Our house is a 1930s semi in the middle of suburbia. You may or may not have noticed me complaining about it being in the middle of suburbia on occasion and it’s really the location I find most distressing – if you could transport this house to say zone two, I’d never complain. It’s a really good size, we have a huge living space and kitchen/diner and three good sized bedrooms. Apart from the one that looks a little like a prison cell, we should really do some decorating upstairs at some point. And I’ve told you about our garden before too.
We both have a big love of mid-century modern furniture and we brought vintage pieces into the relationship when we met and have bought some pieces together since we’ve bought the house. That’s not to say we always agree on furniture – my tendency is towards colours and fun, he prefers classic and simple. And to be honest, we both like comfort and we both worry about money, so whilst it would have been lovely to get the amazing 1920s marble dining table with silver and yellow velvet chairs we saw at the Midcentury Modern fair a few years ago, we couldn’t quite justify the price. Which I believe was somewhere in the tens of thousands. Eeek. Similarly, I’ve never craved a vintage sofa because all those I’ve sat on, which look lovely, are bloody uncomfortable. Seriously, did people in the 50s and 60s not feel pain? There’s no way I’d be able to have a Netflix indulgence weekender on one of those.
Last week, I noticed my mate Chris had posted about The Vintage Furniture Flea on Facebook and as I’ve not been furniture shopping for a while, I decided to invite myself along. And drag the husband along too, mostly to rein me in from buying plastic things.
Sadly (for me, anyway) Chris is in Milan this weekend, so Neil, Marcel & I met for a full English breakfast at the Natural Kitchen in Baker Street then pootled down to Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone. Disclaimer, I didn’t actually pay to get in and I got free tea and cake (thanks Donna!), but I would absolutely pay £2 (or £3 for earlybird entry) if I didn’t have the blog, it’s absolutely worth it. And quite frankly, I would probably give my kidney for one of the cakes, they were AMAZING.
The flea takes place in a gigantic sports hall and features about 20-30 traders, all of whom sell vintage furniture, collectables, kitchenalia and electricals and so much more besides. I had my eye on one of the Retromaps before going – these are vintage schoolroom world maps, utterly gorgeous but way out of our budget for today. However, definitely something I’d save for, they’re really striking and would look amazing in our dining room.
A little more about our house – when we moved in, there was this shelving unit on the wall behind the sofa. It had been filled with knick knacks by the previous owners (who are my folks). I always hated this shelving unit, it just looked cluttered and messy so we had planned to rip it out. But then in recent months, we’ve taking to carefully ‘curating’ (I’m sorry) pieces to go on to it – starting with framed prints that fit within the different sized holes and we’re starting to love it a little more so it may yet stay. Marcel has been looking for a lamp to put on the shelves so he can read books whilst I indulge in yet more Netflix, but we’ve never been able to find one that works well. I’m also a big fan of symmetry and didn’t just want one lamp, thought we should have two. We are so ridiculous, this has caused numerous rows. And I’ve wanted a vintage floor lamp for ages, ideally one of those cinema style lights, but we just don’t have the room height or the space for it.
But today, we found two beautiful lamps for £125 for the pair at the Flea. They’re quite short lamps, so perfect to have over the back of the sofa for reading, and are a lovely burnished gold colour and they’re a pair, so I get symmetry. We’re all winners. I think Marcel would have preferred them not to be gold, but hell, given that I was about to buy a plastic Toucan light, he knew it wasn’t a fight worth having. Well done Marcel.
We also bought a number of vintage prints – a VW campervan advert from the 1970s and a Warhol print. And I bought some beautiful chocolate moulds for a tenner. A little gutted that we currently don’t have a lot of furniture needs – there was some really nice stuff there, a little bit that had been upcycled (which I’m never sure is a good idea) but lots of tables and chairs in really good condition and relatively good value for money – Neil & Chris are in the process of buying a house so I think I filled it about 16 times over in my mind. Thankfully for them, I’m not moving in with them. I’m sure they’re devastated to hear this 🙂
We had a lovely couple of hours at the Flea – it’s not so big that you feel exhausted by the end of it, but there’s enough there that you can find a good bargain. The next Vintage Furniture Flea is on the 31st May in Brixton and then there’s one in Bethnal Green in July. All details are on the website – www.vintagefurnitureflea.com. Thanks to Donna for inviting us along and for the cake, looking forward to seeing you at the next one – we may even come all the way to Brixton for it!