Category Archives: Vintage Home Living Blog

Window seat

I always have a project on the go.

Something I can pick up whenever I get a few hours and want to turn my attention away from the everyday chores. It’s at this time of the year when the sun is shining and the spring flowers are smiling, belying the outdoor chill, that I yearn to be out in the garden, but actually there’s not a lot I can do out there at the moment and it’s too flippin’ freezing! So, I’m finding things to do indoors whilst sitting in the sun that’s coming through the lounge window.

There’s a perfect sunny spot on our sofa that’s a great place to sit and tack. Now, I love making home furnishings, but I’ve got to admit that I really don’t love doing the tacking bit. In fact I positively hate it! Anything that can make it less tedious, is good for me – sitting in the sun, favourite tunes and a nice beverage and I’m away!

For years, I had been putting off finishing a cover for the window seat cushion in our bedroom. It’s 1 ¾ metres wide and I just couldn’t bring myself to sit and tack it together, first there’s the piping trim then the piping to the front face and so on… but as cushion covers go, the fabric cost a bit and I couldn’t justify not doing it. Besides, the naked foam seat looked so drab!

Anyway, thanks to the cold sunny days, I’ve finally gotten round to finishing it!

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One morning about 5 years ago, I was held up at traffic lights outside a home interiors shop in the town and in the window, not surprisingly, was a display of wallpaper. The rolls were unravelled from floor to ceiling and in the middle was a design so full of colour, it really grabbed my attention. So much so, that I nearly missed the lights! The pattern was bold and colourful and I loved it, but just could not see how it could fit into our quite traditional home.

We were finishing the renovation of our bedroom, some months later, when I remembered that paper. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind though, having dreamed of a serene feeling to the room and already decided on a turquoise colour for the walls. I got hold of a sample, all ready to talk myself out of it, and would you believe, part of the design included the exact colour I’d already chosen for the walls, so I decided to use it as a ‘feature wall’ behind our bed.

I was looking through a magazine the other day and I saw a wallpaper that I thought was just gorgeous and showed it to Simon – “but I’ve no idea where we’d put it?” I whined. “You could always redecorate the bedroom?”, he offered.

We looked at each other and slowly shook our heads – I’ve only just finished making the matching window seat cover! – I now have another sunny spot to sit and tack though.

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Hello and Welcome!


Hello and welcome to Vintage Home Living!

This is my very first ever blog post and I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation! As I type I’m feeling rather sorry for myself with a cold, but as I hate to sit around doing nothing, decided it was time to take that first leap, so here I am, laptop at the ready, morning sun warming my chosen spot on the sofa.

I’ve been yearning to do this for some time, but life sort of got in the way! It’s not until the major renovation works are out of the way that you realise just how much of your time you put into it. Visitors used to say to us ‘How do you find the time?’, but actually, life revolved around it. I could be slapping on lime plaster one minute and checking a roasting chicken the next, but with 3 young children to look after and us both also working, we just had to get on with it!

The children are teenagers now and I work part time. Vintage Home Living is a passion, which I will endeavour to share: our experiences, tips we’ve picked up along the way and offer for sale, items suitable for the vintage home, that we continue to collect, but which are filling our house to bursting point!

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When I think about my childhood, I can remember that I was always making things – or as we tend to refer to it now, crafting. Like a lot of children, I loved to make things and in particular turning cereal packets into properties. I had a whole street, with houses and shops. The shops had cling film windows and goods for sale made from dough, resembling bread, cakes and fruit and veg.

Then, when I was old enough to use my Mother’s sewing machine, I began to make dolls’ clothes from scraps of fabric for my more grown up looking dolls. I would find uses for all sorts of things including that little plastic figure of eight piece that is used at the back of a bra strap (I’ve no idea what it’s called?), which made an excellent belt buckle for Sindy.

My parents moved to Cornwall when I was 16 and I couldn’t wait to tackle my new bedroom. Bravely, they allowed me to redecorate it myself. It was the late eighties and black ash furniture was popular at the time. Mum gave me her dressing table stool, which was a brown wood seventies style and I hated it. However, I had a plan. I bought a tin of black paint, a small black ash effect shelf and four connection blocks and turned it into a coffee table. I was still using that table years later when I bought my first flat! Decorating the bedroom wasn’t as straight forward as a bit of paint and paper however. A previous owner had done a dodgy DIY job around the window and I had to learn to mix plaster filler, after pulling out the bundles of newspaper they’d shoved down the cavity. Even at that age I guessed that wasn’t quite the right thing to do!

It was around that time that I started to make my own clothes and bags. As a typically strapped for cash teen, I’d buy clothes from charity shops in larger sizes and take them in myself, or make bags using tablecloths or skirts.

My parents bought me my own sewing machine for my 21st birthday, which was just before I bought my first flat. It was quickly put to good use making Roman blinds and hasn’t really stopped since, contributing to the creation of cushion covers, curtains and upholstery. I periodically give it a little clean and oil and on it chugs.

And on I chug too!!

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