What counts as good style? Who do you look to for inspiration and how do you interprate this in your own home. Tricky question, especially if you are starting out with great taste and no money. It helps if you are on the doorstep to a great collector’s fair such as Ardingly or near some cool charity shops which have not yet realised the value of their stock.
We live in Sussex so we have great hunting on our doorstep, but you still need the cash to get the goodies. My daughter and I have been hunting to furnish her first home in London and we took £200 to Ardingly and were brilliantly rewarded. You do have to be savvy, but it is easy to bag a bargain if you are not scared to negotiate and do the “walk away”. It also helps to have a good friend with you for moral support. Everyone is into “vintage” – what does this mean exactly? Anything not over 100 years old, because then it becomes antique. You can mix and match contemporary with old quite easily if you keep it simple and try to get one big wow piece which catches your eye.
We are also are not afraid of painting horrid, old brown furniture. We found some old emulsion in off-white, mixed it up, added some water, made a lovely wash and then waxed it with Annie Sloane wax. It is easy, believe me – anyone can do it and the results are brilliant. My daughter is hooked! The next Ardingly is 21 + 22 April, so go have some fun and be brave. Bag yourself a vintage bargain.