As a director of a busy home interiors and furniture company, sometimes its hard to find time to go to the places you love as much as you would like, but sometimes, I will make time somehow, for what is ‘my guilty pleasure’
Truth be told, it is actually my second favourite place on earth, but my favourite place is my bed, and that wouldn’t make an interesting article at all – Stories of falling asleep aren’t what top selling novels are made of after all!
So my favourite place (when I’m awake) is, not surprisingly for a female who happens to be an interiors buyer, a Furniture and interiors shopping destination – Hemswell Antiques Centres in Lincolnshire , which is apparently the largest antiques centre in Europe, yet just 45 minutes from my home.
I can easily spend a full week there, after all it is vintage heaven, but I try and limit it to a few hours to show I do have willpower!
My Home is Edwardian, so antique and vintage items are perfect for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love repro vintage just as much. I couldn’t do what I do for a living if I didn’t, and some things just need to be clean and new don’t they, but my true passion is real vintage. Never expensive though, as I tire of things sometimes a little too easily to be handing over hundreds of pounds, so you are more likely to see me buying mid-century kitsch, and quirky industrial style stuff or inexpensive pretty mirrors and accessories than a mega bucks work of art, albeit I have to stop and ogle those too.
Now I do love a small independent vintage shop, an antiques market or a charity shop (or even looking in the odd skip!) any day of the week, in fact passing a charity shop without going in is an ability I do not possess, but well, Hemswell, has all of this. They have at least 7 different old aircraft buildings; some will offer low priced vintage bric-a-brac, with several ‘priced too cheaply’ golden nuggets hidden amongst them if you are prepared to look closely (I should not be telling you this!)
And some offer High priced antiques, but still worth a visit as they will have beautiful reasonably priced bits and pieces hidden amongst the expensive stuff. I saw this stunning window mirror on a recent visit, but I think I will have to love this and walk away again, as sadly my walls are full to capacity
However over the years, I have amassed lots of vintage items from here, and here’s both some I have recently bought, and some I’ve owned and loved for years
Alongside (and on top of) the mirror collection, my new purchase this week (I said I do buy new too) is this gorgeous enamel finish flora jug from M & S & the artificial flower arrangement is from a selection from Melody Maison
My favourite recent vintage purchase though, and one I think you could easily put in a London boutique for 4 times the price is this gorgeous Pineapple, whose leaves are actual olive forks, This was £9! I do eat olives, but this one just took up residency in my dining room, looking pretty here with other items of loveliness I own.
And in my downstairs loo, an ornate mid century gold wall mirror, as you can see from the wallpaper, the theme in here is ostentatious , so a very showy mirror is what was required here.
I also love elegant vintage glassware. I own way too much for one small family. This beautiful little selection of cut glasses cost £3 each and looks lovely against the dark background and a silver tray
and here’s some ‘now where have I got an spare inch of room this might go’ checklist So I come home, and generally don’t find said space, but kick myself for not buying it , and generally it wont be there next time I go anyway
these stunning hand embroidered exotic Birds, probably from the 60s/70s , are so on trend at the moment, sadly wall space dictated another walk away, although as I type this, Im planning a re-visit, they may still be there……….
Til next time x
Anna Elkington – Founder of Melody Maison Furniture & Interiors