Hunting for treasure

Vintage drawers that were built to last
Vintage drawers that were built to last

Something old is a must-have for fashionable interiors. Sharon Dale reports.

Many design conscious homeowners now add a touch of vintage style to their property. It’s no longer a trend, it’s a staple.

Pink boudoir chiar

Pink boudoir chiar

Something old brings character and nostalgia to a home and it’s bound to be a talking point. Shopping for it is also exciting and enjoyable. You’re hunting for treasure, which is fun, and you never know what you might find. Quite often it’s something you didn’t even realise you wanted. Top of the list may have been a retro coffee table but you end up with a 1960s dinner service, a kitsch 1970s lamp and 1950s SylvaC onion pot.

Fortunately, Yorkshire is a hotspot for fabulous vintage fairs and shops so there is a great deal of choice. Caroline Brown, who runs the Rose and Brown vintage fairs and events, founded her business ten years ago. She stages regular home and fashion fairs in Saltaire, Whitby and at Cliffe Castle in Keighley. Her latest venture is The Leeds Vintage Furniture and Home Fair, which is on September 9 and 10 in a disused factory space at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, Leeds.

Over the past ten years Caroline has seen the market boom and the shopper profile change from long-standing collectors and enthusiasts to those who simply want something different.

She says: “There’s nothing better for giving a home real soul and personality than to have pieces of homeware that have stood the test of time and were lovingly crafted many moons ago.

A retro chair that still looks contemporary

A retro chair that still looks contemporary

“Many vintage pieces are perfect for bringing a sense of style and individuality to an interior. It just takes one well-loved Art Deco leather club chair, a rustic farmhouse table or a sleek mid-century sideboard to make a statement. You’ll often find that the original vintage pieces are much better value than any contemporary copies that have been inspired by vintage. You can buy 1920s or even 1950s wardrobes at a fraction of the price of modern storage and they’re made out of solid wood rather than chipboard and plastic. The same with Chesterfield sofas. To buy them new can cost a thousand pounds or more but you can find vintage ones for under five hundred pounds.”

Best sellers at the moment are mid-century pieces that show no sign of falling out of fashion. G-Plan, Ercol and Scandinavian furniture from the 1950s to the 1970s are most popular. “I think that people really love the clean lines,confident style and great craftsmanship. There’s sometimes the element of nostalgia, recognising pieces that we remember our parents or grandparents owning but I also think that mid-century style suits the current taste for well-designed, unfussy items that meet a demand for function as well as style.”

*Leeds Vintage Furniture & Home Fair is on September 9 and 10. It is in the old finishing room at Sunny Bank Mill in Farsley, Leeds. The former textile mills have been repurposed as office, commercial and cultural space. There’s a gallery, shop, cafe and workshops, along with regular events.

For more details of the Rose and Brown Home and Furniture Fair visit www.roseandbrownvintage.co.uk and for details on the mills, visit www.sunnybankmills.co.uk