upcycling furniture


Long time no see…

Life has taken a few twists and turns over the past couple of months and I apologize for my absence from What Comes Around London.
What a difference a few months makes….it’s now winter! With the evenings drawing in, the fire roaring and a nice hot cuppa, it’s back to the drawing board!
In August I went to the lovely Denmark for a month on a bit of a furniture rekkie. I just love the simplicity and functionalism of Danish design.
Developed in mid-20th century and heavily Influenced by the German Bauhaus school, a lot of pieces have become iconic and are still in production and use today. Among my favorites are Hans Jørgen Wegners chairs and Poul Henningsens lamps.
The Danes definitely know how to organize a good flea Market and with three suitcases brimming with goodies from an old fisher price cash register (my favorite toy as a kid!) to a 1950’s heat lamp (all soon to be for sale at etsy…..) it was Homewood bound, Next time I will be bringing back a van load! Check out the pictures below of some of my finds.
On my return to London I was commissioned as an interior designer for a top Harley Street clinic (thanks Olivia and Richard!) turning the space from dated 80’s to chic 20th century!
I have been completely in my element sketching and sourcing!
Throughout my journey I have found some great little establishments and feel a couple of them deserve a shout out.
The old cinema, “London’s only department store devoted to selling antique, vintage, retro, industrial.” I was lucky enough to get my hands on a polished steel/glass display cabinet C1960 and an ebonised art deco desk. Also Pigeon vintage, which is, based on Brighton’s historic lanes, where Nick (who happened to go to the same college as me, small world!) sorted me out with a pair of rare 1960’s William Plunkett chairs.
I have a few finishing touches to do to the room and in my next post, will post pic’s of the finished product!
Until next time….

1950’s retro enamel heat lamp

1940’s enamel coffee pot

1950’s Small flying saucer heater

Art Deco etched glass wine gobblets

1950’s Danish serving dish

1970’s Fisher price cash register

1980’s Quartz wall clocks (got to love a bit of the 80’s!)

1940’s alarm clock

Vintage Fairs, Vox Pops and Road Trips….

Wow, what a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been very lucky to have been doing some work for Lou Rota, helping her out with a commission for a boutique hotel. This involved covering chairs with newspaper (I’ve never been so up on world politics!) and then decorating them with beautiful decals.
I absolutely love her work and she has been a fountain of knowledge to me, so thank you Lou and look forward to doing some more work with you in September.
Last weekend saw the South bank come alive even more than usual and step back into a pre war era becoming a vintage village. I was one of the lucky few to be chosen by Etsy to showcase a few of my vintage treasures giving What Comes Around London some welcome exposure.
While sat eating a lemon chicken and oregano taco in the vintage village admiring the fabulous outfits and feeling like I was at an haute couture fashion show! My boyfriend and I decided to do a micro vox pop, voicing peoples opinion on all things vintage, the results are below…
And so to the next adventure! A road trip across Europe ending up in Denmark, where I will be on the hunt for mid century furniture to bring back to the UK. This is some mean feat as currently we are due to leave on Thursday and still have no mode of transport! Any ideas greatly received!?

Working with Lou…

My vintage day out…

Vox pop – Why do you love vintage…?

Karina & Carl – “They knew how to make clothes back then”

Buki Fadipe – “It’s a chance to dress up and feel fabulous!”

Mr Pants – “I love looking different and all the attention”

Maggie & Kate Stevens – “The clothes are so much better made, it’s fun dressing up and we like to look different. All the clothes on the high street look the same!”

One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure!

The perfect Saturday….
Nice long lie in followed by a big breakfast to set you up for a day of charity shopping! As I’ve said before for me there is nothing better than spending a day in and out of charity shops, junk shops and flea markets and I know most of my friends would agree!
However things are changing and the profile of charity shops has been raised in recent years especially with people like Mary Queen of shops and her mission to bring them kicking and screaming into the 21st century! You can defiantly see that they are moving with the times, reinventing themselves as sharp, modern establishments.
There used to be a stigma attached to charity shops but people’s attitude towards them have changed meaning they have entered the mainstream shopping sector. I personally find this quite sad, for me the beauty of Charity Shopping is that sense of discovery and the excitement of finding something special amongst all the tat, and the fact that they didn’t just blend into being “another high street shop”
It doesn’t stop me however having a good nose! And below are my latest finds.
And my perfect Saturday ends with a nice glass of red wine in the pub!

Sneak peek…!

This week I have been strutting my stuff around design exhibitions stepping away from my love of all things vintage and into a new world of contemporary vision. Looking for hot new talent and inspiration!

Top of my list is a designer called John Green who designs are innovative whilst being functional. I particularly liked a piece called “embrace” a contemporary take on the very famous Isokon penguin donkey which dates back to 1939, when it was advertised through Penguin (hence the name!) as a stylish mini bookcase that can hold up to 80 paper back penguin books! Check John’s work out including The Stable (stool + table = stable!)

Liquidesign’s bagalight was another favourite of mine, creating unusual, fun lighting solution that challenge people’s preconceptions of value in design and are also environmentally friendly.

And finally I loved the bespoke designs by Dare Studio a British design company, the contemporary pieces have a mid century feel and I think closely mirror the Bauhaus style, which encompasses so much of Danish design.

With all that food for thought, it was time to get back to What comes around London! My very good friend (and guru!) Kathy Coleman suggested I took some lifestyle shots of my flat (including all the furniture and vintage collectables I have accumulated since starting this blog!) my mission to try and get it on designsponge under their sneak peek feature…
Wish me luck!

From Old town, Hastings to Brooklyn, New York…

With two weeks off for Easter, I had only one thing on my mind…. Flea markets!
My journey started in Dorking where I raided my Dad’s garage and with a Dad as interested in furniture and vintage collectables as mine, his garage is a very exciting place! I left with a vintage 2 gallon Esso petrol can in British racing green from the 1930’s and a summers “Bat” 1950’s paraffin railway/road lantern originally used as a warning light!
My next port of call was Hasting, where my dear friend Elly and her daughter Molly took me to the old town, the perfect place for a junk shop junkie as myself! I picked up an “atomic” magazine rack dating from the 1960’s in black metal with 4 bright red plastic ball feet. After that it was fish and chips on the beach, what trip to a seaside town would be complete without!
Finally to New York to see my lovely sis, definitely one of my favorite places and Brooklyn flea market didn’t disappoint, set on the waterfront with a backdrop of the city including the Empire State and the Chrysler Building I was in heaven! Due to an already heavy suitcase (not from shopping, I might add!) I had to think practically and found a tin bowl and tray that have been hand painted and fitted perfectly into my luggage!
So below are some pics of my latest finds and of course they are all for sale on Etsy.

London-Dorking-Hastings-New york…

Private view went without a hitch, any excuse for a good knees up! Thank you to all the lovely people who made the effort to come and it’s up until the end of May for all you latecomers, if you fancy a look over a cappuccino!
London-Dorking-Hastings-New York is my itinerary for this Easter break, primarily visiting loved ones although, my major quest, to conquer as many flea markets as possible!
I’m writing this waiting for a train at Gatwick airport (a place I think I will be visiting a lot over the next couple of weeks!) And so my journey begins…..

The Flying Saucer…

Well, this week has really been all about the exhibition (but of course I found time to go to one of the biggest flea markets in the country!) and after a few teething problems, 3 rolls of gaffer tape, 6 tubes of super glue and 5 rolls of double sided sellotape the pictures are finally hanging! We are having a private view next Friday the 15th of April and everyone is welcome, so get your glad rags on and hopefully I will see you at Cinnamon Village, 162 Blackstock Road, N5 1HA. Starts 6.30pm and the nearest tubes are Arsenal and Finsbury Park, if you’re not a fan of the tube the 4, 19 and 236 all stop outside.
Anyway, back to the furniture, I was in my element at the flea market which had over 700 stalls with people selling a wide variety of Furniture, Silverware, Jewellery, Ceramics, Kitchenallia, Vintage Fashion, Garden ephemera, Clocks, Paintings, Cameras and Books. Of course I picked up a few gems, which are below and also in my Etsy shop! What Comes Around Ldn
The first is a Sofono vintage “Flying Saucer” electric heater, which I absolutely love. It is so unusual nowadays but in the 50’s they were a common appliance. I think it looks almost like an art sculpture! I also bought a metal trunk which predates the war, with original paper labels albeit illegible! It also has a stamp on the inside of the lid with the date 1939 and the name C. Eastgate & sons, Birmingham, which I looked up and found out they were famous for their railway lanterns and military lamps during world war ll. Lastly a Retro dove blue, formica double drop leaf table which I don’t think will ever go out of fashion!
So will all these new finds my flat (and my Dad’s garage) are bursting at the seams, just can’t help myself!

Now selling on Etsy…

Another week of exciting developments, Thanks to the lovely Kathy Coleman and Kathryn Smart I now have a fully functioning online shop at Etsy. Come in and have a browse, only 4 items in there so far but already two of the items have been added to a treasury list and it will be constantly updated with new finds.
The mission to find the owners of the abandoned Chinese restaurant is still in full force! Having contacted the council and the land registry office unfortunately at the moment we are still no closer to uncovering the mystery, but do have people on the case!
And finally the pictures for the exhibition are being printed as we speak, all very exciting. Going up on April 4th at Cinnamon village, Blackstock Road N4, all welcome and if anyone has any ideas as to how to display/ frame them please let me know!
Here is a little taster…

Old suitcases, vintage fabrics and new shops…

Well… It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and while my Mac’s been gathering dust! I’ve been rummaging around flea markets, meeting Lou Rota, looking into possibly having a pop up shop and organizing an exhibition. All Of course without forgetting my old school desk, which I have started sanding and while doing so have found some very cool old graffiti on it…
Old leather suitcases, vintage fabrics, a bluebird typewriter (I see another collection starting here!) and a solid pine table are the things I’ve picked up this week. These form the idea for my new project and hopefully what will end up becoming my signature piece.
With all this being a relatively new venture any tips and advice is priceless. It was great to meet up with Lou Rota who told me all about her journey so far and I’m very much looking forward to doing some work experience with her in May. She has put me down to have a stall at the homework’s farmers market in Nov/Dec http://thisishomeworks.blogspot.com. This gives me something to work towards, and will hopefully have a good collection of things for sale by then!
Finally my lovely documentary photographer boyfriend and me are looking to do not one but two collaborations together (things must be getting serious!) The first is an exhibition of some of the pictures we took while traveling around India last year. These will be exhibited at cinnamon village on Blackstock road N4 from 1st April for a month. The second is a pop up shop we’ve had our eyes on for the last year. It’s a very old and run down abandoned Chinese restaurant. We are now on a mission to find the owners and see if we can inject new life into it. It would be perfect as a gallery/studio/workshop/showroom, Watch this space!
In the meantime, here are some pic’s of my latest finds.

1930’s chic

Step back 20 years and this week it’s all about 1930’s chic.
My latest find is this lovely Vintage Art Deco English Oak Sideboard. Which I wouldn’t have without the muscle power of my Boyfriend, Dad and Brother (I did buy them all a pint!)
I’m a big fan of this eclectic form of design style and for me Art Deco embodied elegance and glamour. This cabinet has all the original features and style that dominated 1930s furniture design.
I have decided to keep it very simple before this piece finds a new home and I’m just going to fix the slight damage to the front decoration around the handle and give it a good polish!
So if this early 20th century stylish modernism floats your boat, get in touch…..