A New Logo And A Collaboration

Over the last few months we have been working with our lovely friend and designer Siobhan Watt on a new logo for The Nostalgia Exchange, and very excitingly it’s finally finished. Such a talented lady, we love what she has come up with. I thought I’d share it with you all…..hope you like it.

Our logo

Also very excitingly last month we were asked to do a bit of a collaboration with the newly launched Bibelot Magazine.

Bibelot – [Bi-be-loh] is defined as the following:

1. An attractive or curious trinket

2. A small object of curiosity, beauty or rarity

3. A miniature book, especially one that is finely crafted.

As described on their website ‘Bibelot, “The Little Book of Creative Curiosities”, will be a quarterly craft, design and lifestyle magazine celebrating the hand-made, the ethical and the unique.’

‘Bibelot is about more than craft projects; it represents  an imaginative and sustainable way of life.’

The project has begun its life as a blog with the idea being it is an online hub bringing artistic and innovative individuals together. It’s somewhere you can visit, sharing ideas, learning and sparking inspiration. It’s very worth checking out and keeping a close eye on, it’s a melting pot of ideas – here’s a little peak at what the page looks like….

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It’s inspiring to be involved in such a lovely new project and we love the idea of a sustainable way of life – our post on their blog is about a way of life in ‘A Curious World.’ We will be working with them more over the coming months, so we will keep you posted.

A Spanish Christmas And A Colourful Start To The New Year

We spent Christmas, now last year already, oh how time flies, in the South of Spain in a charming little town called La Herradura in the Andalucia region of Spain. As part of the Costa Tropical it certainly did what it promised, offering up a week of sunshine and warmth, a welcome escape from the grey dreariness that we left behind at home.

A belated Feliz Navidad to you all from Espana

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Inspired by Rick Stein’s Spanish Christmas and our Mediterranean climate we broke away from the traditional Christmas lunch, and went for a slow cooked lamb, marinated over night in fresh herbs picked from our villa’s garden, we popped it in the oven late morning to cook slowly for hours whilst we went off for a swim in the sea and for a drink in the local cafe on the beach. It was indeed quite idyllic and I did have a few pinch marks on my arm as I tried to wake myself up from the dream. Here’s some of the fresh local produce we chopped up ready to roast slowly to accompany the lamb….

Fresh produce

But of course none of this happened before a Christmas breakfast, and of course outside none the less along with Bucks Fizz, but not your normal Bucks Fizz, this Christmas it came with freshly squeezed orange juice from oranges we harvested from the fruit trees in the garden, we even threw in a bit of freshly squeezed grapefruit to tang things up a bit..

Fresh orange juice

Fresh fruit was aplenty and you could even stop in the middle of town and pick yourself a refreshing orange or even a prickly pear, being wary of the pesky spikes though became the name of the game…

Fruit gallore

No Mediterranean trip is complete without a plethora of colour from the gorgeous Bougainvillea that grows in abundance and never fails to capture attention as it adorns white washed walls.

Bougainvillea

White washed walls, rooftop views and doorways to venture filled one of our days when we visited the once Moors inhabited town Frigiliana. A beautiful town built on a steep hillside North of Nerja, the Mudejar district of the small town is made up of steep cobbled alleyways, winding past white washed houses resplendent with flowers, its name Mudejar is used to describe the architectural style used by Arab craftsmen working in Christian territory.

Whitewash walls

Rooftop views

Doorways

No road trip is complete without a roadside view stop or a Mirador as it’s known in Spain….

sea views

Followed by a competitive game of Petanque on the beach, loosing team to buy the winning team a round of drinks, sadly I was on the loosing team, but it was not a walk over by any means I hasten to add…

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Of course none of our trips would be complete without a visit to a local flea market, the excitement came on the Sunday after Christmas with an early rise and road trip up to Granada, where the challenge began to find the illustrious Granada Flea Market. After an hour or so of navigating the beautiful Granada streets and a pit stop for a toastada, with our broken Spanish we managed to finally locate the highly anticipated flea market, which we  actually found is a fair way out of Granada itself if any of you do choose to hunt it down. It is in Mercadillo in the Western part of town, near the cemetery. It was worth the perseverance, our finds will follow, so do read on for these.

After filling our boots with bargains we ventured into the city to explore. Not as sunny as we had become accustomed to in The Costa Tropical and certainly a good 10 degrees cooler, we found ourselves in more familiar territory for this time of year  wrapped back up in our English togs, certainly enjoying the beautiful scenery and atmosphere Granada offers, but all secretly dreaming and looking forward to the blue sky and sunshine that would greet us later on back in our beloved La Herradura.

Granada

We made sure we caught the sunset back in La Herradura on return from our exciting day out …

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So moving on to some of our finds which will make their first experience at North London Vintage Market’s first country affair out in Hatfield House in Hertfordshire on 25th January, be sure to come and see us here..hope you can make it.

Tins Gallore And  Colour For The New Year

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Tins

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Time For Tea

Teapots

We are always such a fan of strong colours, tins and enamel ware and it is definitely this year’s new look according to

Homes and Antiques Magazine this month ….

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Here’s to a colourful New Year and a happy one to everyone!

 

 

3 Ways To Bring Nature Inside In These Cold Dreary Months

In these cold dreary days sometimes it’s hard to pluck up the courage to venture outside and soak up some nature, so why not bring some of the outside in. Leading up to Christmas especially makes for a welcome use of natural foliage in the home, whether branches, berries, dried flowers and thistles, this is the time of year to bring nature indoors.

1. A glass bottle wielding dry flowers or some fresh green foliage is a great way to bring nature inside.

glass bottles

2. During these cold months branches are a lovely way to bring the outside in, either left bare or adorned with some decorations they can be a welcome addition to the home.

Branches

3.  We always love a splash of colour, some red berries in a glass jar on a table are a joyous way to bring colour and nature into the home, or moulded round into a reef and hung up, also just as effective.

Berries
Click here for more ideas to bring nature in

Industrial, Inventive, Floating…3 Shelving Styles, Be Stylish Yet Organised

If you live in London like me, unless money is no object you may have come across the little problem of space, and lack of it being the problem! But this is not something that bothers the stylish Londoners, they have learnt to be savvy with their lot, making the most of the space they have in their homes, it may be small but it can of course be stylish. At the moment I am in the process of desperately saving to buy a home, maybe a little way off yet but it hasn’t stopped me thinking of and saving up ideas for when I finally get the little space I will call home.

This week clever shelving ideas have caught my eye…

Shelving…. a chance to show off your your treasured, worldly belongings, keeping organised but in an inspiring stylish fashion and not taking up any floor space, genius!

Industrial Style…

Engage with your urban side, I love this re use of old scaffolding to work as the main shelving structure and reclaimed planks of wood and an old shopping basket also makes for an inventive shelving unit.

Industrial shelving

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An Inventive Style …

Re using old wooden boxes and crates is a wonderful way to create stylish shelving, with an interesting variation in sizes and textures, creating a unique focal point to any room, whilst bringing in a sense of nostalgia. I love the old wooden lemonade drink crates you can sometimes still lay your hands on.

Inventive shelving

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Floating Style…

I love a floating shelf creating a beautiful room feature, carefully styled with interesting curiosities and paintings. Paintng the wall behind in blackboard paint is also a great way to create a creative space able to change with your mood and whims. Cleverly choosing woods in different sizes and textures can also create an interesing focal point.

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Blackboard paint

Being organised doesn’t need to be boring, even if you do only have a small space, in fact the smaller the space the more creative you need to be.

 

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..

lady aga

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.

Elsenfield

Door

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?