Saturday, October 04, 2008

‘Something Old, Something New’…..

Walking around my local car boot sale early the other morning, I was suddenly struck by how much modern ‘stuff’ was piled on all of the tables. In many cases, the stall holders must have bought some of the items only a year or so ago, and here they were trying to claw back the odd 50pence, when goodness knows what was paid for the goods in the first place. Acres of plastic and children’s toys aplenty, dodgy decorative gimmicks such as dancing daisies and singing fish plaques that come alive when you clap your hands at them; as well as mountains of lampshades, old saggy cushions, DVD’s and clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recycling, but was half of this stuff actually needed in the first place? So many seem to jump on the next fashion to hit the high street, only to fill their homes with yet more trinkets to replace the ones that are now out of favour…..

Those of you who have visited a large car boot sale in the past, will know that stalls with genuine antique items are few and far between. You really have to scan hard sometimes to find that odd item from a granny's attic or perhaps a small item of furniture that has been cluttering up someone’s garage.
Having written my blog for over two years now, I know that many of you are on my wavelength. Us ‘vintage-loving-girls’ know the secret of not being influenced too much by the high street and glossy magazines and to be comfortable surrounding ourselves with time-worn objects that have far more character than anything that could be bought new. There are items in my home that I have had all my married life (23 1/2 years now!) which I still love. (Yes, hubby is one of them!) We eat from vintage china, textiles are recycled continually, furniture plays a merry game of ‘musical chairs’ about the house, as I find new ways to use it and places for it to sit for a while. It’s a way of life that I have always enjoyed and I love how our home is unique and uncontrived when filled with the pretty objects that we want to look at.

Furthermore, should any of us decided to part with some of our vintage treasures, we are far more likely to see a return on our investment, or at least to break even. Once a purchase has been made on the high street it is unlikely that said item could then be sold the next day for the purchase price. Most of us don’t buy with a view to making a profit, I know, but we can feel slightly smug knowing that if the time comes, we are quite likely to get our money back on a vintage item, to spend again on something else that we prefer.

I’m aware of the irony with what I am saying; here I am offering vintage goods for sale in my on-line shop - I would be lost without the modern technology that allows me to have my small internet business. Of course there is a place for modern articles in our homes, but I will always prefer to surround myself with the older pieces whenever possible.
For example, would you prefer the ‘Hemnes’ mirror being sold by IKEA for £39.00 at the moment?...
Or a Barbola rose topped creation; an indulgent £20 auction purchase many years ago?
The 'Spindle' table lamp from Habitat at £55......
Or a £1 plaster lampbase, purchased from a car boot sale, topped by a recycled lampshade frame with a handmade vintage fabric cover?
Lakeland sell a china cake stand for £14.99......
My original 1950's ones came from charity shops for less than £5 each.
The 'Southwold' fabric covered arm chair by Laura Ashley costs £525....
Whereas my comfy old armchair was re-covered in a C19th French linen sheet for around half that amount.
Finally, a touch of sparkle from Accessorize; the snowflake brooch costs £10
Or you could have several for that price by buying at a flea market!
"Happy Shopping"....where ever you prefer to shop!
Enjoy the weekend,
Niki x


  1. Anonymous3:07 pm

    Hi Niki
    I completely agree, I really enjoy browing charity shops and jumble sales for unique time worn finds for my home - or just for me! Much more original and individual than some mass produced badly made (& overpriced!) item.
    Best wishes.

  2. Anonymous3:57 pm

    Good point! I treasure my old things as opposed to the newer, tackier ones. Your post just renews that and gives me a new eye. Have a lovely weekend.

  3. I definitley prefer the old goodies!

  4. I'd so love to go shopping with you, Niki! =) I haven't set foot in IKEA yet (and it's in the town where I grew up, so I have no excuse)! lol I prefer the old treasures so much more. If fact, most of the furniture in our house (hand-me-downs) came from hubby's and my parents and grandparents. I still use the same bureau that I grew up with since babyhood - and back in that day my Mom bought it as an antique then, too! =)

  5. I'm with you I must admit the vintage items always trump the modern purchases. I do mix vintage and new but the vintage style rules. You'll see from my blog that I buy a lot of items I'm putting away for my home i hope to buy next year and everyone will be eating off vintage plates and drinking out of rose covered cups and saucers.

    I find so many of the modern looks so souless and not at all homely

    Victoria x

    Ps A friend & I play a game at boot sales on who's the first to stop the Friends videos for sale...

  6. Of course if you really love shopping there's always a finite amount you can spend - this way it just goes further. But I think you have to be a bit creative and enjoy the thrill of the hunt - You can't exactly have a shopping list! The number of times I've gone to an auction to find kitchen chairs (I still need 3 more!) and come home with....well anything else you can think of really! Oh yes, that's the other thing you need - a tolerant hubby! t.x

  7. Hi T,
    Yes, you are right - it was a point I meant to add to this post but forgot. Vintage shopping is a way of life - you have to practise patience when it comes to sourcing the everyday items that you need for your home. Like you say, you can have a list, but the right thing may not be available on a particular shopping trip, so you have to persevere. An open mind to what else is available (and that tolerant hubby!) goes a long way too.
    Good luck finding those chairs - 'All good things come to he who waits',
    Niki x

  8. Yep, totally agree. I personally don't want my house decorated in the latest MFI style and prefer the vintage look with modern convenience.
    Give me the experience of vintage shopping than a modern day retail environment any day.

  9. Oh I do agree Niki! and I hate going to a flea market or car boot where people are selling modern stuff,it holds absolutely no charm for me,looking at your pics,I am so going to have a go at covering a lampshade,yours look lovely!

  10. I couldn't agree with you more. Buying vintage instead of new is so much better. It adds a nostalgic feeling of warmth to our homes that no high tech new items ever could.

    What a lovely post.


  11. Hi Niki, you are so absolutely right with everything you say in your post.
    Old or vintage things have so much more soul than new and modern ones.

  12. I agree, the vintage things are usually more charming, better made, and they have a sweet past!
    Love the older things, no newish piece will ever set my heart to fluttering like a vintage or antique piece will.:)
    xo Lidy

  13. Anonymous11:50 am

    Yes, Nikki, could'nt agree more. You do need patience but its so much fun. I have just had some alterations to our home so that I now have my own work room (bliss) and have furnished it with finds from dealers,car boots and charity shops.I have had so much fun collecting things over time to put away for "my room" and have saved a fortune, love the blog, best wishes Sue x

  14. Anonymous12:52 pm

    Oh, Niki, I perfectly agree with you (of course, as I am 'your- blog- addict' !:))... Vintage or recycled things have such a warmth, they have that 'previous loved' charm that nothing new can have...
    Of course you must be patient, but this usually pays in the long run (I found the old furniture I told you about for a nothing)...
    Fortunately, hubby likes the way I furnish and embellish our home- I know I am very lucky because of that!

    Have a great week,

    Monica x.
    P.S love your Barbola mirror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. It's something I think every time I go to a boot sale. Last year's "must have" is now dumped under the table on a field. And the toys! I can't believe how many toys there always are - what happened to having a few treasured dolls & bears for your whole childhood (and beyond!)?

    Do I sound like an old biddy? LOL!

  16. Another great post!
    Thanks so much, Niki!
    Debbie Moss

  17. Anonymous4:33 pm

    This post should be at least a magazine article or the basis of your book.You are going to write a book, aren't you? Loved it. Please stop by and read about Mrs. Custard's tea with the cheeky American. She's a doll and much prettier in person than my son's photo.

  18. You certainly won't get an argument from me Niki! Those new things leave me cold.
    I always love your photos!

  19. Hi Niki
    I think to buy vintage, or anything to recycle, you need forsight,imagination and your own personal you have this in bucket loads, so you make it look fact we all make it look easy, and we take this for granted. But I truly think it is really hard for some people to see this, or to see through the commercial stuff they are being fed... it isn't easy. But I just loved your comparissons, and agreed with every word, fabulous.
    Hugs Lynn xx

  20. I am so with you! Great post! I would take old over new any day...and it still always amazes me the care that went into items long you can only rely on things for a short span...sad really :(

  21. oh vintage and charity shops and recyling every time. I stop myself from buying new from big shops because I think to myself that's another fat cat boss who has just got another bonus!

  22. Hello Niki
    I can't help but feel the same way you do...Vintage is so much more charming and wonderful. Treasures that tell hidden stories of times gone by. I would much rather enjoy a vintage treasure than a new modern purchase for sure. Thanks for sharing your beautiful post! Pinkie

  23. Car boots, charity shops, flea markets, there's no contest, vintage is always best. I love your cake stands.

  24. Hi Niki, love your gorgeous, its no fun going to the high street is it, id rather go junking any day of the week!!

    I will email you soon - i am going through depression big time at the moment...I dont think 2008 is my year!

    hope all of your lot is ok...speak to you soon - love hayley x

  25. Very clever to compare such items & I am with you all the way! You know my home, its hardly got anything new or modern in it.. and it has always been that way since I moved into my first bedsit in the 1980's !!!

  26. I loved this post.

    Hmm, I was just thinking about this very subject, actually - we have a local antiques market, held once a month. I have seen new items (sold within the past year at a "big box" retailer) labeled vintage, with a 400% mark-up. With so many reproductions, and the popularity of vintage and shabby things, you need to keep on your toes (and shop around!) so as to not be so easily parted with your money!

    Gorgeous pictures, I love your sense of taste. I've had you on my blogroll for eons but think it's been nearly as long since I have kept up with reading it. Love to see vintage and thrifted goodies from across the pond! :)


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx