Our new shop space

Shopfront of our new shop space | H is for Home

In a recent blog post about a Blomus tea set, we mentioned our new shop space.

Empty shopfront of our new shop space | H is for Home

Well, here it is! It’s an attractive corner plot directly opposite the antiques centre from where we currently sell. This was a good opportunity to spread things out a bit. We’re sharing the shop with a couple of other dealers.

Looking out into the street from our new shop space | H is for Home

Our space has got a lovely, big display window.

Neglected window box outside our new shop space | H is for Home

…and a neglected window box which had potential to look very pretty.

Justin standing in the street outside our new shop space | H is for Home

So, what to do next!  Mmmm… let’s mull this over.

Bringing stock into our new shop space | H is for Home

We moved into the space over a couple of days. We wanted to combine our twin loves of mid century modern and rustic country styles.

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

And here are the results. We hope it looks like the kind of shop in which you’d like to browse. If you ever get the chance to visit, we’re right next to the library in Todmorden – at the junction of Hall Street and Rochdale Road. Picturehouse Antiques, where we also sell from, is directly across the road – and there are loads of good places to get coffee and cake close by!

Collection of wooden vintage bobbins in the window of our new shop space | H is for Home

Justin took lots of snaps which we’ve included below to give you a good feel of the new place. We hope to see you there one day!

New H is for Home shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Detail of an antique miniature chest of drawers for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Display of antique wooden items for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Detail of spindles from an antique country chair | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Trio of blue vintage objects for sale in our new shop space | H is for Home

Setting up our new shop space | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Chemist fittings in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Anatomical figure of a cow in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Anatomical figure of a pig in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

Detail from a Frogman piece in the new shop space next to ours | H is for Home

New H is for Home shop space | H is for Home

Watts & Co church candles

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Watts & Co church candles in front of a wood-burning stove

Autumn has most definitely arrived – crisp, misty mornings; the red, russet & golden trees; long shadows and chilly nights. It’s a time for being outdoors, collecting acorns and conkers, kicking fallen leaves, watching migrating birds overhead – in fact, not much beats a long autumn dog walk, then returning home to a hot cuppa.

Vintage pottery candle holder on the arm of a leather club chair in front of a wood-burning stove

But perhaps what we love the most about autumn evenings is being indoors with fires crackling and candles glowing. We think of it as an opportunity to indulge rather than lamenting the end of summer. It’s a time to make the house warm & welcoming, to eat comforting food and revel in the magical nature of the season – making the ordinary & everyday a bit more extraordinary.

Lit Watts & Co church candle in a floor-standing cast iron candle holder

The Danish, who experience a long period of darkness and cold temperatures, have a special word for it – ‘Hygge‘ – pronounced hoo-gah – a difficult word to translate directly – we’ve read a few versions. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of hygge. It’s all about celebrating the small pleasures in life of which the home is an integral part – especially at this time of year. We’ll be spending much more time indoors in the coming months – and the shortening days means stocking up on the coal, logs and candles to facilitate our Hygge!

Watts & Co church candles and packaging

Watts & Co offered us some of their church candles to try, so of course we were very appreciative. A lovely selection arrived this week, beautifully wrapped in string & brown paper with elegant, lavender-coloured labels.

Watts & Co church candles packaging and label

Tradition and quality are the corner stones of this family-run company. Based in Westminster, they’ve been supplying ecclesiastical accessories since 1874.

Collection of Watts & Co church candles

Their candles are hand made in England using natural beeswax, which burns for almost twice as long as paraffin wax – and they’re a lovely cream colour rather than the stark white of cheaper candles. Beeswax also tends to burn more cleanly, without dripping or giving off smoke or soot – imparting a rich, warm glow to a room.

Lit Watts & Co church candles in an antique mirrored candle sconce

There’s something enchanting about fairy lights, the flames of real fires and flickering candles – they add such a magical atmosphere to the house. They soften hard surfaces such as stone with their glow – and nothing brings out the patina in wood like candlelight.

Lit Watts & Co church candle giving a warm glow to a stone wall

You just want to snuggle in, read a book, watch a film, eat nice food, drink a glass of wine… and generally slow down a bit.

Antique spiral candle holder with antique puzzle jug

We’ve got antique candle holders & sconces dotted all over the house. In fact, we never let a nice ones escape if we come across them at auction or markets these days. We’ve even started acquiring other candle related items such as storage boxes, match holders, snuffers and dowsers – so every room has items easy to hand.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles with antique candle dowsers

The holders all take different-sized candles; luckily, all can be found on the attractive Watts & Co website. Amongst the church supplies, you’ll also find other products that will suit domestic interiors – we’ll be trying some of their gorgeous incense for sure.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles in an antique mahogany apothecary drawer

We’re prepared, stocked up and looking forward to autumn. It’s a glorious season and we love it!

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Forthcoming Attractions: Early October 2015

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vintage and antique homewares

Here’s a selection of this week’s buys – they have a very antique feel to them, it has to be said.

19th century wooden child's armchair

We’ll start with the small chair. It’s a 19th century child’s low-back Windsor dating from about 1820. It’s a little tired and dusty, but will clean and wax beautifully. A great little buy!

Antique carved wooden bread board and spoon

We’re still in the 19th century with these two pieces of kitchenalia. First a Victorian bread board…

Detail from an antique carved wooden bread board

…this one has lovely carved decoration around the rim – leaves… or possibly feathers.

Antique metal spice tin

And then a lidded metal spice tin dating from the same period.

Detail of the inside of an antique metal spice tin

It has compartments for the different flavourings. It would have been things like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and pepper in those days… but the world’s your oyster.

Antique wooden cash drawer

This old shop counter would make a wonderful kitchen piece itself. It has the original internal fittings which make fantastic spice drawers. The coin scoops for loose spices and the compartments for packets etc.

Green-painted wooden antique milking stool, Carltonware Princess money box and orange Anglepoise lamp

Just to prove we’ve not turned our back on the 1960s, we’ve got these two classic items from the period… an orange Herbert Terry Anglepoise lamp – and the Carltonware princess money box designed by Vivienne Brennan. Along with the small green stool (yes, you’ve guessed it – Victorian), they certainly add a splash of colour to the group.

As always, the items will be split between our web shop and antiques centre space. Drop us a line if you’ve got any questions about them.

Moving your delicate or antique furniture? 7 tips to reduce the stress

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Vintage Nuss Removals vancredit

According to a recent article in The Express, moving home is one of the most stressful times in people’s lives; and if you’re moving abroad, worried about losing sentimental items, or moving delicate or antique furniture, those stress levels can go through the roof. To help you cope with at least one of these aspects, here are a few tips to make sure your furniture reaches its destination undamaged.

Once Should Be Enough

You should be planning your move so that your delicate items are moved as little as possible. If you have thought about the order that your things will be placed into the transportation, and labelled them with the rooms they will go into on arrival, then they’ll only need to be moved once. If you haven’t, they could be moved from pillar to post all through the move. The more times an item is moved, the more chance of damage to it; so plan well and move once.

Break it down

Antique furniture is often impossible to break down, but modern delicate furniture may have parts that can be separated, and if at all possible, do so. This will make packing the furniture easier and a less complicated shape will be easier to secure.

Cardboard box with red & white fragile packing tapecredit

Box it

Packing crates are vital if you have expensive items, and are even more important if those items also happen to be antique. The boxes are used to separate individual items from each other, and to stop potential damage as they move around and bang into each other. It is not as simple as placing items in boxes though, and packing materials will be needed to stop movement. Most removals companies will have professionals to do this for you, and you should consider this if you are truly worried about your delicates

Take your time

If you rush your move, you’re inviting disaster; and this is especially true if you are packing yourself. Plan ahead and decide where each packing case or item will go in the new property, and take the time you need to wrap everything individually. Have storage boxes delivered early and fill them at your own pace, and, if you have no space for them when they’re full, use a removal company that can organise storage for you (click here for a great example), as you don’t want to be wasting time moving boxes and crates around your home.

Know your route

You may feel that you know the layout of your home like the back of your hand, but you still need to plan the route your furniture is going to take. Make sure your furniture will have a smooth journey to the removal van by the simplest route, and use a spotter to make sure there are no bumps & bangs en route.

Lifting a sofa on moving daycredit

Care when lifting

Make sure you’re super careful when lifting delicate items, and always support the weight from underneath. Never pick up furniture by the handles, arms, or legs, and never drag it across the floor. Even putting the furniture into a crate can be a delicate operation (especially if it has to be lifted in), and extra care will be needed if the furniture has to be lifted above waist height. Remember that a trolley is your friend and will reduce the chances of anything being dropped.

Insurance

Your home insurance may give you some cover on your contents, but will it insure your move? Most home insurance won’t cover a house move, so you may need to top it up. The Insurance Information Institute has some great information about what you should be looking for in home insurance, so research what to look for before taking out or extending a policy.

Knowing how to approach a problem is the easiest way to reduce stress. So, by combining these tips with good individual packing practices, you’ll get your furniture to its destination in great condition. Your removal company will already be using many of these ideas, but, if you know too, it can only help your peace of mind.

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Creative Collections: Dowsers

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collection of antique dowsers

This creative collection post is one for the real antique lovers!

detail of a collection of antique dowsers

These conical shaped candle extinguishers are often misnamed snuffers, but they’re more accurately called candle dowsers. Snuffers have a scissor action and are designed to remove burnt wick (or snuff).

underside of an antique dowser

We got the majority of them in one bulk purchase. It was a rather impulsive buy, but we fell in love with them when viewing an auction at Wilkinson’s, a really wonderful saleroom in Doncaster. It’s usually the country furniture and period oak that we make the trip to see, so twenty antique candle dowsers wasn’t really on our list!

ribbed antique dowser

But they made such a lovely display with the variation in style, size & material. There are some exquisite pieces here, dating back hundreds of years – brass, pewter, bronze and silver examples. We love the craftsmanship – and the real connection with history.

Mr Punch antique dowser

Having bought something unusual like this we enjoy the research into styles and dating, but we haven’t found any books or websites dedicated to the subject as yet. We’ll keep looking for reference material – and in the meantime just enjoy looking at them each time we pass!

Pick of the Pads: Past Perfect

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White house exterior in Country Living magazine June 2014

It didn’t take much thought for our choice for Pick of the Pads this month.

Country Living June 2014 magazine cover

We’re already quite familiar with this gorgeous Welsh cottage, Bryn Eglur, owned & renovated by Dorian Bowen – and when it appeared in this month’s Country Living Magazine we just had to share it with you.

'Past Perfect' article title page from Country Living magazine June 2014

For Justin in particular, it’s a real favourite house from years of scouring interiors magazines.

'Antique dresser in Country Living magazine June 2014

The word character was probably invented for it!

'Wooden box bed in Country Living magazine June 2014

It’s cosy & comfortable with perfect retreats to eat, sleep or read.

'Antique settle in Country Living magazine June 2014

It’s packed full of gorgeous country antiques too. An oak dresser filled with pottery & pewter, spindle back chairs, settles and spoon racks.

'Cast iron range in Country Living magazine June 2014

Spaces are softened with textiles & fresh flowers.

'Rustic stairs in Country Living magazine June 2014

Perfect, photogenic corners everywhere you look!

'Grandfather clock in Country Living magazine June 2014

It’s full of traditional charm, but there’s also no sense of it being in a museum with modern facilities such as this gorgeous kitchen.

'Whitewashed kitchen in Country Living magazine June 2014

And the best thing is… if you love it as much as we do, you can stay there!! Yes, it’s a holiday let! And for those fellow dog owners out there – your treasured pooches are welcome too.

'Whitewashed bathroom in Country Living magazine June 2014

It’s one of those cottages that offers a good location to explore the area, but also provides a gorgeous home to relish every hour you spend relaxing indoors. Perfect indeed!

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