Tag Archives: Heals

Mid-century modern

1 Apr

Oops well there went March, a month of no blogging. I’m placing my blame solely with my employer, The Bookseller. Despite having worked at the mag for four years, the pre-London Book Fair March-madness, which has squeezed nearly 30,000 words out of me, still takes me by surprise and wipes me out for evening/weekend work.

Here’s how I’ll make it up to you. For those of you who are into the heavier stuff, very shortly you’ll find some of the produce of my blood, sweat and Bookseller tears available here, including an interview with legendary picture book duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame, as illustrated below).

Donaldson and Scheffler, my latest victims

(Picture credit: Amazon.co.uk)

And for the rest of you,  herewith an M-themed blog post to pay tribute to MARCH, the neglected month of my birth.

Design, M-style

(Picture credit: Waterstones.com)

I’ve long been a lover of interior design from the 1950s and 60s (think strong Scandi influences, tonnes of teak and of course G-Plan furniture) but thanks in no small part to “Mad Men”, as well as great titles like the above, the rest of the country seems to have gone wild for it too. Unfortunately, aside from now making me far from original, this resurgence in demand for mid-century modern design has pushed prices through the roof. Take this sideboard (much like the one featured in Sterling Cooper’s offices) that I’ve been craving for sometime, as an example. When I confessed my desire to replace the modern sideboard in my flat with one like this, my Dad couldn’t believe it. Back in the day he’d spent many an afternoon helping his mates throw out their old sideboards straight into the skip, and yet this is a costly £595. But that’s trends for you.  So here’s a quick call to any readers who happen to have one of these stashed up in their loft, who would like to give it a new loving new home for rather a lot less that 500 quid?

(Picture credit: johnnymoustache.shop)

Anyway, with the supply/demand/overpricing situation as it is, you’ll understand my glee when I saw there was a Vintage Furniture Flea, happening down the road from me at York Hall in Bethnal Green last weekend. Battling my standard Sunday hangover, with lucky Steve in tow, I set off for York Hall to sniff out a bargain.

Fun at the fair

York Hall, packed with bargain-hunters

Alas a sideboard was not to be had. There was a fine specimen on show, but with a whopping £1000 plus price tag and only a pair of bikes for transport, it had to stay put. Instead, a delightful duo of West German 1960s ceramic jugs produced by Scheurich and sold by a lovely lady from Retropolitan for an undisclosed sum (my Mum might kill me), made their way home with me. They are now looking pretty on my dining room table, aside some lovely artificial roses purchased by Steve for my birthday. What with Sundays spent pot-shopping and boyfriends buying fake flowers, we might have been mistaken for middle-aged, so afterwards we got ourselves down to Broadway market for some BEERS with the lads.

Best in show


If you fancy heading along to a similar fair, take a look here, and here for some forthcoming dates.

Or if woodworm and mothballs aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of modern interpretations to get your hands on. Here’s a few bits and bobs that have been creeping into my cravings list. WARNING, they don’t come cheap!

(Photo credits: retailer's websites as below)


Where to buy

  1. Grey Ella two-seater, Habitat – £1,100
  2. PS Karljohan side table, Ikea – £50.96
  3. Yellow Dinky sofa, Heals – £1,795
  4. Matthew Hilton Sideboard, John Lewis – £1,450
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Christmas shopping commences

28 Nov

It feels like only yesterday that I was excitedly posting about the start of autumn and its potential for new purchases, and yet twice in the last week I’ve been asked if I’ve done my Christmas shopping yet. Are they mad? It’s not even December! Of course, the purpose of this question is purely to provide the person asking with an opportunity to reveal that they’ve already done all theirs with more than a hint of smugness. But, the result has been panic on my part. I tried telling myself that for as long as I can remember I’ve managed to complete the whole gift-buying/wallet-emptying process in two manic days in the week before Christmas, but the damage has been done. The stressful experience will now have to be dragged out over the next month.

I’m currently undertaking stage one: inspiration-seeking research. This has involved scouring some of my favourite mags: Elle Decoration and Stylist, and trawling websites such as Etsy, Bouf and a new design blog I’ve been enjoying called ACHICA Living. Take a look – you’ll soon be sucked in. Although if you can’t be bothered, I’ve been kind enough to share the fruits of my browsing for your perusal below. Feel free to steal my finds, or if you are friends or relatives kind enough to want to buy me a present this Christmas you might like to bear in mind my gift-buying strategy I mentioned in my previous post—I tend to look for things I want myself!

So here goes:

10 present ideas for friends and family – better known as my Christmas list

(Photo credits: retailer websites as listed below)

I decided it was too dangerous to start looking for clothes as gifts at a time when I’ve been wobbling in my no shopping challenge, so I’ve stuck to looking for quirky knick-knacks for the home. Strangely without my realising, the majority of my picks are book and bird related. The first is not hard to understand: the vast amount of books I keep acquiring through my work is making my colour-coded bookshelf hard to manage, as such I’ve been keen to find some new book display methods. But I’ve got no idea what my bird obsession means—read into it what you will. That said, I defy anyone not to find the bird house for storing your keys seriously cute! Unfortunately, Steve told me I wasn’t allowed to spend £10 on a key ring and reminded me it is impossible to put anything up on our concrete walls without a commercial drill and plenty of drama!

Details of my picks and where to buy them are below:

  1. Silver Book Ends, £17.50 – Dutchbydesign.com
  2. Flock of Birds Wall Sticker, £19.99 – Zazous at Bouf.com
  3. Eames House Bird, £109 – Ivor-innes.co.uk
  4. Umbra Conceal Book Shelf, £10 – Exitinteriors.com
  5. Cubic Black Sparrow and House Key Ring, £10 – Exitinteriors.com
  6. FSC Wooden Wine Rack, £85 – Johnlewis.com
  7. The Hound of the Baskervilles Complete Text Poster, £24.99 – Spinelessclassics.com
  8. Illuminated World Globe, £39.95 – Kitsch.co.uk
  9. Wild and Wolf Green Trim Phone, £40 – Heals.co.uk
  10. Orla Kiely 1L Blue Poppy Meadow Storage Jar, £19 – Heals.co.uk

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