William Shakespeare anniversary

Detail of a vintage William Shakespeare tea towel | H is for Home

It was the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare this week. There’s been lots of Shakespeare related stuff in theatre-land, in the papers and on on TV. To commemorate the occasion, the BBC is running a Shakespeare Festival.

Vintage William Shakespeare tea towel | H is for Home

This is our humble offering – a pretty vintage tea towel that we picked up this week – good timing! Made of pure Irish linen, it was produced for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and designed by Julia Killingback – probably in the 1970s.

We’ve previously seen this tea towel in shades of yellow & orange, but never in this lovely blue & purple colourway. It’s unused and in excellent condition – very suitable to frame and display. Drop us a line if you can give it a good home – £8 plus P & P.

Forthcoming Attractions: Early March 2016

Collection of vintage collectables | H is for Home

Here’s a selection of this past week’s vintage buys – quite a blast of colour!

Two orange vintage West German fat lava vases | H is for Home

We’ll start off with the West German vases – in gorgeous, vibrant shades of orange. One has the classic bubbling, fat lava glaze and the other a more uniform pattern of impressed marks. We like both styles – and they look great together.

Full set of vintage English Ironstone 'Beefeater' steak plates | H is for Home

Next up, we have a set of psychedelic bull plates – not exactly subtle shades either! We do love this fun and eccentric range of dinner ware.

Vintage red & silver electric Metamec wall clock | H is for Home

This bright red clock is wonderful too – both functional and beautiful. Produced by Metamec in the 1950s/60s it would provide a real flash of vintage style & colour to a kitchen or office wall.

Three vintage metal waste paper bins | H is for Home

We’ve also picked up this trio of waste paper bins. The one with flowers is marked Worcester Ware – a company who produced some fabulous, everyday metalware. They’re perfect for kids bedrooms or nurseries.

Collection of vintage laundry and garden implements including wooden clothes pegs, washboard, watering can and hand fork | H is for Home

Less bright, but no less attractive, is this collection of garden and laundry items. Last week’s Get their look post featured a lovely traditional laundry area. It had a couple of the vintage washboards on the wall which looked great. We’re big fans of painted and galvanised metal, in general – our own garden is full of old dolly tubs, wash baths, florists pots, dustbins and watering cans. They look attractive, weather nicely – and don’t shatter in the frost!

The Return of Glad Rags

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Colourful vintage ladies fashion

We don’t actually have a ‘Glad Rags’ section in our web shop any more. When we did last year’s re-design, we thought that the layout looked better with one less department so we sacrificed it in the name of web design harmony. For that reason we tend not to pick up much vintage fashion these days, but sometimes we see pieces that are hard to resist… like this colourful trio that we bought during the week.

Green vintage coat by André Peters for Louis Feraud

This gorgeous knee-length green coat dates from the sixties. The colour is fabulous and the zig-zag stitch detailing mirrors the angular collar shape. It’s by Andre Peters for Louis Feraud and has a label to the inside.

Red vintage Jaeger leather jacket

The red leather jacket is by Jaeger. The leather is lovely and soft – and the condition is excellent. We’re not sure when it dates from – 70s/80s maybe… but it has such a classic, timeless shape whichever decade it hails from.

Yellow vintage summer dress by André Peters

Last but certainly not least is the very sweet little yellow dress. As with the green coat it’s by André Peters. It’s the perfect thing for spring as the daffodils start to appear. Actually, Adelle was so taken by it that it mysteriously vanished after the photographs were taken!

Vintage Louis Feraud label Vintage Jaeger label Vintage André Peters label

She hasn’t got a yellow dress so perhaps we can turn a blind eye to the theft. But as she already owns about fifty coats, we’ll have to be stricter with the other two items.

Colourful vintage ladies fashion items

They’ll shortly be listed on eBay – click here for further details and bidding if you’re tempted.

Cruising Again

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Vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus from 1975

We’ve got some more vintage cruise menus to share with you – our friend Emma, who used to run the wonderful Wooden Donkey empire, sent us a package containing various vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus out of the blue this week. What an unexpected treat that was!

Vintage Royal Viking cruise luncheon menu detail

With the new additions, we were able make up a lovely set of ten menus from this particular cruise. They date from the mid 1970s and were given to passengers en route to Acapulco. Aren’t they fabulous? The artwork is stunning. They really capture the Mexican vibe – and the style is so characteristic of the time. One of those occasions when the phrase “good enough to frame” is very apt.

Vintage Royal Viking Star menu cover from 1975

We’d love a huge wall display of vintage menus. We’ve got the menus – we must be up to about a hundred now… we just need the huge empty wall – oh, and the framing might bankrupt us! They’re such a great thing to collect for us. We’re obviously attracted to the cover artwork in the first instance, but being former chefs, the food on offer inside is also very interesting.

Vintage Royal Viking Star dinner menu

Whether it’s dishes or menu phrases that seem to have been lost in time, dishes or ingredients we’ve never heard of – or mentally choosing what we’d fancy to eat on that given day!

'Chef's Suggestion' on a vintage Royal Viking Star dinner menu

We’ve got a few duplicates of this set and quite a few others too, so we think we might start putting some into the What’s Cooking? department of the H is for Home shop. They’d make the perfect decoration for kitchen walls or shelves.

Vintage Royal Viking Star cruise menus from 1975

If you fancy starting your own vintage menu collection, get in touch and we’ll let you know what’s available. Bon Voyage!

What’s your era?

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Eclectic sitting roomcredit

Just as it is with music and fashion, there’s no abrupt beginning and end to style in interiors at the start of a new decade. There’s always an overlapping and evolution in design and décor through the decade. The seventies is the perfect example – nature, flowers & flares in the first half of the decade, punk rock and hard-edged technology in the latter years. People don’t just throw out their furniture, pull up the carpets, paint over the wallpaper… it’s a gradual, almost imperceptible, change. Decades drift into one another other. Saying that, we’ve tried to give an essence of what each decade – the 1950s to the present day – looks like. Do you love the groovy 60s… the Scandi-inspired 90s? What’s your era?


Original 1950s sitting roomcredit

The 1950s was an exciting and creative decade with a new wave of optimism after the harsh war years. Designers could express themselves once more after rationing and glut of utilitarian products. The Mid Century Modern look was born with atomic & Sputnik styling drawing on influences from the new scientific discoveries flourishing around this era and mankind’s first ventures into space. The Festival of Britain in 1952 was a major landmark event for interiors – furniture, textiles, wallpaper and lighting all took an exciting new direction. Clean lines, bold shapes, bright colours and exciting new patterns captured the mood. Materials such as teak appeared for mass market products. Striking shades of red, yellow and blue also came to the fore.


original 1960s sitting roomcredit

The 1960s was a decade of flower power, psychedelia, peace and love. There was sexual freedom and explosion of youth culture. It was also a time of protest marches and rebellion at the established order. Space age styling really came to its peak with the space race and moon landings being a great influence. Interior designers were fascinated with the use of new processes and materials to produce exciting new versions of familiar objects – moulded plastic and inflatable chairs being perfect examples. Colour restrictions seemed to completely vanish.


original 1970s sitting roomcredit

The disco decade saw spage age influences fall away and a return to nature & self sufficiency – lots of florals, browns, beige, mossy greens and avocado – who can forget the classic coloured bathroom suites from the era! Flashes of brighter orange & yellow were used to lift these neutral schemes. There was extensive use of wood panelling, shag pile carpets, cork and hessian. Bohemian lifestyle, Biba, op art, pop art, glam rock were major influences in the first half of the decade. Later years saw the influence of punk styling and new technology – digital watches and early computer graphics, for example.


1980s study roomcredit

New wave styling continued into the 1980s. The previous decade had seen economic troubles and hardship – and these certainly continued for manufacturing industry… but the eighties is remembered as a time for new money, the city and consumerism. Home computers and mobile phones began to appear. Interiors were influenced by this rise of new technology and the fashion for power dressing perhaps. Memphis design was very influential – lots of hard edges, strong lines, zig-zags, hatching and bold colours. Stencilling, rag rolling, horizontal decorative wallpaper borders were other notable trends – and black ash furniture was everywhere! Dominant decorating shades were black, grey, pink, pastel & primary colours.


1990s IKEA interiorcredit

IKEA opened its first outlet in the UK in the late 1980s but it was in the 90s that it really began to proliferate. It’s largely responsible for this country’s ongoing love affair with Scandi cool. Its affordable flatpack furniture was a huge success – blond wood, cream & white were all the rage. It was also the era of programmes such as Changing Rooms and Home Front which really got the UK population dedicating time, money and energy to their homes… and really going DIY mad!


Vintage industrial factory conversioncredit

The clean lines and unfussy styling of the late nineties continued into this decade. The industrial styling of warehouse conversions seeped into general home décor. White and pale neutrals were the predominant colour scheme with flashes of bolder colour or pattern on feature walls.


Bedroom with black painted walls and brass accessoriescredit

For what will this decade be remembered? We may be biased, but we think it will be eclectic vintage – a style we love. There’s a mix of eras within one space – contemporary pieces are freely mixed with antiques. There are still strong industrial influences on home, shop and restaurant décor still, but the look has been softened somewhat. There’s a desire to make interiors individual with foraged objects, personalised homewares from indie makers and unique market finds. Dramatic dark greys are the most notable current colour scheme.


10 decades of iconic interior design

Recently, Hillary’s Blinds contacted us asking us to chose what we thought was an iconic interior design item from the past century. We found it really hard to narrow it down!

What era should we choose from, what type of item? We eventually decided upon Robin Day’s Polo chair designed in 1975. It’s British, has been produced in the millions (and still counting!) and has been exported all over the world. Chances are most of our behinds have graced a Polo at one time or another!

Other bloggers and design experts such as Walnut Grey, Confessions of a Design Geek and Little Green Shed have also chosen their favourites. See the full listing below. What’s your iconic interior design item?

10 decades of iconic interior design
10 decades of iconic interior design – Hillarys