Not everything I buy has to be strictly vintage, however most of the things I buy usually have a sense of nostalgia, heritage or a vintage inspired flavour to them. I am a great fan of affordable antiques, and vintage accessories for the home - but I will also mix it up with upcycled and painted pieces, modern textiles and decorative items that seem to just 'fit' regardless of their age or providence! You certainly wont find me turning my nose up at a well designed item from Ikea or turning down a perfectly sprung and brand new sofa from Swoon simply because it isn't as old as I am! I am not a design snob, but my own personal aesthetic means that I am drawn to things that have a timeless quality to their shape, colour and texture.
That sense of nostalgia and timelessness infiltrates most parts of my life. Give me Downton Abbey, Poldark, The Great British Bake Off, absolutely ANYTHING featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irons, Charles Dance or Colin Firth in period costume and I'm in bustle skirted, heaving bosomed heaven!
Growing up inspired by Merchant Ivory films, a love of Jane Austen novels, and a mother obsessed with old Hollywood musicals and British films featuring Trevor Howard, I have never been 'cool' or attempted to be 'on trend' in either my home or about my person. (My first 'crush' was Rupert Everett in the film Another Country...oh the innocence of youth!!)
I adore seeing a 'cool' modern home in a magazine and admire the trendy minimalistic aesthetic of friends and family, but I myself am more naturally drawn to interiors that could just have likely been put together several decades ago. Overstuffed sofas, painted furniture, checks, roses, ticking stripes and grain sacks are a particular love. However, although still an ongoing project, furnishing my Georgian house has been relatively easy compared to knowing what to wear as a forty something mother living in one of the most rural counties in England. When I first moved from London to the English countryside, I initially attempted to downplay my love of vintage inspired fashion and 1950's tweed in favour of 'fitting in'. (I favour a screen siren red lipstick and a thick black wing of eyeliner for even the most mundane of outings...) and I feared that I would take people by surprise if I went the whole hog in leg o' mutton riding breeches (without a horse), old Dior tweed jacket and 1950's leather driving gloves.
You see, working for a fashion magazine in London means that you can dress up as anything from Greta Scacchi in White Mischief (swoon) to Vita Sackville West in her gardening jodhpurs (double swoon) on a daily basis and no one will bat an eyelid. Translating that innate desire to play vintage dress up in 'real life' without causing endless shame to ones young children is a balancing act that I've had to adjust to.
It's not that I am high maintenance - whilst I do love to wear a heel, I am just as happy in old paint splashed wellingtons or a good pair of leather brogues. Similarly, when it comes to furnishing my home, as one of my original Victorian Chesterfield sofas in the drawing room cost me 99 pence on eBay (yes really!) I think that I am able to claim a flexible range of price levels in all areas of my life whether it be home wares or attire!
So basically I am a complete blend of timeless influences, periods and styles, rolled into the joy that is a love of vintage inspired everything. I am more classic than kitsch, more Land Girl than Lindy hop, and certainly more Downton than Downtown, but if there are any rules that I try to stick by in all of my style choices, it would be that I love to be surrounded by things that have a 'hint' of history, heritage and and above all, homeliness.