Tomorrow we finally wing our way over to Cyprus to go and see the apartment for the first time. Unfortunately we probably won't have a chance to do much as it is only for a few days, but at least I'll be able to post a few more pics of the exterior etc.
I've not done a Retro Decorator post for a long while, so I've been flicking through my collection of old magazines (mainly to see if I can find a "Greek style" retro decorator theme - still looking for that one though), and I thought it might be time I did another then and now post.
Founded in the Swinging 60s, Osborne and Little started off with hand-printed wallpaper. Today they are known for a wide variety of fabrics and wallpapers. In the 80s, you could have found an ad for them that looked like this:
Osborne & Little ad, House & Garden, February 1989
...whereas their latest print ad looks like this:
Osborne & Little ad, LivingEtc, October 2012
Despite the 20-odd years that separate them, the feel and principles are still similar, mainly in that it is not immediately obvious what the ad is for, in both instances. They also have quite a heritage appeal (interesting considering their relatively short history). Where other companies might feature samples or interiors decked out in their patterns, Osborne and Little have chosen to use them to slightly less obvious effect.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time wandering round the lovely shops of Bath at the weekend. It's been a while since I last shopped there, and I was struck by the number of shops that seem to have sprung up selling homewares and knick-knacks. After a while though, I think even I managed to get overloaded by the distressed mirrors and the "home is where the heart is" signs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this style if it works for you, but I couldn't help thinking it was all looking a little mass-produced and unoriginal. Surely the original thought behind shabby chic is a certain handmade, thrifty quality, that I felt was lacking.
As an antidote, therefore, I've been looking up what, for want of a better term, I can only call "real" shabby chic - something a bit original, a bit upcycled, and, most importantly, made in the UK. I therefore thought it time to share a couple of examples from some smaller companies I've come across:
Firstly, a company based on a small farm in South West Scotland called Funny Old Furniture. As well as painting and restoring old pieces, they also incoporate fun items of decoupage in some of their pieces, as well as doing original decoupage artworks. My favourite item of theirs currently is this vintage oak decoupage patchwork dresser:
If bright colours and decoupage are your thing, then also be sure to check out Viva Designs, who aim to cover just about anything in bright fabrics. This retro telephone would certainly make talking on it a talking point!
Finally, if all that colour is a bit much for you, and you prefer a calmer approach, you could do worse than check out the new site from my old (*old in the sense of I've been following her for a long time in Twitter years, I hasten to add!) Twitter friend Karen, called The White Approach. I absolutely adore the glimpses into her gorgeous home on her blog, and marvel at how she manages an all-white home with four men in her life! The piece that caught my eye on her site is this old scroll chair that has been given a new lease of life with some snow white chalk paint: