Category: inspiration (page 2 of 5)

Guide to… shopping for mid-century furniture

I’m not sure if it’s cause or effect, but having this blog seems to mean I get asked advice a lot: restaurants, London goings-on, homewares and so on. Just this week I’ve been working back in Airside and was faced with a barrage of questions about where my living room chairs came from. So I thought a nice semi-regular blog feature would be to pull together some of my real-life FAQs into mini-resources on some of the things my nerdy hive-mind has gathered intel on over the years. Mostly so I can send people to these posts rather than send the same link lists round over and over!

Up first, since the chairs are on people’s minds, a guide to where to buy tasty vintage furniture with a mid-century flavour in London and beyond. I intend to update this post as I find new places, and if you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Chase & Sorensen

These Hackney-based fellas take regular trips to Scandinavia to hunt for stock and their taste is impeccable. They sourced my chairs for me as well the little side table in my living room. You can view their stock and order online, and they also have a little showroom on Dalston Lane.

Yesterday Furniture

Gabrielle sells affordable pieces from east London (and can arrange delivery nationally). Alongside cheaper veneered Danish desks and sideboards, there’s also plenty of Fifties formica dining tables and cute kitchenalia.

Winter’s Moon

Alongside some well-priced vintage pieces, Winter’s Moon also sells upcycled and handmade items like retro fabric lampshapdes and these gorgeous reupholstered chairs.


A little shabby-looking shop down the ‘wrong’ end of East London’s Redchurch Street hides Speedie’s, with its great fast-changing stock of 60s retro furniture, textiles, lighting and other bits and bobs. We picked up an old wooden record cabinet for under £100 which became our TV table. Check current stock on the blog.

Bring it on home

A cheerful range of goodies including G-Plan, kitsch lighting and some repro industrial chairs.

Homespun Vintage Design

Homespun take a focus on exceptional British craftsmanship from lesser-known names, and their carefully curated range is a joy to browse. An especially nice range of chairs and storage solutions, and the miscellany section is fun to browse to brush up on your mid-century knowledge.

Kicsi Haz

This cute site has the curious speciality of Eastern European seating, freshly reupholstered in contemporary fabrics. I’d love one of their stylish club chairs to sit in a corner of my house.

The Modern Warehouse

If you’re a label fiend, this vintage-luxe shop stocks loads of original pieces from names like Wegner, Jacobsen and Eames, but be prepared to pay dearly for them. One for when I’m rich with a Modernist mansion to fill…

More links: markets, shows and events

Again, I’d love to hear your suggestions for more shops in the comments, and if you have a particular subject you’d like to see a future guide about, let me know.

Nigel Slater’s garden kitchen

I’ve been very much enjoying Nigel Slater’s new series on BBC1. Not just for the recipes and Nige’s soothing tones, but to catch glimpses of the stunning kitchen and garden in which he cooks. Don’t know about you, but I have a sudden urge to paint everything warm slate grey, install giant gatefold doors to my garden, and buy loads of charmingly pre-loved enamelware pans.

Update with more info (thanks, commenters!): this isn’t Nigel’s real house and garden, but a purpose built set in North-east London designed by Rudi Thackray, with all construction by a specialist team. Try Treecraft Woodwork or Crittall for similar folding doors.

London Design Week: Tent & SCP

SCP - London design week

I missed most of the London Design Week goings-on due to being really busy with work, so on Saturday we did a quick tour of what I thought would be the best bits – the Tent show in the Truman Brewery and SCP’s design department store.

SCP - London design week

SCP turned their Shoreditch shop into an exhibition of the new season’s products. A large amount of space was given over to Donna Wilson’s beautiful textiles, of which I want pretty much everything, please.

SCP - London design week
SCP - London design week
SCP - London design week
SCP - London design week
SCP - London design week
SCP - London design weekSCP - London design week
SCP - London design week
SCP - London design week

Read more abut the event here, and see all the new products here.

Tent is a large exhibition of new product designs across furniture, lighting and other interior decor items. It was a lot of fun to wander round, here are my favourite picks.

Tent - London design weekTent - London design week

Stooble – a stool that folds in a bag – by Alison Milner; Wood veneer light shades from Greener Abode

Tent - London design week


Tent - London design week
Tent - London design week
Tent - London design week

My favourites, Mini Moderns

John Lewis A/W 2011

I’m extremely smitten with the new John Lewis Autum/Winter range. They’ve hit current trends on the head, from industrial retro to simple Scandinavian, in a way you’d usually expect from Habitat or Heal’s. The revived Ecrol range is particularly lovely, with a hand from ex-SCP and -Conran designer Matthew Hilton. Well played, JL!

Benchmark furniture

I’m a little obsessed with very simple clean wooden lines at the moment when it comes to furniture – my onoing house inspiration Tumblr is evidence of that. So I love this sharp, stylish collection from Benchmark furniture, a proudly handmade-in-England company founded by Sir Terence Conran.

Two new Etsy prints

Two new prints have just been added to my Etsy shop! They’re both inspired by my growing collection of vintage ephemera, particularly Victorian newspaper advertising.

Printing poster
Printing poster
Printing poster

First, a poster featuring text that I came across while reading Just My Type, a fascinating book about the history of fonts. It was written as a manifesto by eminent typographer Beatrice Warde in 1932 and inspired me to have my own play with fonts and Victorian-style flourishes.

Cat poster
Cat poster
Cat poster

Secondly, a poster inspired by Victorian quack medicine advertising, extolling the numerous health benefits of cats – and featuring my own kitty as a model.

Cat poster

He couldn’t help jumping in on the photoshoot, too…

You can buy the posters from my Etsy shop, and they will soon also be available from Cabbages & Kings, a little boutique that’s just down the road from my home (and well worth a look anyway for their lovely range of prints, jewellery and homewares). Hope you like them!


David and Scott of Berkshire-based creative consultancy Bungalow Industries have called this amazing 1960s bungalow home (and studio) for four years, but now they’re selling up. They’ve created a gorgeous little microsite and brochure to show off the home and its fascinating history, and they kindly let me share the photos here, too.

The property is a Renway Type 60A bungalow, designed by architect Athelstan Whaley. Inspired by 1950s Californian living, Whaley built an idyllic modernist estate surrounded by woodland, designed to appeal to the glamorous air crew set from nearby airports. To make it even more special, the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451 was filmed on location here.

The interior decor has been sensitively modernised by David and Scott over the past 4 years, with a nod to the 60s in the walnut-panelled bathroom, choice pieces of iconic furniture, and beautiful parquet floors.

The houses were designed to flow seamlessly into the outside space, so the garden is naturally stunningly landscaped too.

Just check out these before-and-afters to see how David and Scott really breathed life back into this house! They’ve now decided to move on and apply their expertise and love to another renovation project.

I love it. I want it. £515,000 seems like a bargain! Be sure to check out The Bungalow’s site and brochure for a good look around.

Found via Laura

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Ma + Chr Design Studio

I’m equal parts jealous and in awe of this gorgeous work by Parisian design studio Ma + Chr, founded by Mathilde Aubier and Christine Delaquaize. They cover disciplines from web design, through fine art and fashion, to installations and interior design. When I grow up can I do this for a living, please?

Check out the site or Flickr for more inspiring work.

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A pretty local home

Interiors inspiration from the home of Ashlyn Gibson, who owns the stylish kidswear shop Olive Loves Alfie in my Stoke Newington hood. Photos by Rachael Smith for The Guardian.

Nice use of colourful everyday objects as wall art

Bedside tables from Caravan

A gorgeous cherry blossom mural and colour-coded toys in daughter Olive’s room

Russian doll stickers going up the stairs!

Open shelving and free standing units in the kitchen. Love the pink rubber floor, too.

Bohemian, colourful and cohesive – I like very much.

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Hangin’ out at Conran

Conran apartment
Oh, you know, just hanging out in Sir Terence Conran’s apartment at sunset…

Conran apartment
Conran apartment
Conran apartmentConran apartment

… no, the man himself wasn’t even there! This was an event put on by to celebrate their third birthday, and they hosted it in the Conran building down at London Bridge. The building comprises offices for all of Conran’s outputs – graphic and product design, interiors, architecture and the shop – with Terence’s pied à terre gracing the top floor. It was the perfect night to hang out on a gorgeous terrace, and lovely to meet (and re-meet) some of my favourite bloggers — Ellie, Lynne, Caroline, Karine and Anna.

Conran apartment

Cigar boxes stacked for displaying photos

Conran apartment

Vintage maps mounted on mountboard

Conran apartment

I hadn’t really checked out the Conran Shop for interiors stuff before as I thought it’d be out of my price range, but their Well Considered range is surprisingly affordable. I love these cheerful bright pieces!

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