Price Points: Grey sofa beds

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Three grey sofa beds

We have a spare bedroom which we’ve kitted out as our craft room. It occasionally acts as a guest bedroom when friends & family come to stay. Along with a work desk and chair, it currently has a wrought iron single bed. Much as we love the bed, it’s not really all that practical. It’s an antique so it’s a fair bit shorter than contemporary beds… and contemporary humans!

Actually, there’s no real need for a permanent bed in there. We could do with the more flexible option of a sofa bed that can sleep two people. On a more day-to-day basis, it would provide a comfy spot on which to lay, read or work – and free up precious floor space. The spare bed option could be retained without it taking up almost a quarter of the room. These grey 3-seater sofa beds have varying price tags, but all have pared back styling with simple, clean lines. We’d be more than happy with any of them.

  1. 3 seater Clic Clac sofa bed: £254.99, Wayfair
  2. FRIHETEN three-seat sofa-bed: £375.00, IKEA
  3. Jefferson sofa bed: £1,299.00, MADE.com

How to bring a vintage industrial feel into your home

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Vintage industrial officecredit

Vintage industrial style draws its influence from a variety of sources – factories, mills, schools, science labs, garages, hospitals and theatres. It shouldn’t be thought of as just suitable for loft apartments or factory conversions – the look can be brought into all kinds of domestic, retail and restaurant spaces. It’s been a very strong interior style over recent years and we think it’s definitely here to stay. Items incorporated into a scheme can be original vintage or modern with an industrial twist. Individual pieces also sit very well in an eclectic mix of old and new which has a timeless quality in terms of interior style.

If you like the idea of bringing a vintage industrial feel into your home, here are a few of the ways you can make it happen.

Retro tripod lamp from Furniture Village in our sitting room

Lighting

Factory pendant light-shades are very much in vogue. Some people like theirs in the classic old industrial green enamel, a bit worn with a few chips. Others like the style and shape, but prefer them shiny and clean in bold, fresh colours. It’s a perfect example of how the look can be achieved through original vintage pieces or modern interpretations.

This tripod light from Furniture Village is a another great example. Taking its design from old theatre or TV studio lighting, it’s a striking sculptural piece. It has lots of presence in a room even when switched off… and looks very dramatic when lit at night.

Detail of lit retro tripod lamp from Furniture Village in our sitting room

Vintage workbench & lathe lights have a strong industrial look. They have flexible arms and tilting heads which make them very practical – perfect for bedside, reading area or office. Brands such as Mek-Elek and Newton are the most sought after.

We also like hanging task lights which have a metal cage protecting the bulb within. These often originate from old car factories or garages. They look fabulous suspended from the ceiling on a long cable.

Even bare bulbs can look amazing – modern bulbs with the old style filaments are now widely available; as is the woven fabric flex in various colours which completes the vintage industrial look.

Collection of vintage industrial seatingcredit

Seating

Most spaces need seating so there’s lots of opportunity to bring in a bit of industrial chic here. Machinists chairs, lab stools and tractor seats have the classic look that’s sought after… and again, there are both vintage and contemporary on the market.

Chair frames in distressed metal and layers of worn paint have real character. Rows of cinema seats, refectory and canteen benches can also give the desired look.

Vintage industrial wall-mounted shelvingcredit

Shelving

If you’re good at DIY, you can up-cycle inexpensive wooden pallets to build shelves. Pinterest is awash with brilliant ideas for both inside and out. You could also employ pre-used wooden scaffolding boards and poles to make all manner of furniture and fittings. Old workshop and hospital trolleys with tiered shelving can also be utilised – as can stacks of old fruit or bottle crates.

Vintage industrial metal bank of drawerscredit

Storage

Again, there’s a great deal of scope here. Filing cabinets immediately spring to mind. Old examples with worn, patinated finish in wood or metal are sought after… and if a piece looks a bit too tatty, but you like the style then it’s perhaps the ideal piece for restoration. Wood can be stripped and re-stained, metal can be shot-blasted and then polished – or resprayed in a colour of choice.

Many workshops have huge banks of small drawers to accommodate tools, screws, nuts & bolts. These can be put to a myriad of uses – from ingredients in the kitchen to stationary in the home office.

Pigeon holes from factories, schools and sorting offices can be used in a similar way – ideal for displaying items too with their open fronts.

School & gym lockers were built to withstand daily use and abuse by pupils. They’re sturdy and robust and are perfect for use in kitchens and bathrooms to store items such as brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, ironing boards and other items that are best hidden away.

Vintage bus blinds framed and mounted on a wall above a wood burning stove in a kitchen-dinercredit

Work surfaces

Work benches, sorting stations, trestles and sewing machine tables are all ideal to consider as re-purposed work surfaces.

They can function as dining tables, coffee tables, work desks and media consoles – in fact any surface you can think of. They tend to have a rough hewn or used appearance, giving bundles of character and charm.

Wheels and castors can add further flexibility with the ease of movement and re-positioning options.

Vintage industrial work surface with storage belowcredit

Finishing touches

Vintage industrial accessories complete look. The following items all work very well to bring a scheme together.

Factory & station clocks; enamel advertising signs; vintage school charts and maps; wire racks/baskets; tailors’ mannequins; old bobbins & reels; bus blinds; ladders & steps; letter stencils… whatever you think works!

Consider distinctive, quirky details too – add vintage castors to table legs, use science lab glass as vases, hang clip boards for shopping lists. Be creative – you’ll have hours of fun sourcing items putting your own unique look together!

So where can you pick up vintage industrial pieces? There’s lots of it out there if you search. Scour car boot sales, architectural salvage yards, internet stores and of course, eBay. Be patient if you’re looking for a key statement piece – it will turn up eventually! Having said that, if you find something that’s ‘almost right’, it’s probably best to snap it up –  then if absolute perfection turns up, you can sell the first piece and replace with the new. A really good thing about antique & vintage pieces is that they hold their value very well – sometimes even increasing in price.

We live in an area where historically there were many industries present including textile mills, dye works, iron and brick works, mines and quarries. Many of these businesses haven’t survived but the buildings that once housed them have; local auctions regularly sell their now defunct contents. Pieces should be readily available in most areas however, as dealers will travel the country looking for pieces that fit in with sought after styles.

Further vintage industrial inspiration can be found in the books below…

Vintage Industrial: Living With Design Icons book Industrial Chic: Cult Furniture, Design and Lighting boock Reclaiming Style - Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home book Industrial Chic: 50 Icons of Furniture and Lighting Design book

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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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Forthcoming Attractions: September 2015

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selection of vintage furniture and homewares in the H is for Home shop - September 2015

Here are some of our vintage furniture and homeware purchases from this past week.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

We’ll start with the painting – an original 1960s oil on board. It’s entitled ‘Waterfront’ and features a harbour scene with dock buildings, cranes and lights reflected in the still water.

Original vintage oil painting of a shipyard by J. Jennings

The artist is J. Jennings.

Cream-coloured vintage Horstmann anglepoise-type desk lamp

Next, this superb lamp by Hadrill & Horstmann. It has a counterweight mechanism which not only looks great, but works very efficiently too – the perfect design combo. The West German pottery vases & planters always sell well – especially with that distinctive flash of volcanic orange.

Original vintage G-plan footstool with yellow upholstery seat

And more vibrant colour… this G-Plan stool with its original yellow fabric upholstery didn’t take much deciding upon.

Underside of a vintage G-plan footstool showing the original label

It’s a fabulous shape too and went straight into the boot of the car!

Vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

There are slightly more muted tones in this studio pottery lamp base, but it’s no less attractive.

Detail of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976

We’ve got a friend whose studio pottery collection is ever expanding.

Underside of a vintage studio pottery lamp base made by Evans in 1976 showing the signature and date

She gave an, ‘oooooooh that’s nice!’, when she saw it – and has thus managed to squeeze one more piece into her house!

Eva chair

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Vintage Eva chair by Koefoeds Hornslet of Denmark with Scandinavian Design book and orange throw

We’ve chosen a piece of vintage Danish furniture for this week’s favourite buy.

Vintage Eva chair by Koefoeds Hornslet of Denmark

This Eva carver armchair was designed by Niels Koefoed in 1964.

back of a vintage Eva chair by Koefoeds Hornslet of Denmark

The chair is made of teak with a plain, black, leatherette seat. It has a strong mid century modern look just standing bare, but we also like the addition of a bold colour throw or cushion. Orange always works well!

paper label on a vintage Eva chair by Koefoeds Hornslet of Denmark

 Its condition is very good and it’s fully stamped and labelled to the underside.

Koefoeds Hornslet maker's mark on a vintage Eva chair

It’s very elegant and would work well as a dining, office or occasional chair. As with most of our furniture buys, it’s on its way to our antiques centre space, but you’re welcome to collect or have a courier pick it up. The price is £125, but we could knock off the twenty five if it helps with the petrol costs!