Last week, Blogland was atwitter with excitement, preparing for the long awaited Kirstie's Vintage Home which was aired on C4 last Thursday. Since then, I've heard nothing. Apologies if you have done a post on the programme and I've missed it, but I thought we would be awash with comments and opinions.
On the other hand, hats off to Kirstie, if she can persuade people to upcycle old furniture instead of sending it to landfill, then that's all to the good. Forgive me if I'm getting this wrong, I only watched the programme once, so I may have missed things, but when the flat was emptied, I hope the stuff that was going was recycled, because I've found that whatever you advertise on Freecycle, there is always someone out there who will want it.
The true vintage home to me is one full of eclectic treasures gleaned over the years from family, friends and often the grubbiest of charity shops. It can't be made overnight, but evolves and matures over the years, staying the same, yet always subtly changing with a little find tucked in here and there, easily blending in with the rest of the landscape.
I must admit the 1960's, which is the era in which I was born, is not my favourite, home style-wise. While I love the music and the clothes and the sheer exuberance of the decade, I struggle a bit with the decor. My daughter, Millie, loves all things 60's (especially the Fab Four) and I love the way she puts different things together from this time. My sister Helen is also planning a 60's/70's Living Room, and I'm looking forward to helping her source furniture and bits'n'pieces for it. Kirstie is embracing the 1950's this week, so I'm looking forward to that.
I don't really prefer any decade, as I said before, my home is an eclectic mix spanning the past 70 years and even before. If I like something, I usually find a place for it, I couldn't live in a home which is dedicated rigidly to a particular time, although I admire people who live like this. My family would object for one thing ... they just about put up with my eccentricities as it is, and I do like the comforts of the 21st century!
The programme reminded me a bit of House Doctor and (I think I've made this up, but you catch my drift) Clutter Busters! Let's face it, the flat was quite messy and unorganised to begin with, and just with a good tidy up and decluttering session, would have looked 100% better, without having to spend an arm and a leg.
The room was stripped bare of any character and a few iconic pieces were added. The child's mountain of toys was magically secreted away in a Tardis bedding box, revamped by Kirstie. In the real world, were would they have gone?
It was the bedroom that made me question why it was called Kirstie's Vintage Home. To be fair, an upcycled chest of drawers was brought in, and a couple of bevelled mirrors were hung on the wall. But the star of the show was the bedspread, lovingly made with brand new fabric, featuring an image that meant something to the gentleman of the house. To me, vintage and thriftiness go hand in hand. I know this is not a rule of thumb, this is only how I live, but really, who has the money to pay for their own bespoke hand-printed fabric. Surely a vintage bedspread would consist of fabrics taken from long-ago summer dresses, embroidered tablecloths, Nana's antimacassars and Aunty Vi's rosy curtains?
Please don't think I'm trying to say I know everything about the vintage home or that I'm an expert ... I'm far from it ... my home is personal to me and not everyone's cup of tea. Nor would I want it to be. I like to be different, but I am always learning. I think C4 should visit the lovely blogs which I follow, and commission a programme featuring real women who embrace the vintage lifestyle on a shoestring.
Anyone, with a fat wallet, could create 'faux' vintage style in a day ... the high street is brimming with flowery cups and saucers, teapots, lots of ribbon and bows, cupcakes adorning everything from bunting to pincushions, but to me it lacks something ... the faded charm of an old crackled cup and saucer, the frayed beauty of a vintage knitting bag and the glamour that exudes from a much-loved photograph album.
Whilst very pretty, a lot of the new buys don't have staying power. They're part of our materialistic, throw-away society, which I shy away from. Don't get me wrong, I do buy new things (usually that look old!) and fit them in along with the genuine finds, but I think that true vintage style has genuine, old items as the backbone, with newer items thrown in to lighten the mix, and not the other way round.
In my head, I always have a wish-list. A while ago, top of the list was a pair of rosy, flowery 100 inch long curtains for my Front Room. I found them (above) for £10 at a car-boot sale, but had quite a long wait for them. That's the secret, you have to be patient ... all the money in the world can't buy true vintage style, it takes time, it takes patience and most of all it takes vision. The vision to imagine how a certain grubby item can be transformed into an item of beauty that can shine once more.
In my ideal world, if I could pick the presenters of Vintage Home, they would be Tif and Rachelle, aka Dotty Angel and Ted & Agnes, authors of the fabulous Granny Chic. They definitely know what they are talking about, and would not be employing a crew of behind the scenes artisans, to actually produce the props, but would be hands-on themselves, each week featuring a different blog writer and giving them their 15 minutes of fame!
In a couple of weeks, I'm off to Harrogate, to the Country Living Fair, where I will be spending my hard earned cash on treasures old and new ... Rachelle is going to be there, can't wait to meet her!
This Thursday evening at 8pm you will find me snuggled on the sofa in my pj's, pot of tea and cupcake by my side, watching Kirstie's Vintage Home ... I'm scared of missing something ... although, I have to say, I've crossed the book off my Christmas list ...
Please don't ring me while it's on... I haven't got Sky, I'm afraid!
Who would you like to present a homestyle show, and what did you think of Kirstie's Vintage Home?
Love from Claire xxx