, a place purely used to prepare the daily meals. Kitchens today are the social hub of the home and with unique styles and trends they have become inspiring and invigorating spaces, places you want to while away your hours.

As you may have noticed from our handpicked vintage wares we are a bit partial to kitchen wares.

Here are 5 kitchen styles reflective of their owner’s style, all very different yet all share the common thread of being the hub of the home.

1. Concrete Style, clean lines and minimalist style …

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2. Lady Aga, a true luxury and will sure to be the focal point in any kitchen lucky enough to have one..

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3. Reclaimed wood creates a unique textured look …

Reclaimed wood

4. Scandi style, with stark whites and clean lines creates an elegant, classic look…

Scandi kitchen

 

What’s your favourite style?

Here are some of our kitchen wares which we feel can be mixed in with any kitchen style, although they are vintage, retro items they lend themselves well to different styles and actually look quite fun mixed in with modern, clean lines.

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For more kitchen inspiration take a look at Kitchen Love

Do let us know what your favourite kitchen style is …

A Tour De France And A Treasure Trove Of Vintage Wares

Two glorious weeks have been spent on our very own Tour De France, without bikes though I may add, although we did manage to pick up a couple of vintage steeds on our route, two beauties that will be polished up ready to pootle around London on. Our adventure was carried out in a rather large luton van, a perfect friend to fill with vintage wares and a perfect camping companion we found, although we did get some funny looks from some puzzled French campers, not sure a van of this size is a regular visitor to the local campsites, hey ho we found it perfect addition to our camping experience, you can stand upright in it and even hang your washing out. Although nothing but friendly to us the poor van did take a bit of hit when we got into a bit of tight squeeze in Aix En Provence, sadly the van came off worse than the wall, but despite a rather large crunch and a few swear words, she was still raring to go and we filled her up nicely with lots of vintage finds. Dijon we found was our treasure trove for vintage and of course mustard. Provence was a gem for stumbling across Vide-Greniers the French equivalent of a carboot, the favorite being in The Alps on our way up to Annecy , still going strong at 6pm we managed to pick up some bargains as enthusiastic sellers were beginning to wind down for the day, so open to some good haggling. We also made a new friend in Provence, the Provencial Rose wine went down in treat, much lighter in colour and delicate in taste it was an unexpected delight in comparison to the Ribenna coloured Rose we are accustomed to in England, and more importantly it didn’t seem to give a hangover, this also took up some of the space in the back of our trusty steed.

Bold retro colours, a 60s kitchen cupboard and some delicate coloured glasses were a few of our buys, here are a few snaps of our vintage finds….

A lovely old hat box and pretty green bottle, I just love the little white shoes too – they were picked up on our travels in Nice

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Some delicate coloured glasses perched on top of cute wooden kitchen stool

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Pretty French ceramics and Le Sucre

Le Sucre and plates

A splash of retro

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Yellow enamel

Cocktail time with a retro cigarette holder and pretty vintage glasses

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C’etait Fantastique!

Bring The Outside In

Botany and faunas are bang on trend at the moment, bringing the outside in with stylish foliage. You Magazine, styled by Clare Nolan and shot by Joanna Henderson show how to introduce plants into the home, particularly elegant ferns, transforming a space into a vibrant summery oasis.

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Likewise last month’s Homes And Antiques issue shows us how ferns are a ‘fern favourite’ with them,  tying in with the release of Fern Fever. Which is a beautifully designed and illustrated book, where author Sarah Whittingham traces the story of Pteridomania, a craze for ferns particularly in the Victorian times, where people went on adventures in a crazed search for a rare fern spiecimens, who’d of thought?

During the Victorian times of all sciences Botany was considered the most suitable for middle class ladies to study. Ferns were particularly popular due to their refined look, without gaudy blossoms they were still beautiful and to recognise their beauty was an indication of cultivated intellect and refined taste. No one wanted to appear vulgar and so became the huge popularity of the elegant fern.

Botanical style has always had its place in the home but it has gone full circle and lately has become particularly prominent with interior trends.

Whether botanical wall charts or the real thing, fauna in the home brings the outside in, creating a tranquil environment, green is known to be a relaxing colour, one to be embraced and we feel botanical style is the place to start…

Some lovely ideas of how to introduce some botany into your home from Vibekdesign 

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And some more from stylist Caroline Davis

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On my vintage travels last week I came across this lovely fern print, looks lovely alongside this vintage glass bottle, both now up for grabs at The Nostalgia Exchange

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The Three Fleas

The last couple of weekends have been filled with some travel adventures, feeling extremely lucky to be heading off two weekends in a row, I certainly wanted to make the most of it with some flea market exploring.

My first weekend was a jaunt to Germany, where I was staying with my cousin Daisy in sleepy Elsenfield in Bavaria, where she has spent the last year as part of her University course. With the shared love of vintage wares I wasn’t surprised to find that she had an unrivalled knowledge of the local flea markets or Floh Markts as they are known over there.

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Our Flo Markt tour began with Elsenfield’s little gem. Early every Saturday morning, set below the flyover of the autobahn to Frankfurt and against the backdrop of an imposing factory it is full of characters, and with my cousin Daisy’s masterful hold of the German language we were able to negotiate some real bargains.

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Following a quick pit stop it was then off on the autobahn to Frankfurt where I was lucky enough to coincide with the bi monthly flea market set on the River Main, in Sachsenhausen’s Shaumainki Street. Set along the river, this one is huge! Full of vintage delights, and some very clued up dealers, but we were still able to bag ourselves some bargains, and we certainly worked up an appetite in time to tuck into a Bratwurst.

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Following a successful Floh Markt adventure the next weekend excitingly involved a trip to Krakow with 3 old school friends, and I was delighted to hear it was a city who too loved a good flea market and it certainly didn’t disappoint. After a jam packed weekend of exploring Krakow, venturing out to Auschwitz for an extremely moving and emotional experience, and sampling the local vodkas, it was time for the vintage fix. This came in the form of Plac Targowy’s Flea Market on Sunday morning. My eyes lit up on arrival and trying to pace myself, whilst keeping firmly in mind the size of my carry on suitcase before turning into a crazed lady with a supermarket sweep mentality was proving a task in itself. With a zero grasp of the Polish language I wasn’t sure how the bargaining would work, but with lots of pointing and writing out numbers on our hands we seemed to get somewhere, also helped by the infamous English speaking stall holder who all stall holders seemed to run off and get when in doubt, and what a character he turned out to be. Apparently also fluent in Swahili he was out to impress with his Swahili phrases, sadly myself not able to boast such a talent who knows what pearls of wisdom he was sending our way. It turns out he had also taken quite a liking to my good friend Hannah and apparently in North Africa she would “be worthy of 400 camels” if I was to trade her in, now there’s a thought… only joking Han.

Krakow

So after all this activity it was time for breakfast and of course it had to be a Polish sausage, served with a giant pickled gherkin and warm fresh bread roll, it was truly delicious. It was made even better with the perfect spot to soak up the atmosphere, in the heart of the flea market on a pair of eclectic chairs, kindly given up to us by two elderly Polish gentlemen, a final memory of the friendliness and comradeship of this wonderful city.

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If you wanted a little peak here are a few of my Polish finds…

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Flea Market Adventure

This weekend saw  the Amiens flea market, in France, it  has turned into the second biggest event of its kind, beaten only by Lille neighbours’ braderie, with over 80,000 visitors.

 Amiens flea market Sunday means 51 streets, an area of 15,000 m2, is taken over by second-hand dealers who have flocked in from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy and even Australia !

 From 5 am onwards, the city is in the grip of feverish activity as 500 professional second-hand dealers, French and of other nationalities, and 1,500 private individuals from the whole of France start unpacking their wares and setting up stalls that would not look out of place in Ali Baba’s cave… Wow what a treat! Linda (Mum) the other half of The Nostalgia Exchange was there soaking up the atmosphere and rummaging for vintage pieces of joy. I am yet to see the finds, but watch this space for more news on the adventure…

A little snippet of what delights were on offer

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Slightly jealous of the Amiens adventures I felt it was time to start planning a few trips of my own over the next few months, in the hope of bringing back lots of vintage curiosities for The Nostalgia Exchange.

First stop is Frankfurt next weekend, where I will be intruding on my lovely cousin who is living out there at the mo – and knows all the best flea markets, very exciting!

It will certainly be a case of the …..280642--600

as we embark on the shore of the river Main, in Sachsenhausen‘s Shaumainkai street, with the promised view of of Frankfurt’s skyline in the background, and the smell of bratwurst wafting through the air as we rummage through vintage wares in great anticipation of what treasures we are going to find (we hope anyway).

Then onto the next adventure, which comes in June and this time for two whole weeks! When we will be going on a road trip to the South of France, with a big van (just think of all that space to fill with vintage wares) and no real plan at the moment, just a case of been lead by a flea market nose, a bit of work along the way and meeting up with friends. One market that is firmly on the list is Nice, on every Monday, from morning to mid-afternoon, Nice’s colourful, sun-drenched cours Saleya (just behind the Promenade des Anglais) is filled with around 200 flea market vendors selling their wares. Cannot wait!

Something to look forward to, sun drenched Nice

Nice

We have a loose plan which begins in Cannes – this is a vague little route of what’s in store but very much a work in progress and who knows what flea markets we might read about and hear about that might take us on a completely different path…..

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I will be sure to keep you posted on our finds and updates on the route, and would love to hear of any ‘musts’ to fit in along the way?

Erno Goldfinger And Brutalist Style

Yesterday we went along to architect Ermo Godlfinger’s home in Hampstead. 2 Willow Road was designed and built in 1939 by Goldfinger for him and his family to live in, built in place of a row of derelict cottages which were demolished to offer up space to build Goldfinger’s brutalist design.

Ermo Goldfinger was born in Budapest and moved to Paris in 1921 where he studied design. He was strongly influenced by the publication of Le Corbusier’s Vers une architecture, and became a fervent admirer of Le Corbusier’s former mentor, Auguste Perret, an expert in designing reinforced concrete structures and an inspiration for Goldfinger when designing his own home. In the early 1930s Goldfinger met and married Ursula Blackwell, heiress to the Crosse & Blackwell fortune. The remainder of his career would be based in the UK. His designs were cutting edge, inspired by creating more space in answer to the housing shortages following the Second World War, he became renowned for sky rise buildings, his most famous being The Trellick Towers based in Westbourne Grove in London, now a grade II listed building, it is a 31 storey block of flats designed in the Brutalist style. Like 2 Willow Road, his designs have beautiful big windows and an open plan style of living.

Report Reveals Living Standards Of UK Council Estates

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2 Willow Road, is beautifully stylish inside, with a wall of windows and simple furniture with beautiful clean lines. The main living area is based on the first floor which you reach by venturing up a cleverly designed spiral staircase. The Goldfingers were renowned for throwing great parties and the cleverly designed home lent itself well to this with the ability to open it all out, but then each room could be made more private with the partition walls. The walls are adorned with an awe inspiring art collection including the likes of Duchamp and Henry Moore. Much of the 2nd floor is taken up by the nursery, which again can be one open plan space or could be cleverly split into 3 rooms, one for their daughter and one for their son, and one for their nanny which was in the middle of the two. Although built in the late 30s, it is very much in style again today, and we drew huge amounts of inspiration from it, I particularly loved the cleverly thought out books shelves, simple but so stylish and functional. There are strong splashes of blocks of colour but carefully placed so not to detract from what is a tranquil feeling space, where Goldfinger brought the outside in.

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2 willow Road

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Be sure to pay it a visit it’s now part of The National Trust and in lovely Hampstead, 2 Willow Road

New Love And True Love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – hope you all have a wonderful day, whatever romantic plans you may have in store.

I thought I’d share a few things I’m in love with this week….

 Firstly on my travels I found some lovely vintage suitcases which could be perfect for a romantic weekend away for two…..
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Ooh and some vintage hand bags, for a fancy Valentine night out….

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We love The North London Vintage Market and had a wonderful weekend there two weeks ago, here are few snaps from our stall

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and I met a lovely customer there who introduced me to her lovely blog – please do check it out, because it really is one of my new loves…Scribbling Days

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Now finally moving on to what I think might be my dream house and definitely a true love is this beautifully vintage house in Amsterdam, featured on My Paradissi blog

vINTAGE HOUSE

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Happy Valentine’s Day….
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Hope to see some of you at Pop Up Vintage tomorrow in Spitalfields Market

A Splash of Sunshine and Lisbon Charm

With Christmas over for another year, and with a bit of lovely  spare time and reflection before another exciting year gets into full swing; I was just reminiscing on some sunshine warmth and  laid back Portuguese ways. Lisbon has become a firm favourite with it’s eclectic flea market (Feira De Ladra), warm scrumptious egg tarts and textured buildings with their distressed pealing plaster and collection of beautiful original tiles lining doorways and the front of these elegantly aged buildings.

Feira De Ladra

Feira De LadraUmm a firm favourite, delicious egg tarts, especially when warm!

egg tartWords of wisdom and delightful tiles…

wall artCobbles to venture, hills to climb, roof tops to wonder and textures to marvel….

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A door with a view…

Door with a view

What a view!…

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And a firm special one with this beautiful orange tree…

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I do hope these lovely bright colours and splashes of sunshine brighten up a rather damp start to the New Year.

Don’t Go Barking Up The Wrong Tree This Christmas! 4 Unique Christmas Tree Ideas

Christmas cheer is upon us, with sounds of ‘snow is falling all around us’ chiming out of the radio and festivities reaching an all time high; it is that time (if you haven’t already) to put up the Christmas tree and perhaps this year could be the time for something a little different. Here are 4 quirky tree ideas to fill this Christmas with unique style.

1. Short of space? These wall trees are a great way to use up an array of random objects and free up space whilst still oozing with festive cheer.

Shiny objects, vintage picture frames and stray pieces of wood arranged in the shape of a tree on the wall make for a great, unique alternative to your normal pine.

Wall tree2. Make use of a household object and transform a step ladder into a stylish alternative to your standard Christmas tree.

Ladder tree

3. Drift wood is a great material, knocked together at different angles tiering down in size from small to large creating the illusion of a tree makes an ideal alternative for this year’s Christmas tree. The pieces of wood jutting out are also perfect hanging places for stylish Christmas decorations or to wrap lights around. If you have gone for a more 2D effect as in picture 3, you could hammer in a few carefully placed nails to act as a perfect hanging place for decorations.

Drift wood tree

4. Most of us spend alot of time at our desks so it is essential to make them enjoyable environments – the unique Christmas tree doesn’t just end at home, you can make some equally different takes on a Christmas tree in miniature form that will sit neatly on your desk.

Using a receipt spike placed in a mini flower pot and a load of old receipts tiered up in size order makes a sweet idea for a Christmas tree. Or a piece of oasis from a local florist in a cone shape is a great starting point for using up an array of vintage buttons, they can easily be attached using pins, and you will be sure to create a great alternative to the trusty pine.

Desk ideas

Happy Christmas everyone! We’d love to hear about your unique Christmas tree ideas