Emerging from the Antiques Barn the other day, like a mole, blinking and blinded by the cold, harsh light of day, I felt a wave of happiness wash over me, for in my pocket was a key – the final item on my Top Five Vintage Magpie Buys list. The quest was complete. The search was over, the misson at an end. And I could rejoice.
1. A key. Preferably old, ideally big, slightly rusty, with an interesting shape and a Secret Garden look. Illustrated here by Yvette Inufio‘s lovely photograph – which you can buy on Etsy incidentally. Tie an antique velvet ribbon to the key, then place it on a pretty, vintage book for the ultimate effect. Alternatively, tie a luggage label to the key with words ‘La cle de mon coeur’ on it in old-fashioned letter stamps. Pretentious? Yah. Lovely? Oh yeah.
2. A pair of wooden shoe lasts. Yes, they’re creepy. They look as though they might start tap dancing around your house at midnight, but they’re SO handy as door-stops, and look pretty darn cool on a shelf, too. You can buy them in Pedlars, and they’re always knocking about at car boots, but check for woodworm.
3. Vintage kitchen scales. Retro, metal, old. The larger the better. Of course they will take up valuable work-top space and are completely impractical and often inaccurate or broken and unusable but they look so completely and utterly charming, you won’t care. You might be unable to cook but at least you’ll have a cool kitchen to admire. And you can put things in the bowl, such as apples, onions, or a small cat.
4. Letters. Collect them. Preferably your initial. Think rusty signs, inky wooden printing blocks, old Scrabble tiles…I wish I could pretend that this beautiful collection of Es is mine. But it’s not. It belongs to stylist Emily Chalmers of Caravan fame. SIGH.
5. The Anglepoise lamp. Effortlessly cool. Always a winner. The Little Black Dress of interior style. If you find a vintage one you fall for, but it doesn’t work, don’t despair. If you visit the Anglepoise website, you can buy a re-wire kit, and download a handy PDF of instructions too. Hurrah. – EllieTweet