Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shopping Around...

I know I've written a couple of comparison posts before in my blogs distant past (here and here), but I thought I'd just do the same thing once more to tell you the story of one of my latest finds.
You see, to me, why would someone go off to Laura Ashley for example, looking for a traditional style dressing table and be willing to hand over £750 for this example:

(Photo courtesy of Laura Ashley)
Or £900 for this one:

(Photo courtesy of Laura Ashley)
When there is so much more out there waiting to be discovered?
Each to his own, I know. Of course the high street chains can provide the quick answer, but with a little bit of trawling around the small independent shops, who knows what you might turn up?

Something with a bit more character perhaps, and story to tell?
The 'house clearance' person told me that they had recently cleared a Manor House, which had belonged to a racing driver of the 1920's. (I'm trying to work out who that may have been...)
The home was filled with some beautiful items, one of which was this delightful hand painted dressing table.
I admit that I wasn't actually looking for a dressing table when I spied it sat in the shop window, but instantly knew it was for me. It will eventually go into one of our spare bedrooms when the girls leave home (middle daughter has decided to come home again and will be going to our local uni as from September - 3rd time lucky, as she's changed her mind again, bless she'll be here for another 3 1/2 years yet! - but I won't go into that right now!)
The girls were not impressed with the 'new' dressing table, it has to be said, so for now I've found a home for it in our master bedroom...its a little bit cramped, but I will suffer the lack of space in order to keep it! ;-))

I already had the little blue French chair, which came from a flea market many years ago. It slotted underneath very nicely, as if they had been made for each other.
Lift up the heavy lid and there's a nice surprise - a mirror, with a void beneath for storing make-up etc.

A carefully hand painted flower garland decorates the narrow frame at the corners.

And there's more...

Lift up the side panels and there are two more storage compartments...

Revealing more pretty flowers!
And would you believe it? This little beauty wasn't even a quarter of the price of the Laura Ashley dressing table! So...I haven't been too extravagant...have I?

(A couple of photos taken with flash - I'm never keen on the end results with a flash, but as the dressing table sits in the window, it was tricky to capture.)

I think its that March feeling again; spring is finally starting to make an appearance, and so I do plan on doing a huge reshuffle around our home next weekend during the Easter break, and will justify my recent splurge by saying that I will be ruthless and let some other items go...a few of my treasures will probably end up for sale in my shop, eventually. As I've said in one of those previous posts - you can usually get your money back on a vintage/antique item, or even make a small profit - unlike most modern pieces that usually loose their value as soon as they are bought (unless you keep them long enough for them to become antique too!)
I'm signing-off for now; I have two days to do in the shop (I will be closed on Saturday this week) and then hubby and I have a romantic couple of days planned, as we are celebrating. I may report back next week! ;-))
Thank you to all who made a purchase from my on-line shop - I feel blessed that you hadn't forgotten about me now that more of my time is spent away from my website.
Have a lovely weekend, won't you?!
Niki xx


  1. Oh! What a wonderful find! I love the it!

  2. Beautiful things ^-^!!!

  3. A beautiful find, Niki! It looks so perfect with your chair!

  4. Dear Niki
    the painted dressing table is so beautiful and looks as though it is in mint condition - what a great find! I know entirely what you mean about the high street vs. the secondhand - what I love about the 'previously loved' items is that nobody else is likely to have them. And I've always liked the idea of being different ;-)
    Is it your Wedding Anniversary celebration? Wishing you a most wonderful time and a very Happy Anniversary! A weekend away is just the best treat possible!
    Happy days,
    Denise x

  5. NIKI!
    how could you be so cruel as to show us that little beauty without putting a great big NFS sign first!
    However I came down to Honiton & Ilminster today and although I didn't really have time to visit you I would've made an exception to come and snap that little beauty up, had she been for sale (oh yes and had I known that she was there)!
    Do have a fantastic romantic break, I am positive that it is well earned & needed.
    Tracey x

  6. You are so right, the older things have soooo much more character. Your vanity table is just incredibly wonderful. Can't believe the daughters don't love it, it's so feminine and pretty.

  7. That is a wonderful find & a great treat that you deserve! Have a wonderful weekend. xx

  8. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't realise just how good!!!! So glad you're keeping it.

    Have a super weekend!

    Sue xx

  9. How gorgeous is that dressing table!! I would never buy new furniture, never have,there is no need when you can have something as lovely as that....

  10. I love a piece with a story to tell! Lovely find.
    I guess with your shop being the main feature these days(love it!)it makes a nice change for you to blog abut something you do, or like, or buy for yourself.
    Thanks for sharing it Niki. xxxxx

  11. such a beautiful dressing table! I was desperate for one of those similar to the Laura Ashley one that you posted, but yours is SO much better!
    Enjoy your weekend off!
    Becky :-)

  12. Just Stunning!! I too would make a space in my already filled home for something that good. Lucky you.
    Jenny x

  13. It's absolutely charming Niki & I know exactly what you mean - you can buy "proper" furniture at auction or second hand for a fraction of the flat pack chipboard stuff from Ikea & I can't see why people would buy that instead!
    We recently bought a lovely solid oak desk which was a lot cheaper than those from the high street which are only veneer.

    Enjoy your break!


  14. I only wish it was here in Australia, better still in my home!
    It is a stunning peice, and in remarkable condition.Im so glad you are keeping it!

  15. Hi Niki! I love your new dressing table! It is such a beautiful piece of artwork with those handpainted flowers!

  16. If only you could ship that dressing table across the pond. It could fit right in with me! Have some very good days in the shop and then a lovely weekend. Thanks for sharing. ♥♪

  17. Simply lovely! What a great find, I can see why you want to hold onto it. It goes in your room very nicely! Enjoy your little celebration!

  18. attila10:29 pm

    Gorgeous dressing table (drool). I think people go for new because they are looking for a quick result; they know they can just go and buy it. But the thrill of the hunt, the sudden excitement of the perfect find (and the price!) does it for me; most of our stuff is second hand (not actually antique).

  19. Don't blame you for squishing it in, it's perfectly lovely and so so much more beautiful and original than the mass produced.

    The only new furniture we have are the sofa's, everything else is old, chipped, slightly wobbly and unique. I'm sure the buy new gang would think we're all off our rockers and probably feel sympathy for us with our 'second hand tatty' stuff.

    Lisa x

  20. Hmmm, wasn't Barbara Cartland a Racing car driver at one time???
    But then the dressing table would have been PINK surely? LOL!

    Have a lovely weekend and happy ???? celebrations.
    Sandie xx

  21. I know which one I would choose! Beautiful. Would be nice to trace previous ownership.

  22. such a lovely dresser! you are so lucky to buy it.. love the colour & handpainted floral drawing..

  23. What a beautiful find. I'm glad you have room for it in your bedroom, so that you can enjoy it.

  24. Guenievre8:58 am

    Cette table est magnifique !!! J'aime vraiment beaucoup ! La finesse de la peinture des fleurs est superbe ... arghhh, j'aurais bien aimé avoir cette jolie console chez moi, lol.
    Passez un bon week-end avec votre mari.

  25. Absolutely LOVE that dressing table, just adore old hand painted furniture. Couldnt agree with you more about buying beautiful old furniture (of course I am an antique dealer so am biased lol!)

  26. Hi Niki
    Lovely dressing table, much more appealing than those bought from the High Street. I would rather have an old piece of furniture any day.
    Jo xx

  27. Totally agree and no-one else will have one the same. What a find!

  28. Quite agree. I get quite cross when I see prices like that and the stuff isn't even good quality. All the effort and love thats been put into making these older bits and bobs make them feel so much 'more'.A truly beautiful piece, well done for finding it!

  29. What a truly wonderful find. Love the colour and the flower garland is just lovely. Could it have been Stirling Moss do you think? He was the top driver of th 20's.

  30. I agree, better to scour around and find a hidden treasure like this piece. It's beautiful. As an avid antique auction goer in Australia, I often see such pieces. I've also bought things, only to realise I don't have anywhere to put them.

  31. Anonymous7:38 pm

    I'll take that gorgeous vintage dressing table over the Laura Ashley repro at any price!



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