Vintage interior style: A retro Manchester home One of our favourite vintage and retro furniture sellers, the brilliant Planet Vintage Girl – otherwise known as Laura Gaither – lets QueensOfVintage.com into her gorgeous Manchester home for a bit of a snoop around. And what a fantastic collection she has! Laura takes us on a tour of her fascinating rooms… In looking over my home, I’ve realised that 99 per cent of it is reclaimed, salvaged or recycled! The only new furniture we have are some Ikea bookcases. But everything else came from flea markets, antique fairs, jumble sales or friends and families. The Hall Some terraced houses have notoriously narrow front halls. To solve my space issues, I’ve found these Fifties display racks to be the perfect thing for holding keys, mail, sunglasses, overdue library books. If you’re a dumpster diver, keep an eye out for odd shallow drawers. Flip the drawer so the base is now the back. Screw the flat back on to the wall, and you have interesting wood shelving to serve the same purpose in a tight space. The Living Room We purchased this house because it still had its original ceiling rose intact, as well as its plaster mouldings. Perhaps a silly reason to buy a house, but why live in an old house if it doesn’t have any of its original features? Behind a panel we discovered the Victorian fire with all its tiles complete because of a thoughtful workman who installed the gas fire without damaging the fireplace. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to redo the floors or walls when we moved in, so we just painted & cleaned. George Mulhauser “Mr. Chair” for Plycraft–found at charity shop in North Carolina. Hopefully I will find the matching footstool someday! You can also see in this photo, the white and orange sewing box I found at Lille, which I use for knitting projects. The large print above the fireplace is by Reika Gwani. The bentwood chair is not an Eames, but attributed to Thonet. If you look at the first photograph in this article you can see an alternative view of our Living Room. The satinwood desk is by Neil McIntosh. There’s a hanging light from Ikea – it was my replacement of the classic artichoke lamp which I can’t afford! I like its smooth texture against the decorative plaster. The Dining Room American Forties aluminium chair by Art Metal, various starburst lamps, and a vintage French sewing basket. In the hallway, you can just see the early 20th century Navajo Ganado rug on the wall. In the shot below of the Dining Room, you can see the large dining room rug I bought for $15 at a church jumble sale in America. I dragged it onto my porch roof so I could hose it down with cold water and woolite. It took a couple of days to dry! The neighbours thought I was insane. But it has lovely colours and is a good size, even if it is a bit worn. The hanging light is from Ikea (again!), and the table light is an American pottery lamp by Marshall Studios. I actually found a Victorian plaster ceiling rose for this room to match the one in the living room at a car boot sale! But Lord knows when we will have the chance to install it. The dresser is an American walnut cabinet. The chairs I found at a charity shop and we spray-painted them black. The maple table was given to us by a friend, but stupidly we stained it very dark. My husband is a scientist, and has taught interesting classes like ‘The Cultural History of Paleotology’ so we have an odd assortment of dinosaurs and plastic monsters around the house. We also have a Blaupunkt radiogram with turntable and cocktail cabinet, along with an American scientific plastic model from Duke University. You can just about see the odd mix of Fifties pottery and crystal wedding gifts, Piquotware, Homemaker, Wade “Shooting Star” and American pottery: Russel Wright, Franciscan Merry-Go Round and Franciscan “Starburst” on display in the dresser. Bedroom The Indonesian batik is circa 1900, from my great aunt who travelled the world after WWI as a nurse. The lamp is Fifties Egyptian with a cool scarab finial. It was a jumble sale find in Washington, DC. The base lights up with coloured glass. The bed we found abandoned in a cellar and covered in layers of paint – it was our first DIY furniture project. Old prayer rugs make great pillows. I found this rug in Amsterdam and easily made it into a throw pillow. My Study I love the Picasso print on the wall there. I call it “Picasso Barbi”, and I got it at a charity shop. You can also see my vintage draftsman’s chair, anglepoise lamp, not to mention a salvaged Victorian stained glass window, along with some German pottery and various pieces of vintage china. Collections My mom was the daughter of two scientists so she started a butterfly collection as a kid in the Fifties. She carefully collected, identified and displayed these butterflies at about age 12. She became a scientist too (geology). So we did a lot of beach combing and picking up rocks as kids which she would then help us identify. I thought her butterfly collection should be on display rather than sitting in the cellar! There’s a shark’s jaw, which I think is visually interesting. A friend gave my husband the racoon skull for his birthday. These clocks, radios, and cameras were some of the first items I began to collect. Visit Laura’s fantastic shop at PlanetVintageGirl.com Read more about Laura and her vintage collections in our interview with her here 3 Responses Julie July 7th, 2009 What an amazing home! Thanks for this!x Karen July 17th, 2009 Wow. what a great feature. Lovely home & terrific site. thanks! kSto February 19th, 2012 Great pieces. A home after my own heart. I’ve been looking for a display rack like that forever.