U is for… Utensils

We’re taking a look at vintage utensils this week – those useful, kitchen tools from the humble wooden spoon to the wonderfully named kitchemajig.

No kitchen should be without a wooden spoon  – preferably a few.

They come in a wide variety of sizes, have multiple uses, they don’t scratch pots & pans… and also develop a lovely character over years of use.

We keep ours in this lovely, old wooden rack…

… another potful next to the stove…

…and still more hanging from this ancient iron well hook.

It’s useful having them close at hand wherever we happen to be working in the kitchen. There’s always the perfect spoon for a particular job.

This one has such a wonderful patina that it’s now been retired from general use and sits happily on a shelf enjoying its life of leisure… with a pair of child’s antique wooden clogs for company!

Of course kitchen tools don’t stop with the wooden spoon… there are palette knives, ladles, forks, fish slices, whisks etc, etc, etc.

Some utensils are multi-functional like the aforementioned kitchemajig…

…others have very specific uses such as the tomato slicer, butter curler and pastry blender.

Do rolling pins count as utensils?

We think they probably do – made from wood, pottery, marble, or in the case of this Pyrex example, glass.

The heyday for utensils – well our favourite era at least – was the 1950s & 60s. Names such as Skyline, Prestige & Tala.

Chrome & stainless steel tools mounted on lovely painted wooden handles available in a rainbow of colours.

They’re a great way of adding a vintage touch to an otherwise contemporary kitchen. They look good in sets of the same colour…

…or mixed & matched.

We picked up this wonderful set recently – boxed and with its original hanging rack. One small problem though, someone was obviously in desperate need of the lipped, oval spoon… and removed it.

We’re now on a quest for a 50-year-old lipped spoon, in pristine condition, in the right colours – no easy task!

We’ve got boxes full of coffee services short of one cup, storage jars waiting for matching lids and cutlery sets missing the odd knife or teaspoon. It’s all a matter of keeping your eyes open and being patient.

We’re currently relishing reading through a huge pile of 1950s/60 Ideal Home magazines, they’re full of fantastic ads for furniture, fabrics and housewares, including the odd one for kitchen utensils…

…like these for Tala and Prestige.

By coincidence, just as we were writing this post, we sold this lovely Prestige set with their classic 1950s, diamond-patterned handles.

If you manage to find one that you love, a kitchen utensil is of those wonderful items that can give you a little bit of pleasure every time you use it – have you got a favourite?

Fabric Magazine feature for H is for Home

We’ve had another lovely mention in the press – we’re in this month’s Fabric Magazine. It’s a London-based, monthly glossy that specialises in the capital city’s properties as well as features on interiors, travel, health, beauty & style, food & eating out. Take a look at the clipping below!

Thanks to them for their coverage and thanks to all of you out there for your continued support and feedback.

K is for… Kitchen

K is for... banner

Image of our kitchen

The kitchen is probably our favourite room in the house. We love spending time in here – cooking, chatting or having a big mug of tea after a long dog walk.

photo of a child's writing slate and wooden kitchen utensils

We have the main wall painted a zingy tangerine. It’s bright & lively in the summer but also gives a warm cosy feel when the nights draw in. We used to have it painted a fresh apple green but this felt a bit cold in the winter, so we had to get the brushes back out.

photo of the cooker in our kitchen

The orange also works well with the stainless steel and various shades within the stone tiled splash-back.

The centre of the room is filled with a large, old, beech baker’s table which serves as our main seating & eating area – also a very useful extra work surface.

On the opposite wall to the work units & cooker is a stone fireplace. This would once have housed the original kitchen range.

Photo of the fireplace in our kitchen

The chimney has not gone to waste however, with the cast iron stove chuffing away on chilly nights. On the ceiling above this stove we have a slatted drying rack – perfect for hanging washing on cold, rainy days.

The graphic 1960s street scene is by artist Ken Law… and on the stone ledge sit various vintage pottery plates including Poole and Royal Copenhagen. Mixing old & new is a recurring theme throughout our house.

photo of the shelves in our pantry

We like the blend of rustic pieces such as the baker’s table, butcher’s block and spoon rack with the modern stainless steel and downlighting.

Photo of our kitchen workbench

Both being former chefs, we like to fill the kitchen with practical (and preferably good looking) equipment.

photo of antique butcher's block

Objects from the 1950s, 60s & 70s seem to fit in well, helping to tie it all together.

photo of our vintage 1960s Hornsea Pottery 'Bronte' tea, coffee & sugar canisters

Vintage kitchen enamel and ceramics are a particular passion of ours – pots, pans, storage jars etc. Hornsea, Denby, Cathrineholm, Rorstrand, Figgjo Flint, Arabia, Dansk Designs, Le Creuset are just a few of the names we look for…

…and then there are the cookbooks – don’t get us started on those!

H is for… Houses

'H is for... Houses' blog post banner

Group image of fabric & felt house doorstops designed & made by Sarah Nicol

Just for once we’re not going to insist that H is for Home. This week H is for Houses.

We were very pleased to take delivery of these lovely doorstop houses recently.

green fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol orange fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol blue fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol

They’re part of the current collection of Somerset-based artist & textile designer, Sarah Nicol.

Sarah has been inspired by travels in Spain, Africa, Asia & America. This collection is influenced by a journey she took through Oregon in the Western United States.

tangerine fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol purple fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol beige fabric & felt house doorstop designed & made by Sarah Nicol

She produces textile artworks, keepsakes and functional pieces such as these adorable doorstop houses.

orange doorstop house with blue wellies

Each doorstop is handmade and unique, with a quaint, folk art feel.

purple doorstop house detail beige doorstop house detail

They come filled with sand & ready to use.

Available at H is for Home!

Website lift-off happening soon!

Unfortunately the pre-Christmas launch we were hoping for didn’t come to pass. we’ve been doing a bit more tweaking and reckon there’s going to be around a month’s ‘slippage’. So once the Christmas & New Year frivolities and festivities have died down, January should finally see the H is for Home website go live!

We’ve been keeping busy in the meantime though, to prove it, here’s a collage we put together of some of the items that will soon be up for sale.

Christmas & New Year greetings to everyone!
tangerine dream collage