A Model Recommends: Ruth Crilly’s Best Vinterior Buys

Ruth Crilly – international fashion model and beauty insider – made the bold decision a year ago to up sticks and move her young tribe to the heart of Somerset. Embracing life in the bucolic English countryside also meant relocating from her modernist house to a historical Georgian property. Thus began the challenge of merging Ruth’s love of mid century modern design with other period pieces, all of which you can see developing over at @casacrilly. Here Ruth gives a spirited run through of her favourite finds so far…

Meet the vintage dealer: Hannah from Everything But The Dog!

Raised by an antiques dealer in a house full of amazing vintage furniture, it was probably inevitable that Hannah and her partner George would also begin to collect interesting pieces which caught their attention. A few years ago, it spiralled out of control and thus Everything But The Dog was born! Sit down with Hannah to hear about how she set up as a young vintage collector.

First of all! Is there a story behind your business name?

Billy the sharpei

There is. People often ask us if it has anything to do with the band ‘Everything but the Girl’ but it doesn’t. It actually refers to the fact that you can buy anything in the shop except our beloved sharpei Billy. He’s still the main attraction.

You’re going for coffee with a designer of your choice, who do you pick?

I would have loved to have gone for a coffee with Bruno Mathsson. He sounds like a maverick and his work is amazing.

What would be your dream vintage find and why?

The Spanish Chair by Børge Mogensen. Didn’t even have to think about that one!

Favourite piece you’ve ever sourced?

Tough one. We  recently had a Bror Bojie ‘Junker’ chair that we re-upholstered in pink velvet. It looked amazing. It didn’t hang around long which suggests someone else agrees with me. 

Any great tales behind the pieces you collect?

We found a Tripolina chair at a yard sale when we were on holiday. We just bought it because we liked it, we had no idea it was so old and collectible.

Number one thing to look out for when sourcing vintage furniture?

Understanding what a seller means when he or she says “good condition”. Suffice it to say we don’t always agree with their assessment. When we were getting started, we made the mistake of taking people at their word only to find out a lot of work was required. Establishing how much time you need to put into something comes with experience. 

Which pieces do you think will be popular in the near future?

We’re stocking some postmodern items at present. We think it’s about to start trending.

What part of being a furniture dealer do you most enjoy?

The sourcing, for sure. Few things are more enjoyable than a successful buying trip. 

Describe your own home style in three words.

Cosy, nordic, natural.

You have friends visiting. Where do you take them?

We’ve just opened a new showroom in Walthamstow. There are some great spots round here. We’d probably start at the Mirth, Marvel and Maud followed by a pizza at Sodo

Best thing about living and working in London?

Stratford Westfield… kidding. It might sound weird but we still love delivering furniture to our customers. We get to see so many London homes and all the amazing things people do with them.

If your home was ablaze, what would you run back to save?

A screen print by Hannah’s Dad

The dogs! I’d probably also grab the screen prints my dad did after he graduated from art college. Don’t tell him I said this, but they’re actually really good.

And finally, what are you looking forward to in 2019?

Making the most of our new space and getting embedded in the Walthamstow community. We think it’s going to be a good time for us.

Have a lovely browse through the Everything But The Dog collection here.

Hear from Chris as he travels the world unearthing remarkable vintage lighting.

It’s not everyday you meet someone who willingly arises at 4:30am to hunt down vintage lamps! Passionate about unearthing iconic designs, Chris founded Objects of Interest 20c to live out his dream of working as a collector and dealer of vintage pieces. He talked to us about the rise of ‘Early Ikea’, sourcing Mad Men lamps in Barcelona and where you should spend the weekend in London!

Why did you become a vintage collector and dealer?

I always bought and sold stuff.  When I was younger I bought a lot of old cameras and sold them on Brick Lane and over the Internet.  I realised that I could still do it as an adult and so I got an Anglepoise lamp. As with cameras, it enticed me to learn more about these items and suddenly I have a huge number of lamps and it has gone way too far!

The reason I started doing it as a business was because I could be my own boss. I worked in a job for a long time, but it was merely a job and not something I enjoyed. I’d rather be happy doing something everyday which brings me satisfaction.

Who is your favourite designer?

I really enjoy Bauhaus. It’s not a designer as such and more a field of design but Bauhaus inspires me very much. It was not just about designing furniture or architecture but it was about designing a new way of life.

What would be your dream vintage find?

I actually don’t know if I could answer that! There’s a thousand things on the list. I think one of my favourite things about sourcing furniture is actually going out and hunting down items rather then just seeing them on the Internet. Part of it is being there in the moment and experiencing that find, realising what something is. It’s not about necessarily seeing something and wanting it because it’s in front of you on the screen. For me, I love the thrill of the find having really looked for it. If I stumble across something great, I’m extremely happy!

What is the favourite piece you’ve sourced?

It was a Fase Boomerang 64 lamp. I bought it in Barcelona in this tiny little shop.  The guy took me upstairs and I saw it and thought, ‘Oh my’. These lamps were really on trend a few years ago because there was one on the desk from Mad Men.  I was lucky enough to find one in a colour that I’d never seen before.

What parts of being a furniture dealer do you most enjoy?

For me sourcing is the best part, going out and finding stuff. On Tuesday I left my house at 4:30am! I hadn’t been out shopping for the whole of Christmas so I was really eager. Sourcing something, finding something, and knowing a customer will receive this piece that you have found and be really pleased and blessed with it is a great feeling.

What do you think is going to be popular in the future?

Vintage Ikea catalogue, photo credit Gizmodo.

Early Ikea designs have already started trading hands for good money. Early Ikea is actually going to become quite sought after.  Ten years ago we had so many Victorian pieces and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that came back because there’s a lot of quality. As we get further along in time pieces start to lack that quality of craftsmanship.

Which famous person’s home would you love to sneak peek into?

I would say the fashion designer Paul Smith. He is known to be an avid collector. I’ve seen pictures of his home with strange and peculiar objects which I find incredibly interesting.

Best way to spend weekend?

Columbia Road Flower Market. Primeur restaurant, go for the small plates. I’m a big fan and I’d eat there every day if I could afford to! For markets, go to Portobello for a day. It’s a really great atmosphere. It has made an interesting transition from the 50s – when it was quite a poor area – to becoming to one of the wealthiest parts of London but it still has a great atmosphere.

Portobello Road Market, photo credit Strawberry Tours

Browse all vintage lighting in the Objects of Interest 20c collection here.

Furniture dealer Sophie on swapping a career in fashion for antiques.

Meet Sophie, one half of an East London couple passionate about collecting antique furniture. Founders of Stowaway London, we wanted to hear more about what they do, their own treasured pieces and what they’re loving in London.

How did you end up doing what you do?

Sam has been doing this since he left school at eighteen when he joined his Dad buying and selling antiques. Sam and I started Stowaway London about four years ago now, at the time I wanted to leave the fashion world and the antique lifestyle was very appealing.

What inspired the leap from fashion to furniture?stow

I left fashion and started Stowaway London because I really wanted my own business and to be my own boss. Fashion had lost its fun and creativity for me and furniture – which I have always loved – was new and exciting. Fashion, furniture, design and art all encompass each other and when you have an eye, you have an eye for it all I think. It was great timing as I wanted a new career… Sam came along and said, ‘I sell antiques. Want to make a brand/business?’ and I just jumped.

Favourite piece you’ve ever sourced?

I loved finding a pair of Morris & Co Sussex chairs as they were hidden and tucked away. Also the timing was great as we had just been to his museum in Walthamstow the weekend before, so it all felt very meant to be. Sam’s piece is a 1960’s foosball table that came in just before the World Cup so the games at our house were made even more fun!

Describe your own home in three words.

Eclectic, characterful, cosy.

coffeeYou have friends visiting. Where do you take them?

The Wallace Collection… hands down the best museum in London. Then back to our neck of the woods with a pint in the Crooked Billet and then food at My Neighbours The Dumplings.

Do you have a piece which goes with you wherever you move?

Yeah Sam… and then a Victorian elm stool which belonged to his grandmother which he grew up sitting on.   

What do you love about working with antique furniture?

Sam likes working with things that are old and have character. For me it is the same but with the addition that the quality of the furniture is so much better and it is environmentally friendly.  

Any great tales behind the pieces you collect?

Last year we brought a beautiful desk and when cleaning it Sam found a folder that had slipped behind the drawers. It contained a note which said that the desk belonged to and had been designed by G. C Grindley, who was a well known psychologist. It was exciting to find that and then research the guy. The provenance made a great desk even more special.  

If your home was ablaze, what would you run back to save?

Sam would most certainly have my arms full with the stool, plus many swords and knives (he collects antique weapons) and a few other antique trinket boxes he’s had for a long time. I would grab my jewellery box which has my treasured bits in including my great grandmother’s hat pin.

Dream dinner party guests?

Our grandparents.globe

Go to winter beverage?

Early mornings always require coffee.

Velvet sofa or leather sofa?

Leather sofa.

Which famous person’s home would you love to sneak peek into?

Aino and Alvar Aalto, they are a bit of a designer power couple.