Taking work home with me

Taking work home with me

I am relatively new to the Country Living team and having been a loyal reader of my (well my mum’s) CL magazines for many years – there are many things that I find very exciting that happen everyday at work… such as taking a peek inside the Narnia that is the homes cupboard! Imagine the finest samples and swatches, trinkets and adornments that cover the Emporium pages every month all together in one place and you can understand why I could get lost for hours.

With all this inspiration in front of me I have been trying to recreate the Country Living style in my own home and have realised that a few tweaks here and there such as placingĀ  flowers (fresh, silk or paper) everywhere and in various bottles or recycled containers, really do make a difference. I have also searched for interesting statement pieces – such as this sewing machine box (pictured) and installed them pride of place in my house.

I have then taken a picture of this set up and aged it to reflect the muted palette in my vintage- inspired bedroom where it will hang when my eagerly anticipated daybed has arrived! I can’t think of anywhere better to learn how to get the country style I’ve admired for years…just hope I don’t get too carried away having seen the gorgeous items featured in the April issue!

4 Responses »

  1. A lovely photo, very ‘creative’. I have been chatting to a friend today, though, on the popularity for everything ‘vintage’ – perhaps a reaction to minimalism (the pendulum always swings in an extreme direction! – things hwich women of my generation (ho hum!) would never have used in our homes in a zillion years as they were associated with our mothers and grandmothers generation.

    It seems that there has to be a break in the generations – a real generation ‘gap’ – for some things to become appreciated: milk bottles as flower vases (as milk bottles are no longer in everyone’s fridge); meat safes (those little cupboards with a wire mesh front) painted and distressed and used again in the kitchen, but not for their original purpose thank goodness; little crocheted covers for milk jugs; table runners (what self-respecting bride in 1964 would’ve used a table runner, for heaven’s sake?) I find it all somewhat amusing, and I agree some of the things are pretty, but I still can’t bring myself to fall in love with a rusting biscuit tin showing Her Maj in her Coronation robes, or a cross-stitched tray cloth featuring a crinoline lady!

  2. I run a company, Refunked, that specialises in vintage things and if they cant be restored to their former glory I give them a nip and tuck so they become something with a wow factor. I have flowers all round my home in vintage bottles and just had an old scanky brass candelabra transformed.

    It is true we have come full cycle and is it due to frugality imposed on us by the economic climate or are we looking back in history and realising that how people lived in the 40s and 50s was actually more impressive and enjoyable than the rat race we seem to live in today?

    Gone are the desires for identikit furniture and in are the desires for something quirky but that exudes longevity too. I strongly believe people still dont want clutter but the minimalistic look is also out. I cant see the return of the tray cloth with the crinoline lady or the toilet roll lady making a big come back but hey who knows ;)

  3. Hi Margaret – thank you for your comment. It is an interesting point you raise, and quite honestly when I was younger and dragged around antique fairs by my parents I did rebel against everything that they wanted me to take an interest in as I felt it was “too old” – some particular items I still can’t get my head around like an art nouveau parrot that I just don’t appreciate even though it’s a collectible and I have seen replicas pop up as new vintage style. Now, however a lot of the items I grew up with are fashionable again when used differently and I have to beg my parents to access their wonderful collection of antiques that I never thought I would like, let alone want!

    Funny you should mention the meat safe – my mum has picked up a stunning one in France and is going to restore it as a decorative item – again, thank goodness, not for its original purpose! I would also agree that there is a definite distinction between stylish vintage and things which are just old and were never pretty! It’s a fine line.

  4. I wonder what is the worst thing we have seen either in our parents’ house or have been given as a present? My father once gave my mother a sherry decanter in the shape of a black female nude (shades of Josephine Baker dancing in the 1920s!) She is kneeling and sitting back on her heels, so that her arms and feet become the handle and her flamboyant headdress is the decanter top. My mother thought it frightful, but of course, kept it as Dad thought it so beautiful! It is actually the height of kitcsh but I can’t bring myself to part with it; it is lovely in it’s brazen vulgarity!

    The worst thing I was given as a present was from my dear late mother in law, blelss her. She gave me a large multi-coloured glass fish, the kind of glass called end-of-the-day glass. I can’t remember how long I put up with it on the windowsill in the loo, but eventually it made its way to a charity shop.

    What has gained in popularity are floral paintings, the kind you would find on the lid of a 1950s box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray!

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