Thrifty Finds | Vintage Enamel Bowls

Chiswick Car Boot

After a few disappointing expeditions to car boots that didn’t even warrant a Punt, I wandered back to good old Chiswick for some thrifty pieces.  I love mid-century shabby chic items, so was really please to find some large enamel bowls with a suitable amount of wear and tear. The seller was a lovely lady in her 50s who had a beautiful stall offering bundled swatches of patterned fabric, handmade recycled paper, homemade lavender hearts, wicker baskets, bowls and wooden furniture galore. I found these little gems nestled underneath some stacked metal hanging baskets that would have been perfect for making kitsch paper or candle chandeliers, however I had to make a choice, so I went with these. The lady charged me the offensively cheap sum of just £1 each, so I couldn’t refuse to buy both, eventhough I haven’t a clue where they are going to go. But as the old saying goes, you can never have too many old and battered enamel bowls.

Top 5 Buys | Chairs

Clockwise from top right: Danish Teak Dining Chair with Papercord seat £185 Danish Homestore, PS Slingra £69 Ikea, Eames DKR2 (Bikini Chair) £120 Eames Inspired Collection, 1950s Green Club Chair £390 (set of 4) Yesterday Furniture, 675 Robin Day £200 Habitat.

Rather than a bulky lounging chair or an army of dining chairs cluttering up your precious open plan living space, why not opt for a stylish occasional chair. It can sit in the corner as a reading chair beside an arching floor lamp or by the record player with some headphones, ready. If you can’t afford to splash out so much for a seating feature, then head to Ebay for some original vintage or retro inspired Danish delights for a fraction of the price.

Interior | The Brick House

After buying a small mid-century brick house in the middle of ‘retirement hell’ in America’s West Coast Helmet, CA, Morgan and The Boy (her dutiful handyman boyfriend) set up a beautiful blog dedicated to the thrifty renovation of their newly purchased home.

With the abundant availability of 1940s – 1960s furniture in America, Morgan’s Brick House has become a haven of classic design with a minimalist twist. Working with a small palette of colours and materials, she has brought her stage by stage transformation, design style and thrifting savvy to the world.

Setting tasks and projects that readers can easily follow and replicate, Morgan has shown how simple it is to create stylish interior design on a tight budget. Vowing to never spend more than $100 on any given item, they scan Craiglist for local furniture and Home Depot for cheap materials, making stunning pieces in the truest sense of DIY.

Check out their ingenious homemade bookshelf in particular, built from spray painted pipes and planks of stained wood which has been copied and showcased on a number of crafty/interior blogs – and possibly will be on this one at some point!

Courtesy of The Brick House

The Brick House

DIY | Retro Bookcase

After relieving my parents of their 1970s teak bookcase that was blocking the hallway, I decided to reinvent it as a retro bookcase to house all of my magazines.

You will need

  • Detail Sander
  • Mask & Goggles
  • Base Coat Primer
  • Paint of choice (B&Q’s Antique Grey Satin Gloss)
  • Clear Varnish Matt or Satin

Process

  • Sand down the wood using an electric detail sander (the triangle one) so that you can get right into the corners. Wear your mask and goggles, because there will be a lot of dust flying around!
  • Give the wood two coats of primer or base if you intend to paint it with a lighter colour.
  • Paint with colour of choice (I went for Antique Grey Satin Gloss – B&Q), leave to dry and then paint a second coat.
  • If you are using gloss like I did, wait at least 12 hours between painting and varnishing as the gloss will still be really tacky.
  • Paint with a one coat clear varnish, matt so that it’s not glossy on top of glossy.
  • Then style your magazines, treasured possessions or voluminous clutter to taste.

Top Tip

Use plastic sheets instead of newspaper underneath whatever you are painting, so that the fresh wet paint doesn’t get stuck to it.