Tag: home

It’s only Crofton but I like it…

16cm pan

I wasn’t familiar with Crofton until I saw a post on Instagram – I do find, once you’ve filled up your followers lists with people who have the same interests and obsessions as you, Instagram is a great way of discovering things! 
Somebody posted a photo of some lovely enamelware – a weakness of mine! I assumed it was Orla Kiely, from the design, but it turned out to be Aldi’s new range of homeware, which was apparently introduced this week.

Large decal oven dish

Well, call me shallow, but after I’d given Baby his toast and first taste of scrambled egg this morning (we are all loving the weaning!) I knew what my mission for the day was.

Crofton 3.5L Casserole Dish

We headed to our nearest Aldi and gave the range the once over. I was very restrained and only bought the oven dish – I know I’ll use that, whereas the casserole dish – though lovely – will rarely get any use as I don’t often cook casseroles and if I do, with only two of us to eat them, they aren’t that large! It was tough to walk away with only one piece though: those green decals do appeal to something deep inside my soul!

I looked at some of the other bits in the range, and quite liked this storage jar and the pastel pans too. If you’re a fan of the vintage mid century designs and pastel colours it’s definitely worth checking out as a budget alternative. You may need to be quick though, I’ve a feeling it’ll be popular!

It is with a thrifty head on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Easter 2017 but I like it…

I’m rather late with this post!

Blame my Easter bunny for that!

As I think I mentioned, we had family visiting for Easter which was lovely. We were very spoiled and had some nice meals together. One new addition to my Easter decorations was this lovely pussy willow.

It’s a slight variation on the old ‘Easter tree’ – when I was little you found a branch outside and stuck it in a pot of soil and hung handmade decorations on it. It only cost a few pounds from a florist up the road and I hung a selection of little ornaments I’ve collected over the years on it. We enjoyed it this year, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last next year with little fingers snatching at it!

I hope you all had a lovely relaxing time!

It is with a pair of bunny ears on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Faux Fur but I like it…

Okay, you’re going to have to bear with me here. I’m willing to admit this may be a huge lapse in judgement, it may belie appalling taste, but I just can’t help it…

I really want a faux fur throw. There I said it.


This one is from Sainsbury’s Home and it’s brown. Currently reduced from £30 to £22.50 making it a steal! http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/sainsburys-country-park-new-brown-faux-fur-throw-125x150cm-130086009-p


This textured charcoal throw is from Next Home http://www.next.co.uk/g64730s10#989511, but at £60 – £100 (depending on the size) it’s quite pricey.


Marks and Spencer have this gray one at £89 http://www.marksandspencer.com/faux-fur-throw/p/p22327681?mfPartNumber=T474357A&carousel=FUNV_RR#

For some reason the faux fur cushions are a step too far. Perhaps because Kanye West once tweeted “It’s hard to sleep on fur pillows…” I associate them with the interior decor of a drug lord or an idiot who has more money than taste.


You have to admit they just make everything look so cosy. Like this John Lewis layout (throw £80) http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-faux-fur-throw/p2401182

I guess I’m thinking hygge – cosying up and sitting out the winter. Fur just seems to be the way to go…

It is with a dream of a Danish winter I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a pair of Ice Skates but I like it…


The Dr (my husband) very kindly agreed to take me to a car boot sale on Sunday. This is a rare occurrence and he usually accepts repayment by means of a home cooked Full English.


Anyway, the boot sale was pretty busy this cold, clear morning. I’m quite picky, and I try to only buy the bits I really feel I can’t live without and this time my main purchase was these ice skates.


The guy I bought them off had lots of vintage stuff on his stall and when I picked them up he started telling me how the blades were new. I said I wasn’t going to wear them, I was going to use them as a decoration. He went on to say there was a sad story attached to them but I managed to dodge the sad story – I wasn’t sure I wanted them tainted, but I’m now intrigued! I’m imagining a Bunty-esque story about a brilliant ice skater, involved in a tragic accident who becomes a tough, uncompromising coach.


For the princely sum of £2 I was very happy with my purchase. I thought they’d look nice displayed somewhere at Christmas.


Pinterest has lots of ideas and I’m now very excited about my Christmas decs! I’ll be on maternity leave from the middle of November, with lots of time (hopefully) to plan what I’m putting up.

It is with a festive plan I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Meakin but I like it…

Meakin Carousel


Seriously, how can you not love this bustling carousel with its jolly painted horses and flailing arms? This pattern is called Carousel and it’s a china design by Alfred Meakin.

Meakin clovelly


Meakin are one of the Stoke in Trent pottery companies formed in the late 1800s. They produced lots of cheap ironstone pottery throughout the 19th century.

Meakin Down by the Seine

Down by the Seine

Alfred Meakin operated from a factory in Tunstall. His brothers James and George had a factory nearby and operated under the name J and G Meakin.

Meakin Montmartre


The appeal of the China lay in it’s hard wearing nature and it’s fashionable designs.

Meakin Oklahoma


Many of Meakin’s lines were exported to America, and were very popular there.

Meakin Siesta Mexican

Mexican Siesta

There are several decades of Meakin out there and I was lucky enough to pick some up for a matter of pence at a car boot sale a few years ago. I have also come across it being sold at scandalously high prices in charity and antique shops. It’s rather charming and one of many things I could get addicted to.

Meakin Tunstall Jivers

Tunstall Jivers

I’m keeping an eye out for any on my travels and hope to add some to my collection – for the right price you understand!

It is with a an eagle eye I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a Vintage Christmas but I like it…

It’s my first Christmas in my lovely vintage home and I’ve been so excited about how to decorate it for the festive season. Here’s a quick tour to show you what ideas I’ve gone for.

My tree is of course my centrepiece and it’s covered in vintage baubles.blue baubleSome of them I bought in charity shops and quite a few were my Gran’s.  concave These concave ones are my favourite. I must admit I can’t stop looking at my tree!  Green Bauble I’m lucky to have a gorgeous mantle piece to dress. I started with a set of white lights and added some cards and this handsome stag which I found reduced in Sainsbury’s  supermarket! I had to take him home with me – although the Dr took the edge off a little when he nicknamed him Dobbin…MantleI love way the white lights bring my glass to life – lots of glowing baubles! stag

I think he adds a certain something and although he was fairly expensive I know I’ll use him year after year.

mezzanine 3 Next up is my dining room. For those of you that haven’t seen it, it has a strange little mezzanine level! We inherited it when we moved in and It’ll have to go sometime, but for now I’ve hung some lights on it and it adds to the ambience if nothing else!mezzanineI decorated in here a few weeks back and the walls were looking very white and bare. I decided to buy some vintage sheet music and adverts to brighten it up. I won’t leave them up all year round, but I’ll buy similar sized prints that I can just flip after Christmas.mezzanine2I love vintage advertising – it has such charm and brings back memories.pics

The other advantage is that each of these cost me just a few pounds and a search on eBay brings up hundreds of results to choose from.pics2I went for a piece of vintage sheet music – Where did my Snowman go – which is one we sang at school as kids.pics3I also nabbed an old Quality Street advert and a Peak Freans biscuits poster too. Both of these are products that are inextricably linked to my childhood Christmases. Tins of chocolate and biscuits were definitely reserved as Christmas treats and we looked forward to them with delight. Something so delicious about prising the lid off and finding layers of biscuits nestled under that piece of tissue paper, or sparking sweet wrappers gently squeaking against each other as you run your fingers through them.

silver bowl

My silver bowl car boot sale find looks lovely filled with nuts, oranges and candy canes.candles

I’m a sucker for candles at this time of year and a selection of seasonal scented candles and simple tea light holders make a little flickering arrangement in a corner of my living room. TREE

Of of course this bad boy is the behemoth of Christmas, towering over all with his mostly vintage baubles and his original 1940s lights. Totally adorable and I’m going to cry a little but when I have to pack him away.

I’m happy with how everything is looking but have also been trawling the Internet to see what others have done and there are some amazing ideas out there. I’m definitely going to have a good rummage through the department store decorations in the January Sales and see what treasures I can bag. Just need to brace myself for the crowds!

Merry Christmas!

It is with shin pads and Vaseline at the ready I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Vintage Bauble but I like it…


I have a dream of a vintage Christmas and the long term goal of decorating my tree with only vintage baubles. I got a step closer when I discovered these beauties in a charity shop in Wales. I’ve been watching lots of these on eBay and they go for crazy money – what a find!

All I need now is perfect festive weather…

It is with a wish for a white Christmas I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!


It’s only Ercol but I like it…


We had a chair a little like this in my kitchen when I was growing up. It was just a chair to me at the time, but I always liked its smooth lines and flowing shape. It was comfy and an unusual design with a sprung base and thick cushions on top.


It’s only now I realise how terrible it was that, as teenagers, my brother and I cut the arms off the chair because they made it hard to play the guitar when sitting in it. It was a genuine Ercol chair and they now sell for lots of money on eBay. Plus of course it’s a design classic. I now appreciate that and do feel bad about the untimely amputation of both of it’s arms. I can only apologise…


Lucian Ercolani moved to the UK from Italy in 1898 and began a City and Guilds course to become a furniture designer shortly after. The next 20 years saw him work with many legendary names in furniture (Parker Knoll and G-Plan to name but a few) and it was not long before he established his own company which went from strength to strength. Following the second world war Ercol produced a range of utility furniture, again showing their ability to adapt to the times and meet people’s needs for good quality affordable furniture.


One of of my favourite pieces is the Studio Couch, first introduced in 1956. Made from solid beech and elm it was designed to be a comfortable sofa and double as a guest bed. To me it has a very timeless look and I can see it being easy to incorporate into many themes and colour schemes.


I’ve watched many Ercol sofas on eBay but always been outbid at the last minute, so imagine my delight when a fully refurbished and reupholstered Couch showed up in my very own city! I chatted it over with the Doctor, read the listing thoroughly, discussed a delivery price with the seller, put in an offer £50 short of the asking price – and it was accepted!


I’m not entirely sure where it will go, or what I’ll do with it but it took me ages to get to sleep last night because I was so excited about it! I do have a little vision of how it’ll work but I’m not sharing that just now! It has also got me back into wanting to decorate the rest of the house. I got a bit fed up of decorating because I did so much the first few weeks after we moved in. But now I’m raring to go again…

If you want to bag your own Ercol Couch I suggest you try eBay, like me, or look at their rereleased items available from John Lewis and Furniture Village.


Anyway I’m feeling smug and, in anticipation of the delivery of my sofa on Wednesday, I’m off to look at cushions!

It is with one ear listening out for the doorbell I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it…

It’s only Pyrex but I like it…

I wonder how many of you grew up with some thing like this in your kitchen cupboards? Could you name the brand? Of course you could  – it’s Pyrex!

Pyrex mix

My Mum had a few glass dishes used for serving but my Grandparents were obviously even bigger fans of Pyrex, having a whole dinner service form the popular Opalware range.


This set had enormous oval plates with this very kitsch design around the outside. Thick, strong and durable – pretty trendy at the time I imagine.


This year marks 100 years since Pyrex began selling their wares and their origins are actually quite fascinating. The glass was originally developed as tough glass used for lanterns on the new American railroad. One of the scientists developing it bought the bottom of some jars home and his wife used them for baking. She marvelled at the evenness of the bake and how she could see what was happening in the dish because of the transparent nature of the glass. Pyrex was born!

pyrex ad2

It’s pretty iconic and the range of Pyrex sold over the years is vast. How many casseroles, stews and fish pies have been served up over the years in these dishes? I have a few pieces myself although I must admit I prefer the plain glass to the opalware – I find some of that a bit kitsch, although if you search on instagram some people’s collections of American Pyrex do make me stop and get a bit jealous.

pyrex collection

The pieces I own are the more functional ones – such as the measuring jugs. I love these, they don’t stain or get pitted like the cheap plastic ones, they are strong and durable and last years.

pyrex jug

I also love the basins and these are in and out of my cupboard a million times a week because they’re just so useful. I pop them in the microwave to heat things up, whisk eggs in them and use them for weighing ingredients out.


So from humble beginnings and the experimentation of a keen baker came a range of cookware that’s become a staple in homes all over the world. I’m becoming more and more fond of the milky glassware and I do keep an eye out for some of the folksy patterns I see online. Maybe one day I’ll take the plunge! Until then I can guarantee there will always be some well used Pyrex in my kitchen cupboards – Happy Birthday Pyrex!


It is with a party hat and dish of nibbles I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Print but I like it…

I’ve been busy this summer. Lots of jobs to do in my new house. I was particularly keen to make my living room work. It just wasn’t quite right and despite it being the room I felt I had the most vision for it was the one I was least happy with and the one I enjoyed being in the least!

Beech Living Room

As you can see from this image from the estate agent’s website, the focal point of the room is a gorgeous original 1930s fireplace with teal tiles. It’s the first thing I saw when we viewed the house and I fell in love with it from that moment.

The room was a drab pale blue and pale grey and I – predictably – painted over that with a few coats of brilliant white. Big shout out to my Mum and Bill who helped me paint the walls and even did the ceiling, picture rails and fireplace too. We did the whole (very high ceilinged) room in 48 hours with a few breaks for cups of tea, dinner and, on the last night, a swift pint of ale.


I think you’ll agree it looks very fresh and clean and I finally got round to having a special print framed. My friend Lou (http://www.loupartridge.co.uk) created a personalised giclee print of one of her paintings (Turquoise mackerel with a Skinny Moon) for me a few years ago. She added extra glitter to the mackerel, and extra silver leaf to the moon for me! It has been in storage but I finally took it into town and got Paul and his team at Art Effects (http://www.arteffects-southampton.co.uk) to frame it for me.


I love the green and blue in the print and so I ran around the house and gathered up all the green and blue glass I could find to make those colours pop! I think the plain white background is a brilliant neutral canvas and I’m so happy with the overall look.

I still need to do a big reveal of the whole room, but I’m waiting on some news before I can share that with you. I’m really pleased with this room and I’ve spent so much more time in it lately. I also have a new mission – blue and green glass! That will be my search for the Autumn I think, I’ll see how much I can find in chart shops and at Boot Sales!

It is with a new obsession I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!