Trader Advice: Finding, Owning and Caring For Your Vintage Furniture

(taken from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Digest 7…read more here)

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By Kim and Phil Allsopp of Festival Fifty One

In our fast paced world of instant gratification and disposable lifestyles we are finding ourselves looking back at our pasts with fond nostalgia and a want to create home comforts from a bygone era.

There continues to be a growing demand for us to furnish our homes with original vintage furniture, lighting and styling from decades of the last century. A particular favourite period right now is the mid-century (1950’s – 1970’s).

So, how do we do this and where do we go?

Finding well made pieces that have stood the test of time, in good condition and at a reasonable price is becoming quite a challenge!

The Vintage Furniture Flea really is a great place to start. A sister business of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fairs, The Vintage Furniture Flea is filled with carefully selected traders who really do know their stuff!  You can pick up pretty much anything your heart desires for mid-century living at The Flea. What you will find is not only a fabulous array of stock to choose from but prices that really will surprise you! (in a very good way).

So, what do we choose?

Now this really does depend on personal taste.  I think it’s always best to start with a couple of key pieces which make an immediate impact.  How about a couple of new chairs, a new sofa or even a sideboard?  One simple piece can make a great new look instantly. The demand for solid wooden pieces in Teak or Rosewood is as high as ever and to be honest you really cannot beat these pieces for great quality and craftsmanship.

Don’t forget your mid-century lighting.  Lighting can and does dramatically change the mood of any room or space at home.  Mid-century lighting comes in many shapes and forms and in most cases, is instantly recognisable.  Warm yellow and orange glows from fibre spun shades and rocket lamps, as well as the space age forms of Danish pendant lights with their smooth copper and aluminium shapes suspended like floating UFO’s look quite simply, fabulous!

You can have an absolute field day with your soft furnishings too.  The vivid colours, prints, patterns and textures of fabrics from the

mid-century enable you to be as creative as you want to be in your own home.  Nothing looks as good as a scattering of cushions on a vintage sofa made from a variety of patterns and colours.

So, how do we care for our new mid-century homes?

To be honest, this is really quite simple…it’s back to basics here!  Remember this stuff has lasted an awful lot longer than most other things you have ever owned!

Wooden furniture always loves a feed.  When polishing it, use a non silicone based polish, and something beeswax based is great.

Remember a bit of elbow grease works a treat and helps with a nice shiny finish.

When cleaning your vintage glassware avoid the dishwasher at all costs! These were barely around when your glassware was produced and are far too harsh for your delicate Babycham glasses! (Look how cloudy your everyday glasses end up after a while when the dishwasher cleans them!)  Warm soapy water will bring a sparkle to any glass, vase or ornament.

Hand washing vintage textiles will not only avoid shrinkage but will keep your colours and patterns both bright and vivid.  This is exactly how you want these mini ‘pieces of art’ to remain!

This may seem a bit more arduous than your usual housekeeping chores, but just think of the pleasure these items bring to you and your home….it’s just like you’re rewarding them for their ongoing, almost eternal beauty!

Happy Hunting Everyone!

Hello Yellow!

Spring has sprung! Well sorta – you might have to look for the daffodils underneath the frost at the moment. But nonetheless, we’re loving the promise of warmer weather and a new season of events just around the corner. In typical Judy style, there’s only one way to celebrate – hello yellow!

Across our social media, we’re embracing our favourite hue of clothing, furniture and accessories. Captured your own retro photo in the sunny shade? We’d love to see it! Tag us in #helloyellow and we’ll reshare your images to create a perky feed that’ll ward off the last of the winter blues. Check out the best of our feeds so far!

INSTAGRAM
@judysvintagefair
@thevintagekilosale
@vintagefurnitureflea

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Fancy bringing some spring sunshine to your wardrobe? Check out our upcoming events…

JUDY’S AFFORDABLE VINTAGE FAIR
12th March – Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy (RSVP here)
19th March – Birmingham Custard Factory (RSVP here)
20th March – Clapham TA Centre 73 Kings Avenue (RSVP here)

THE VINTAGE KILO SALE
12th March – Liverpool Guild of Students (RSVP here)
13th March – Manchester The Union MMU (RSVP here)
20th March – Bristol Paintworks (RSVP here)

THE VINTAGE FURNITURE FLEA
12th March – Leeds Corn Exchange (RSVP here)
20th March – Bethnal Green York Hall (RSVP here)

Couple-proofing your vintage home

IMG_4410Desperate to create the perfect vintage home but facing some resistance from a very millenial partner? Taken from Issue 5 of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Digest, Catherine McCourt of trader Lace and Liquor Vintage gives us her top tips for creating a wonderful home that appeals to both modern and vintage tastes…

Interiors are seriously important to me, probably on par – if not even more so – than with fashion or clothing. I’ve always had quite a particular style which has matured with age, and moving into our new home and knowing it would be ours, I had an exact idea in mind for how I’d like it to look and spent a few months beforehand thinking it all out. I knew I wanted to go for a 1950s meets scandinavian style with white walls, wooden floors, copper accents and lots of teak. The idea of having a home with a feature wallpapered wall and colour co-ordinated furniture brings me out in a bit of a rash; it’s nice for the majority of the population, but not something I’d ever have myself.

However, it’s not exactly all my house. I do have a boyfriend to think of whose style is pretty far away from mine. When we were painting the new home he told me if he had his own place he’d paint two walls white and two black, apparently that makes a room look bigger. He’s incredibly minimalist too, a sofa, chair, tv and xbox would do him. So trying to create an inviting, comfortable and stylish home with more than one person in mind can be a bit of a challenge, so I thought I’d put out there some of the things I’ve learnt along the way.

Talk Through Everything:

Like most people, Pinterest was my best friend when I was moving and looking for inspiration for my vintage home. It’s on there I saw a few items of furniture I loved the look of and tried to recreate myself. This can be especially handy as it’s great to see what items will look good together rather than just saying “Do you like this table?” “How about these chairs?” without really being able to see how they’re going to look. By showing him the pictures I knew he was happy with the style we’d be going for.

It’s important to talk it through before making any large purchases too, although that sort of goes without saying. It took me quite a while to try to persuade Kane to let me buy one of our new sofas (rather than keeping a hideous beige one that was left in the house, he wanted to keep that because it was so comfortable), but he gave in in the end, as he eventually began to see my point of view. Which leads me on to the next point…

IMG_5118Compromise:

Like most aspects of a relationship, there has to be compromise eventually on a vintage home. Our compromise is that I’ve bought most of the furniture in the house; whether it’s brand new or secondhand, it’s usually me that’s wanted it and me that wants to splash out on new things that aren’t 100% necessary, so I’m okay to pay for it. It means that Kane occasionally pays more of the bills or food shopping to even it all out a bit. Whether it’s letting him add a Marvel poster to the wall or having a little gaming section (surely my boyfriend can’t be the only xbox obsessive) you do need to compromise so it isn’t just your home, it’ll only end in him feeling uncomfortable and unhappy.

Make it Neutral:

When my boyfriend first moved in with me I was only 20 and already had the home, so as you can probably imagine there were lots of pink, florals and bright colours everywhere. He snuggled underneath a vintage crochet blanket on the sofa and went to bed underneath Cath Kidston style bedding, which you can imagine probably isn’t the greatest for a bloke. Whilst the new place isn’t the most masculine, with lots of white, grey and wood, it’s a lot more neutral and is a style that suits us both a lot more.

Get Him Involved:

In the new house we’re making a lot more changes and have changed quite a few of the rooms. So far he’s already laid some new laminate flooring and I’m going to get him to pop in some shelves in a couple rooms. It may only be small but I know it makes him feel a lot more involved and more like he’s contributing to the home too. Equal involvement – the secret to a happy couple!

Craving some home inspiration? The Vintage Furniture Flea rolls into OXFORD on November 21st and EAST LONDON on November 29th!

Game, Set, Spitalfields!

Greetings vintage fans,

After a such a rapturous, sun-soaked, victory-filled few days, pardon us if we let out a walloping ‘PHWOAR, WHAT A WEEKEND!!’ 30 degree heat, Murray, ice-cream – it could be the e-numbers and endorphins talking but what a corker the past few days have been!

Adding to this head-spinning euphoria is of course the fact that we set a course for East London on Saturday, bringing our legendary ‘Judy’s at Old Spitalfields’ event back to the capital. Ever on the hunt for retro treasures, here’s how we got on…

Tropical sideboards, floaty dresses, cupcakes filled with Pimm’s (yes, you heard us, PIMM’S! What kind of delicious sorcery is this?!) – a retro recipe for the perfect London day in the sun.

In addition to plentiful shopping bags (and empty purses) came an abundance of great London street style. Aided by our friends from ‘Back of the Wardrobe,’ check out these stunners below…

A testament to the fact that there’s an alternative look to ‘sweaty mess’ on a boiling London day (not that that’s how we looked, dear reader. ‘Glowing’ is how we’re marketing it!) we certainly left inspired!

And so, another super Spitalfields down, we’re headed to bed to dream of tennis, rays and THAT cupcake.

Retro regards,

Judy HQ x

“Hello? Is it Flea your looking for?”

Furniture – what’s not to love? Granted, we’re fans of building up a proverbial wardrobe of lovely vintage garms but sometimes we just want the physical wardrobe to put it in. That said, this week we’re a-smiling. For why? (note to the reader: we’re not quite sure why we’re talking like a medieval poet – a-roll with it ok?) Because that most hallowed of events, The Vintage Furniture Flea, comes to town!

A celebration of the midcentury in the heart of Bethnal Green, good golly is it good! Don’t believe us? Well young cynics, set your peepers on this…

 

Converted? We thought so too!

The Vintage Furniture Flea calls at York Hall, Old Ford Road,London E2 9PJ on Sun 9th June. For all the details, click here.

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

Forgive us readers, for we have sinned…

 

Forgive us blog readers, for we have sinned; caught up in the madness and maelstrom of everyday life (and watching WAY too much ‘Game of Thrones’), we’ve ignored this little blog of late, putting it on a back burner so far away that said back burner is simply a blip in the distance. Well, ‘NO MORE’ we cry! But where to begin?? With life moving a mile a minute at the moment, we figured let’s play on that classic TV show trait and have a quick catch-up. Cue opening credits (bonus points if you comment below with a suggested tune that we should have as our ‘Judy’s Vintage Fair’ theme song…) and a booming voice as we give you ‘previously at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair…’

We saw taxidermy at Chester…

…as well as some rather yummy cakes.

Coasters caught our eyes…

…and the Vintage Furniture Flea came to town.

We brought retro travel to Old Spitalfields…

…and got literary in Leeds!

We fell into red dress heaven at the Corn Exchange…

…and found some excellent specs to match!

And end scene! A lovely little visual treat, we hope that’s caught you up (and expect more from us this week!)

Retro Regards (and sorry once more!)

The scribes at Judy HQ x

Judy’s at Old Spitalfields – Retro goes YELLOW!

Greetings Vintage Fans!

Always a sucker for a theme, last Saturday we popped on our shades and said hello to Spring by turning our monthly Judy’s at Old Spitalfields event our favourite shade – YELLOW! Inviting bloggers ‘Fancyfull‘ to come act as our retro musketeers [or should that be ‘mustardeers?’ No? Ok then!] here’s how they got on…

“Nicci and I were thrilled to be invited down to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair to be their official Yellow Hunters! We only had eyes for the bright stuff and ferreted out all the best yellow wares the wonderful vendors had brought with them. We both really enjoy Judy’s fairs, they live up to their affordable name and we always hunt out some beautiful items to add to our burgeoning collection of second hand and vintage goods!”

 

“The gorgeous tea cup, Playmobil figurine and the amazing Sylvanian Families were from the wonderful Magpie’s Attic. I (Lucy) had such an obsession with Sylvaninan Families when I was younger and Nicci has promised to take me to the Sylvanian Families shop in Finsbury Park very soon.”

“This wonderful vintage filing cabinet would even manage to brighten up the always dull job of filing. Find it at Plan for Mondays where Lucy got an amazing suitcase from at the last Judy’s fair and we would strongly recommend hunting this stall out at all Judy’s fairs.”

“Seeing these vintage Girl Guide pins from Vintage Promise has made me (Lucy) dig out my old sash and start wearing those old pins and badges with pride!”

“These were a very, very small section of the amazing egg cups on offer at The Eggcuppery. I think they may become a new favourite collectors item here at Fancy Full.”

 

Dabber Decades had the wonderful knnited dress, great 60s blouse and these super summery Mary Quant sunglasses. They had gone all out on the yellow front!”

“With April looming on the horizon, april showers can’t be far behind. This vintage yellow raincoat from Old Pony Vintage would cheer anyone up on a drizzly day.”

“What more could you want from a scarf? yellow + horses equals a dream scarf. Find this beauty from Tapestry Boutique. Nicci picked up a beautiful shirt from here as well.”

Love Inc Ltd had one of the best yellow themed displays on their stalls. We seriously loved all their items and we could have quite happily bought everything!”

“These beautiful vintage dresses were from the lovely Tallula Vintage. The one with the hello yellow label was my absolute favourite.”

“We wanted all the globes that Before Brasilia had to offer, they were all so vibrant and would have made the perfect addition to any living room or bedroom. (Lucy went on to purchase the large red circular suitcase to add to the growing suitcase collection.)”

“They also had this amazing Silver Jubilee Colman’s mustard set which whilst looking lovely I doubt you’d want to sample the mustard inside!”

“Check back at Fancy Full in the next few days and we’ll be sharing all our street style pics that we snapped of all the well turned out vintage shoppers.

Lucy and Nicci xx”

And there we have it folks – what did you think of our yellow retro fiesta? Feel free to comment below or leave us your thoughts on our official fanpage.

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

 

Our bags are packed for Judy’s at Old Spitalfields!

Greetings vintage fans!

Just TWO days away, we’re counting down the sleeps to London’s largest free vintage marketplace – Judy’s at Old Spitalfields! 

With a giddy spring theme featuring, let’s just say our trader’s stock, well, it’s great to say the least! Never ones to keep things to ourselves [unless it’s cake that is!] here are our top picks…

Trader: Before Brasilia

Trader: Claudia Kirkman

 Trader: Claudia Kirkman

Trader: Latham Street Vintage

Trader: Love Inc Ltd.

Trader: Maxi Moo Moos

Trader: Mitty Dotty Vintage

Trader: The Upcycling Emporium

Trader: Vintage Promise

Are you excited? Because WE’RE EXCITED! Bringing over 70 amazing traders all readyand aiming to please, for more on Judy’s at Old Spitalfields, click HERE

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

The Vintage Furniture Flea: Our Pick

Greetings vintage fans!

With our purses still STEAMING from money well spent at the Bethnal Green Furniture Flea, we thought we’d kick-off the week with a few of our top picks! Featuring more retro decoration than Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen could have ever dreamed of, feast your peepers on this…

Egg cups from The Eggcuppery

Homewares from Plan for Mondays

Chairs from Your Vintage Life

Ephemera from Studio Oscar

Electricals from Retro Bazaar

Prints from Vintage in Print

Beautiful indeed! For any wanting to get involved, the Flea returns on Sunday 21st April [so pop it in the diary quick!]

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

Hooray! Yippee! It’s the Vintage Furniture Flea!

Vintage Fans!

Today, we’re coming to you LIVE from one of our favourite retro events – THE VINTAGE FURNITURE FLEA! Bringing AMPLE affordable furniture and homewares to the wonderous York Hall, we thought we’d give you a little visual incentive to COME ON DOWN…

See – we told you it was good! For more on the Flea, take a look here and if you’re out and about London town, come see us today ’til 4:30pm!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x