Go Potty For Ceramics!

As you have no doubt gathered, when I fall, I fall deep. It’s addiction, but bordering on obsessional. For some girls it’s a man but for me it’s …. Ceramics! Yes my George Clooney is a teacup and my Benedict Cumberbatch is a side plate (OK I’m not saying I’d choose a side plate over Benedict but I’m less likely to find him gathering dust on a shelf in a charity shop!)

I have some beautiful pieces I have collected over the years, some floral and vintage and some that favour my current passion which is for the darker side of interiors.

This stunning vase I came upon at my beloved Hemswell antique centre for just £28. It’s the most amazing deep peacock blue and it had me at hello! (Benedict would have had me before hello incidentally!)

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Peacock blue is a passion for me right now, how stunning is this shiny vase

I frequently move stuff around rooms, depending on my mood, as sitting in a cupboard behind glass is all very well to keep dust at bay, but some things need to be admired in close range.  I do have some very delicate bits in a velvet lined sitting room cabinet, mainly some very Downton Abbey-esque Noritake Ive been collecting for years, so pretty, I never get bored of looking at these.

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Pretty Noritake China

Now, I’m not the sort of person who lives in perpetual state of tidiness and I don’t normally have my dining table laid for a dinner party I’m not going to have, but on fishing some china plates out of a dark cupboard recently, I felt the need to stage this just for a few weeks so I can remind myself of the loveliness that is vintage china, none of this was more than a few pounds a piece. Some from charity shops, some from vintage shops.

 

This gorgeous bowl and matching plate with the scalloped edge was from a lovely local vintage shop not far from our  own shop, Melody Maison, in Harworth, Near Doncaster  (see below for both shops directions ) and is perfect for a Christmas dinner table for the obligatory Cranberry sauce offering.

Like all good china nuts, I do own a ‘full matching set’ that would make your Nana proud, and allow me to offer tea to HM The Queen (should she drop in!) and I have used this at Christmas before, but with a family of 20-26 to feed for most of our family Christmas lunch’s , it doesn’t stretch that far so, I did pull together every mismatched floral china plate I own to do a vintage style Christmas table (not sure the male relatives appreciated the daintiness of the plates but it looked lovely!)

Ceramics are not just for the dining table or sitting room cabinet though,  my bathroom pretties have appeared in my blog before,. A beautiful lined pine vintage wall cupboard, also from Hemswell Antiques Centre, is now crammed with all manner of  vintage ceramic plates, pots, vases and figures and, I can sit looking at them all from the bath!

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Cupboard full of all things pretty

 

I can’t go without showing you some splendid china from House of Fraser Ive been admiring. This is the quirky ‘n’ vintage versus the pretty ‘n’ vintage sides of me battling as per usual. Peacocks and roses are up there in my top 5 list of things I adore right now (this list also includes Mr Cumberbatch!) and depending on the day of the week, I cant choose my fave. I love greens and pinks equally too.

And here’s just some of the lush ceramic pieces we currently have in the Melody Maison shop.

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A small selection of gorgeous grey and green ceramics in the Melody Maison shop

If you are ever near Doncaster,  Tickhill or Bawtry do come and visit, we’re ever such a nice bunch and we have oodles of gorgeous things like this to coo over ( be quick though cos Im pretty sure those goregeous green urns are going to find their way to my house if they catch my eye line one more time!)

 

click here for link for address/directions for the Melody Maison shop 

Until next time, happy collecting and vintage shopping

Anna x

oo, as promised,  heres a link to address for Forget Me not Antiques in Tickhill (why not visit us both, we are just 2 miles apart)

Learn about the best place for interiors shopping on Planet Earth!

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.

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Just one of Hemswell antique Centres many buildings

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.

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The amazing wildlife I saw on a recent visit! – I bought 2 of them!

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!)

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This little kitsch fella was just £25, sadly I walked away without him

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

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A gorgeous vintage window converted to a shabby chic mirror

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

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My vintage bathroom mirror collection, 3 of which came from Hemswell

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.

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1960’s Olive fork Pineapple

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.

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My downstairs loo wall mirror

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

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Vintage tray and glasses

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

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Vintage embroidered Exotic Birds

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

 

 

Great ideas for how to decorate your home using Animals as a theme

Shabby, kitsch and quirky….

…are not the names of my pets!  (maybe they should be)  but rather what sums up my taste in interior décor

Currently I have a penchant for what I call ‘critter chic’   – that’s animals and birds in all shapes, styles and sizes, from parrots to peacocks and pooches to foxes. In fact animal décor is so in vogue at the moment, it is impossible to not find some new cutie or some vintage weird n wonky creature everywhere I go.

My own wall mounted stag
My own wall mounted stag

Every room in my home differs in style, but what ties them together is they are all crammed with bits n bobs n trinkets, including quite a few critter’s from our own Melody Maison and Windsor Browne stores

brass monkeys from www.windsorbrowne.co.uk
its brass monkeys out there! – £33.95 from http://www.windorbrowne.co.uk

My bedroom – My bedside table has a beautiful perched bird lamp I purchased some time ago from our Melody Maison showroom, and the pink trinket box with gold kingfisher is a recent purchase from next

My bedside table bird friends
My bedside table bird friends

My sitting room – has a botanical Victoriana theme, so I have managed to incorporate some elegant parrots, foxes and even a tortoise in here. My current favourite recent purchase is a gold framed ceramic parrot and cockatiel pair, from asda – Yes asda of all places – this could quite easily have appeared in a quirky high end boutique at 3 times the price, and I’d of probably still bought it, but at a bargain £8.00, I can imagine they wont be there for long.

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cockatiel & parrot in gold frame – pieces of 8, pieces of 8….pounds!

and  my other recent quirky purchase is a distressed gold tortoise bowl, from one of my favourite quirky designers, Abigail Aherne .

My gold tortoise sweetie dish by Abigail Aherne
My gold tortoise sweetie dish by Abigail Aherne

So if you are looking to add some cute or quirky friends to your decor, go subtle and sweet with a small piece, like this cute piggy mirror from Melody Maison….

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3 little vain pigs!

or go bold touch with this amazing wallpaper from wallpaperdirect, I love it!  I’m putting this on my future room décor wish list, possibly for my downstairs loo? I’ll keep you posted on that project in due course.

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Wow! Gold framed animals on the walls?

And finally, even my bathroom doesn’t escape the animal magic! My bathroom is very vintage, and my cute ceramic kitsch dogs take pride of place in my wall mounted display cabinet which is full of stuff just like your Nana used to have… ‘Nana chic’ anyone?  All from boot sales, and vintage shops

My little bunch of Kitsch n vintage ceramic dogs …. Poodle power!
My little bunch of Kitsch n vintage ceramic dogs …. Poodle power!

and I have managed to find someone who loves this look even more than I do, hey, why stop at 3 dogs! – This room shot was one I found on pintrest of someone’s room,  who clearly has a very similar love of vintage kitsch dog stuff.

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Vintage pooches collection AKA ‘Nana chic’

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this weeks blog, let me know what you think and about your animal passions.

Happy Bank holiday weekend all!

Anna Elkington

(oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, my pet dog’s real names are Maggie, Archie and Ruby….warning cute dog picture alert!)

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My 3 naughty, but adorable pooches!

Welcome to Parrots in the Parlour

Welcome to Parrots in the Parlour

Hi, I am Anna , the founder  of Melody Maison , a leading UK based Shabby chic  & French style interiors company.

When I am not running the business, (and our sister companies Flora Furniture And Windsor Browne) I am usually found either with my family, or pursuing my interiors passion in one way or another. I can often be found searching for vintage finds, or re-decorating a room (i do this a lot, I must be infuriating to live with!!) One thing I am passionate about is creating not only unique, but also affordable interiors.

My blog will include the stuff that inspires me, that I hope will in turn will inspire and interest you,  like the places I see, my own home, bargain home finds, my vintiquing passion,  ideas for room decor, vintage homes, but also I write about my journey from Mom to large scale business owner

So welcome to my home, my ideas, and my world of running a successful interiors company. hope you will come along for the ride
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the name ‘parrots in the parlour’ relates to my current decorating fetish for ornamental critters,at the moment I have several ornamental parrots adorning my sitting room!