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.

Creative Collections: Wooden spoons

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Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

Last week’s ceramic Creative Collections post featured modern design & graphics – this one is altogether more antique & rustic in nature.

5 vintage wooden spoons

We just love old wooden spoons!! All the different shapes, sizes & patinas.

pair of vintage wooden spoons

There are endless gadgets that you can fill your kitchen with (and we do); but when it comes down to it, if you’ve got a couple of good knives and some wooden spoons, you can get most jobs done.

detail of a vintage wooden spoon

You can get very attached to certain spoons. In addition to some exquisite antique examples that we now just display, we must have about 20 spoons available for use in a pot next to the cooker – we both gravitate to our favourite 2 or 3. They just feel right in the hand!

Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

And then there’s the spin off collection – obviously you then have to find perfect racks & containers in which to keep them!!

Creative Collections: Vintage printing blocks

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pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

We love typography and fonts – and have amassed quite a collection of vintage letters & numbers in various forms – printing blocks, stencils and old retail signage.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

We’ll concentrate on wooden vintage printing blocks for this edition of Creative Collections. Aren’t they wonderful? The array of wood grain & colour, sizes and shapes.

details of a pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

One of those perfect things to collect over the years that make up into a really interesting & eye-catching display – whether it be a random selection or spelled out words.

vintage printing blocks with a letter 'C' in the foreground

Even the traces of residual ink can add interest.

vintage printing blocks with a number 5 in the foreground

We’ve just bought a large collection of blocks like these pictured. So, if you’re missing that perfect letter Q to complete a phrase…

set of wooden vintage printing blocks spelling out H is for Home

…or you’d like particular words to display – name or house number perhaps – just drop us a line and we’ll see if we can oblige.

pile of wooden vintage printing blocks

Prices vary depending on size, the quality of carving & rarity – but generally speaking we sell the smallest letters for £2-£3, medium cost £4-£8 and the largest £10-£25.

K is for… Kitchen

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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 down-lighting.

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!

I is for… Ice

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Group of various vintage ice buckets

You’ve got your wine, your beer, your mineral water…
…or if you’re lucky, a bit of fizz.
You’ve got your ice to keep it cool.
Now all you need is something stylish to put it in.
Step forward ICE BUCKET!

Made from all kinds of materials including glass, wood, plastic, stainless steel & silver – with shapes & designs too numerous to mention. Some are big enough to plunge your whole bottle in – like this fantastic, 1960s yellow Cathrineholm number…

Vintage yellow & white Ice-filled Cathrineholm 'Lotus' pattern ice bucket with pair of wine glasses and tea towel

…others hold just enough cubes to keep that G&T at the optimum temperature.

photo of a glass of gin & tonic, vintage wooden ice bucket with tongs on orange vintage blanketVintage teak & stainless steel ice bucket by Viners of Sheffield

Vintage stainless steel & teak Lundtofte ice bucket Vintage yellow plastic Crayonne ice bucket Vintage stainless steel Arne Jacobsen designed Stelton ice bucket
left to right: Lundtofte, Crayonne & Stelton

We always have a few designs in stock, so if your cubes need a good home, check out the selection at H is for Home