Akin to the traditional grandfather clock more commonly seen in the UK, the curving Swedish Mora model is a highly unique design with a huge tradition of local craftsmanship behind it. We were intrigued to learn more about this enchanting area of Swedish design history and sat down with Jo Lee who told us just about everything you could wish to know – from the people who first made the Mora to what we should look for when buying one today.
Meet Ben Southgate, a vintage furniture dealer who goes between Columbia Road flower market in East London and the charming seaside town of St Leonards-on-Sea. Ben chats to us about his life as a vintage dealer, memorable customers and his favourite vintage styles. Discover the wonderful finds in his collection too.
No other interior style lends itself to a marriage of eras and patterns as gracefully as global. Generously layered with antiques and worldly touches, this chic living room is ageless and very personal. See what we’ve found to recreate this timeless look.
Did you know the difference between vintage and antique? For something to qualify as ‘antique’, it must be at least one hundred years old. Antiques pay tribute to the richness of design history as it has changed throughout the centuries, across regions, countries and continents. Allow us to take you on a brief trip around the globe in search of wonderful antique finds…
Three reasons why you’re going to fall head over heels for Chinese vintage and antique furniture.
A constant pursuit for perfection and over the glorified allure of everything that’s new has shaped society in a way that’s making everything, including our homes, disposable. The terms the thing of the moment and this season’s most sought-after look (ready to be replaced in moment’s notice) are no longer associated only with fast fashion, but with furniture and decor, too. This is not just an eco-horror story, but it’s also making homeowners feel less about themselves and pressures them to jump the latest trend wagons, or they will have to put up with their hideously outdated interiors no one could possibly appreciate.
What nonsense! And luckily, we’ve finally arrived to the point where people are saying – no more!
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.
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.
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?
Go to winter beverage?
Early mornings always require coffee.
Velvet sofa or 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.