A cabinet full of charm

Vintage mirrored painted wooden cabinet painted with "G & J Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington" | H is for Home

We picked up this charming little wall cabinet this week. It’s constructed of wood with a mirrored front advertising G & J. Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington.

Detail of a mirror-fronted cabinet painted with "G & J Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington" | H is for Home

Doing a little data mining on the internet, we found mention of “G. & J. Weaver, cabinet makers” located at 86 Bridge Street – sandwiched between a pork butcher and a confectioner. They also had another premises at 2 Arpley Road which it appears they shared with a beer retailer, tallow chandler, wire mattress manufacturers, wheelwright, brass founder and a printer. England really was a nation of shopkeepers!

George (the ‘G’ in the partnership) is recorded as having lived at 208 Wilderspool Road and James at Manor House, 96 School Brow.

We find social history like this fascinating. What started as a quick, 2-minute search for a company name ended up in an hour-long browse at street maps, census records and old photos.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with vintage first aid kit accessories inside | H is for Home

Back to the cabinet. It probably dates from the early 20th century. It’s had various layers of paint applied over the years – we can identify red, green, white and mustard shades. We love the current combination of mustard exterior and red interior.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with vintage sewing accessories inside | H is for Home

The immediate use that springs to mind is a bathroom medical cabinet perhaps, as it’s a classic size & shape for one – and has the mirror. However, it’s a very flexible piece. It would make a lovely little craft room cupboard – or kitchen spice storage area to name but two.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with spice bottles inside | H is for Home

We love the shabby chic, vintage industrial look and simple practicality of it. If you do too, it’s available now in our online shop.

Vintage industrial finds

Huge bulb, one of the vintage industrial finds bought recently | H is for Home

Justin has brought home some lovely vintage industrial finds recently. Yesterday it was the turn of this amazing giant light bulb with white ceramic fitting.

Huge vintage industrial bulb with normal-sized one to show scale | H is for Home

The bulb that it’s photographed next to is quite large in itself, so you can see how huge it is. The filament inside looks undamaged, so we think it might actually work if we get the electricity back flowing to it. It’s probably worth going to the effort of re-wiring. The fitting has the original hook too – it would look really striking hanging down from a high ceiling on a long length of chain or vintage-style cord flex.

Vintage blue & orange ICI storage tin with large orange desk lamp | H is for Home

The day before, it was this vintage ICI tin. The orange logo against the blue background is very striking. And there’s no end of uses for a large tin!

Two vintage industrial letter 'A's with apples to show scale | H is for Home

Justin brought me home a present too – a big, blue metal letter A to add to my collection. ‘A’ might be for apple in most children’s books, but A is for Adelle too!!

Blue-painted vintage industrial stepladder | H is for Home

Blue again! This time some old step ladders with original layers of paint – most recently a lovely duck egg blue. Not only are step ladders useful for doing chores, they also make for wonderful display or storage pieces – plants, bottles, towels (to name but three for which we’ve used them).

Vintage industrial step ladder with spider plant | H is for Home

And last but not least, this gorgeous little metal carry box with really fabulous patina. Probably originally used for tools in a factory or workshop, there was little chance of this ever being sold – it was immediately re-purposed into our packaging box – holding tape, pens & pencils etc. It’s now an indispensable part of the H is for Home team!

Green-painted vintage industrial carry box with packaging tape, measuring tape and pencils | H is for Home

These pieces display the simple, functional design associated with vintage industrial – and the wonderful patina often developed over time. And there’s another reason that we like them. We love the rather varied styles of country antiques and mid century modern. We find that a bit of vintage industrial really helps unite these different looks and eras.

Palaset Treston storage boxes

Vintage Papaset Treston storage boxes | H is for Home

We picked up these fabulous red & white office drawers last week. They’re from the Palaset range designed by Ristomatti Ratia for Treston of Finland in the early 1970s.

Vintage Papaset Treston storage boxes | H is for Home

They come in individual units which slot on top of one another allowing you to customize your own larger system as required. They’re also available in brown, yellow and green colourways. For vinyl junkies out there, the open cubes are the perfect size to accommodate LPs. The modular range was very popular at the time, selling worldwide, but it’s increasingly hard to find these days. We think that there was a later re-launch, but the manufacturer used an inferior plastic and production didn’t last very long.

Vintage Papaset Treston storage boxes | H is for Home

Look out for the early examples. They have real solid weight to them – people often think they’re made of wood when first handled.

Lable on the bottom of a vintage Papaset Treston storage box | H is for Home

In addition to designing office products, Ristomatti Ratia worked on a variety of homewares – fashion accessories too – including spectacles and a best selling shoulder bag. Incidentally, he’s the son of Armi Ratia, née Airaksinen, the founder of Marimekko.

Our Picturehouse Antiques shop space | H is for Home

We’ve put the drawers into shop space number 2. The look of this space changes quite often, but it tends to mix mid century modern design with much older country antiques. It’s certainly quite eclectic at the moment!

Our Picturehouse Antiques shop space | H is for Home

These two stacking units are priced at £195 (ish!) for the pair – ‘collection only’ for these. Drop us a line if you’re interested and would like us to reserve them for you… or, if there’s anything else in the pictures that takes your fancy, we can advise on prices, shipping options if applicable etc.

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Pushing my buttons

Green vintage 1980s Viscount telephone and Swiss cheese plant | H is for Home

The rise of the mobile phone over the last couple of decades has obviously decreased the need for home versions, but many people still retain their land-line for various reasons – better reception, lower call costs, business use etc.

Green vintage 1980s Viscount telephone | H is for Home

And, if you’re going to have one, it might as well be aesthetically pleasing. We picked up this early 1980s Viscount push button telephone at the flea market this week… well, who could miss this fabulous eye-popping green!

Close up view of a green vintage 1980s Viscount telephone showing the old British Telecom logo | H is for Home

Produced by The Standard Telephone Company for British Telecom, it would sit perfectly in any self-respecting mid century modern interior – atop the teak telephone stool, sideboard or Ladderax shelving unit, perhaps.

Close up view of the base of a green vintage 1980s Viscount telephone showing the manufacturer's and model details | H is for Home

We think it’s a beautifully designed piece – form and function working in harmony. You’ll find it listed on our web shop later on this week – price £30.

Large vintage industrial storage unit

Large vintage industrial storage unit with drawers | H is for Home

We thought we’d highlight this fabulous vintage industrial storage unit that we’ve listed for sale today. It’s certainly a large, impressive piece!

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

It’s been living in our lounge recently. As you can see – if a storage or display unit sits still in our house for any amount of time, it starts to fill up with objects!

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

We bought it from one of the regular dealers at our local flea market. It’s constructed entirely of metal and very, very heavy. This is where we put it when it got delivered… as close to the front door as possible!

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

It’s a really useful unit with a combination of pigeon holes and drawers that can be placed in any configuration.

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

We think the metal has just the right amount of distress. Perfect vintage industrial condition – signs of wear, but not tatty. And the paint is original to the piece – and a nice mushroom brown colour.

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

It could be an ideal storage unit for almost any room in the house. As we said, we’ve had it in a lounge space where it’s great to display objects, keep CDs or books, tea-lights and so on – with keys, coins and all manner of bits & bobs hidden away in the drawers. It could be placed in a kitchen to house cooking equipment and ingredients; a work shop/craft room storing tools, bobbins, threads etc; perhaps an office space housing stationery… or a potting shed maybe – with various pots, seeds, twine and small garden tools. And if you’re lucky enough to live in an open plan loft space…well, we can’t imagine anything better.

Large vintage industrial metal storage cabinet with drawers | H is for Home

We like it very much, but we did buy it to sell – and we moved something else out of the way to give it a temporary home… that needs to go back! Anyway, we’ve just listed it on eBay with a starting price of £299 which we think is reasonable. You’ll need someone with a van, trolley and strong arms to move it, but it could be the perfect thing!

Put that in your pipe!

Collection of vintage smokers' pipes | H is for Home

Smoking paraphernalia isn’t something on our shopping list usually, but this collection of vintage pipes caught our eye at a recent auction.

Collection of vintage smokers' pipes | H is for Home

They date from the 1950s/60s era and certainly have a strong mid century modern style about them.

Vintage smoker's pipe | H is for Home

They’re made from a variety of woods in lovely warm shades, Bakelite type plastics and metals such as stainless steel and aluminium.

Vintage smoker's pipe | H is for Home

They’re so good looking and tactile – More ‘Mad Men’ than old men!

Vintage smoker's pipe | H is for Home

Justin has been practising his smoking style in the mirror with a few of them – he looks quite tempted. It actually suits his big beard!

Vintage smoker's pipe | H is for Home

Drop us a line if any of them takes your fancy.