Vintage Actually: vibrant retro & recycled furniture and homeware

There was a flurry of house-related activity yesterday: we signed all our contracts and my new (old) office desk was delivered.

The contracts have yet to be exchanged, and the desk is yet to be refurbished by our furniture restorer friend, but we’re edging ever-closer to the end game.

So much so, in fact, that I have dared to start dreaming-up what other furnishings we’ll choose for the house…

My new desk as it looks right now – an early 20th century arts & crafts table, I’m having it fully restored and the top replaced with galvanised steel (‘cos that’s how I roll)

Once we’ve moved (fingers crossed as usual) we have a shed load of building work to commission, and it’ll be a good few months before we can really think about interior design.

But I’m starting to build up a picture of what I want and – just like my wardrobe – it’s a mix of modern and vintage: minimal fixtures, classic Victorian elements to match the house and a 60s psychedelic twist.

The desk is a done deal and (also for my office space) I’ve found a place in North London that will upholster a traditional chaise longue in 60s-inspired fabric. Lush.

Another store I am certainly going to raid for my 60s pieces is the fabulous Vintage Actually, the brainchild of Rachel Jones, a conservation & restoration graduate with a love of vintage furniture. 

Rachel set up shop in in January 2012, selling  restored, repainted or reupholstered old furniture. As soon as I came across her site I fell in love with the designs and her taste in shapes and fabrics matches mine absolutely.

I’ve pretty much promised myself that I will order the funky-as-can-be reupholstered 1960s chair (shown above) as soon as we have completed on the sale. We love the idea of buying a statement piece for each room and then modelling the rest of the interior around it, and wouldn’t that chair just rock in the little summer room we’re having built on the back of the house?

But that’s only one of the absolutely stunning pieces Rachel has designed and I can sense that I’m poised to be her number one customer.

See for yourselves…

Rumour has it, my new bedroom (not built yet) will eventually house a dressing table – and wouldn’t this 60s/70s tulip stool by Friedrich Stuckenbroker (reupholstered in Vintage 1970s fabric by Grace Sullivan for Heals) be the perfect place to perch?

My other half has fallen in love with this vintage chair (traditionally reupholstered and finished in a 1960s-inspired Alexander Henry upholstery fabric) – perhaps he can get it for the spare room (aka the place I will send him to strum his guitar out of earshot)

As well as furniture, Rachel also sells a few handpicked homeware pieces: and how cool is this sugar bowl and milk jug? Almost fantastic enough to make me want to drink tea (and I never drink tea)…

…I don’t bake either, but this 1960s flour sifter could possibly persuade me to knock-up a batch of fairy cakes

And as for that garden I keep harping on about, can I possibly resist this 1970s sun lounger (answer = doubtful)

Images from Vintage Actually

Written by Johanna Payton