Whether you call it up-cycling, pre-loved, Vintage, or re-purposed, lets hear it for the artisans, up-cyclers’ and restorers and the current passion for craft. These people spend hours sourcing the right piece at a reasonable price. The item may need repairing and new handles etc. purchased. Sometimes a piece shouts out exactly what you’d like to create, whilst others take time to decide. Having said that, sometimes you create a piece and you decide to add or change the design because your first idea didn’t work out how you’d hoped. Designs evolve, the plethora of bespoke designs created by each individual ensures there is plenty of choice and something to fit in with your interior. Many accept commissions on your own pieces of furniture also. There is skill, time, expertise and expense involved.
You can understand then, my annoyance when I overheard a lady in a shop recently who was viewing a chest of drawers ( not mine, I hasten to add) remark to her husband ‘Oh, this has been tarted up, and they still want £80.00 for it.’ The drawers had been painted, beautifully applied Decoupage and the knobs replaced with new china ones. Clearly this lady has never attempted any of the skills required, and £80.00 was a bargain! Whether or not the piece was what you were looking for, it had been beautifully done.
There is a current craving for authenticity to counter balance mass produced, highly branded products. These mass produced products are often more expensive than individual pieces, and don’t always stand the test of time. You can spend the same amount or less on old pieces which will become part of your story, as they remind you of shopping trips more than a brand new item will. The finding of various tables, lamps, chairs, pieces of china and ornaments etc. will give a room it’s charm.
Sustainably sourced and ethically produced, are important factors to many consumers when considering purchases. There is only so much space available for landfill! Considered purchasing, whilst supporting small businesses is a win, win.
Shopping is always more interesting and exciting (as you never know what you’re going to find) whether in Antique shops, Vintage stores, Auctions ( houses and online), Charity shops, Etsy and even Amazon Handmade. These are all great places to find affordable items. Always think about a couple of options for example. like a chair which could be put in either a hall or bedro rule applies thand made artefacts by artists and crafters.
Often pieces are very reasonably priced to sell. We all love a bargain, but sadly, all too often people ask for a disportionate discount which can be insulting to the artisan, bearing in mind their costs and time to produce an item. Maybe they’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘ Bargain Hunter’ and don’t realise it’s been set up especially for the programme. I think that customers would think twice about asking for a discount in a charity shop, which can be more expensive than independent traders.
All items pictured are from traders at The Three Wise Monkeys Vintage and Arts Emporium in St Albans. https://threewisemonkeysemporium.wordpress.com/
Featured Traders – Sarah Maidment Interiors, First Class Creations, Baskerville and Ross, Linslade Antiques.
Loads more traders offering a florist, stained glass, upholstery services, and many interesting items for sale, ( along with a tea room too) well worth a visit!