Archive | September, 2011

French flea market finds

11 Sep

So, last weekend I went to Lille for La Braderie – want to see what came back avec moi?

French jam jars were actually on my shopping list so I was pleased to track these down. I’m hosting a dinner party next weekend and I plan to set the table using these jars as water glasses with the napkins and cutlery inside to save space on my dinky tulip table. If you’re wondering, the linen napkins are from H&M and I picked up the monogrammed cutlery last year at Wimbledon car boot.

I already had a few old pharmacy bottles in my bathroom and had to have this French medicine advertising poster as soon as I spied it.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

Lastly, this has to be my favourite. There were enough charming old French toys amongst the stalls that my friend and I were debating how I could incorporate a toy department into my dream of opening a little vintage homeware / florist / tea shop one day. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with this little chap. Isn’t he sweet?


A is for Aran

9 Sep

I thought it would be fun to put together an A-Z list of all things Pinterest. I may or may not ever reach Z but I’m going to give it a shot!

Sunday marks the end of Wool Week (supported by Prince Charles no less) and all sorts of wooly events and collaborations in fashion and homeware have been organised to boost the profile of this most precious and versatile natural fibre.

So without further ado, let’s kick things off…

A is for Aran

{arenbi via Pinterest}

{Toast via Pinterest}

{Atlantic Blanket Company via Pinterest}

{b-francy via Pinterest}

Looking at all these lovely cosy knits, maybe winter’s not such a depressing prospect after all. If you’re hooked on Pinterest too, click the button in the sidebar to follow my boards for a daily dose of visual loveliness. Leave a comment below with your username so I can follow yours too.

Inside Sania Pell’s gorgeous Croatian home

8 Sep

When I started Decorator’s Notebook, I didn’t anticipate finding one Croatian home worthy of a post, let alone two within the first two months! But despite the unexpected geographical bias, I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful house the moment I laid eyes on it.

The house was built 50 years ago by the Grandfather of super-talented stylist Sania Pell and is now used as a shared holiday home by her family. Sania’s signature theme of upcycling and make-it-yourself are evident throughout and she’s mixed found objects and things she’s made with vintage, high-street and DIY store buys to give the space a clean, simple look. Could anyone fail to relax in a home like this?

I was tickled to see that Sania had picked this lamp as I have two of them myself. As much as I’d like to claim I could afford a pair of lovely Original BTC lights, this one is actually from the infinitely less glamourous B&Q!

I love the natural details and personal touches scattered through the house. The pebbles were found on the beach and shaped into hearts by Sania’s husband and children. All together now, awwwww.

Have you picked up that I have a bit of a thing about enamelware? The battered milk churn on the top shelf belonged to Sania’s Grandmother. In fact, lots of the objects in the house have a charming story to tell (read more about them here)

{all Sania Pell}

This house is just so blissful it actually makes my heart ache a little bit! Croatia’s been on my list for a while, but seeing this home, combined with these lovely Croatian holiday photos I think someone’s trying to tell me something…

La Braderie: the day I died and went to vintage heaven

6 Sep

My friend and I had a fantastic weekend hunting for treasure at La Braderie in Lille – Europe’s biggest flea market! There was so much to see, so much to buy and we came away with some great goodies. Photos of what I bought will have to wait until this weekend (it’s too dark for photos when I get home from work now, sob). In the meantime here’s a selection of photographic loveliness to set the scene.

I love how the seemingly random assortment of junk creates the most intriguing combinations!

These gorgeous enamel jars were very tempting. I think I like the mottled blue and white ones best.

I was so charmed by this toy big wheel that I hadn’t noticed the advertising sign in the background until I edited my pictures!

I did manage to tear my eyes away from the brocante once or twice to admire Lille’s beautiful architecture, like this disused pharmaceutical college. We also spent quite some time spotting apartments we’d like to buy / rent. I thought that the one above this antique shop would suit me just fine.

There’s only one thing I find more pleasing than a row of Tolix chairs. And that’s a row of Tolix chairs with a heap of retro typography in front of it.

I went a bit gooey over this shapely 1930s blush pink tea set. Impossible to carry back safely on the Eurostar unfortunately. I hope another nice vintage lover got to take it home for their table.

Lots of the stalls belong to locals who set up a table of household cast-offs outside their garage, some are entrepreneurial kids looking to make a few euros selling home-baked cakes and old toys, others are dealers selling a specialist selection of items. But what brings someone to become a specialist in rickety prams or freaky bits of dolls I can’t imagine!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

If you could have picked one thing in these photos, what would you have chosen?

I’m going to La Braderie!

2 Sep

33 continuous hours of bargain hunting

100km of stalls

10,000 exhibitors

500 tons of mussels to be consumed

{all Decorator’s Notebook from my 2009 visit}

That’s right, my friend and I are off to Lille at the crack of dawn tomorrow for the biggest junk fest in Europe… La Braderie! I’ll be back next week with a full report and photos of tat galore, but if you just can’t wait or are heading there yourself, read about the lovely Ellie of HomeshoppingSpy’s experiences here and here and My Friend’s House’s here and here.

Bon weekend!

This book rocks

1 Sep

You may or may not know that I am a huge David Bowie fan.

If you are too, you’ll love this adaptation of astronautical hit, Space Oddity, as a children’s book by illustrator Andrew Kolb.

If you’re not, you might want to come back here in a few days when normal interiors related service will resume.

{illustrations Andrew Kolb}

You can download the full PDF version of the book from Andrew Kolb’s website or the original version of Space Oddity by David Bowie here.

The Ballerina Project

1 Sep

It’s nothing to do with interiors, but I couldn’t resist posting these breathtaking images by photographer Dane Shitagi. Taken over the last 12 months, they show ballet dancers posing against a backdrop of New York’s streets and sights. Just like ballerinas themselves, the juxtaposition of fragility and strength is mesmerising.

{all Dane Shitagi}

Aren’t they beautiful? I really struggled to choose which of the photos to include here so I highly recommend you spend a few minutes looking at the complete Ballerina Project Archive… read more about the photographer and the background to the project here.

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