IMG_5593In a 200 year-old stone and timber cottage, down a quiet winding road, nestled in the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds lives a remarkable antique-collecting couple and their two black cats. From within this idealic world Clare and Mike Brown run one of the most successful and popular online vintage home style shops, Through their gorgeous shop, this dedicated couple offer a wonderful selection of one-of-a-kind vintage items which they hand-pick from antique fairs, house clearances, and dealers across the country.

And celebrating the two year anniversary of their shop earlier this year, Clare and Mike have relaunched their website to make searching for those elusive vintage treasures even easier. Clare takes some time out from her busy relaunch to chat to and offer us some great home style advice.

Can you tell us a bit about the background of Vintage Home?

Clare: The Vintage Home online shop was launched on 14th February 2007. Several years prior to that, Vintage Home operated from units in antique centres in Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, but I always wanted more of a connection to the vintage-lovers who bought from me – and the online shop was the perfect way to connect with like-minded people!

What inspired your interests in vintage home style and what does vintage mean to you?

Clare: As far back as I can remember, I have preferred old, pre-loved and individual furnishings over modern, new or mass-produced items. Our home has always been furnished with antique/vintage furniture and textiles – in fact, apart from today’s essentiaaheadl household items such as a fridge, washing machine and freezer etc., pretty much everything in our home, from crockery to bed linen, is the genuine vintage article!

Living with and using vintage homewares, furniture and accessories is a way of appreciating the quality of manufacture that went into every-day items all those years ago. Although we utilise our vintage homewares on a daily basis, they are also cherished – unlike the mass-produced items of today, which are very quickly seen as out of date or are simply not up to the day-to-day rigeurs of household use!

Do you have a favourite era or look?

Clare: Although we have furnished our home with a mix of vintage items dating back to the mid-Victorian era, my favourite era spans the Thirties through to the Fifties. I am amazed at the ingenuity and expertise that went into producing homewares during the war years, and then the emergence of the innovative and cheerful designs of the Fifties as Britain shrugged of the legacy of the war. Plus, of course, the Fifties was THE decade of the rose; it appeared everywhere in some beautiful ‘big ‘n’ blowsy’ designs!

Are there any particular items that you collect?

Clare: I have quite a few collections of different vintage treasures. I collect Victorian handpainted mugs; floral (mainly roses!) oil paintings; Barbola mirrors; eiderdowns and talc tins. This last collection consists mainly of American talc tins from the Thirties and Forties – the designs are really pretty and the oldest tin in my collection is 103 years old!

Read on for the rest of the interview!

1 2

2 Responses

  1. La Sweeta Deeva

    It’s just wonderful to hear Clare espouse so succinctly the values by which my partner and I live! (Gotta love someone who agrees with you, hey. 😉 )