Welcome to the first part of what we here at Vintage Manchester, hope will become a regular series on the “Movers & Shakers” on the Vintage scene in Manchester. We will be taking a look into our subjects eclectic homes and picking up tips and ideas on the way.
We start with Kristy, better known to some as Vintage Pleasure. An first class thrifter and collector with an amazing eye for beautiful things, she is so good at it she sells off parts of her collection at Vintage Village Fair in Stockport.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kristy and I am a mum of 4 from Manchester with a love of all things vintage.
What changes to your home have you made in order for it to reflect you?
Our home is a Victorian villa that was very unsympathetically ‘renovated’ in the 1960’s. Think lowered ceilings, horrible ‘good life’ pine kitchen and avocado bathroom suite. We spent the first 5 years literally taking it back to bare brick and then turning it into our family home. Every room has had a total makeover and the décor has developed eclectically over time.
Is there one piece that sums up your style? (or one room)
I really don’t have a set style but just buy pieces that I love, then work out what to do with them later. My husband and I had a romantic break a few years back and fell in love with a green sofa in the Spanish hotel. When the time came to buy a new sofa we had it covered in the same green colour. The style of the sitting room just grew from there into a palette of jewel colours.
I would say though that my kitchen is the room that defines my style most. I like to think it’s vintage with a modern edge but most importantly welcoming. My home is definitely for living in and not just for looking at.
What is your favourite era and why?
I really don’t have a favourite era as I like to pick and chose pieces for their colour or texture or story. Most of the items in my home have a story both before I bought them and after. I am really drawn to the colours of the fifties though. Pastels with pops of red and black. In fact I think every room needs a bit of red in it. I also cannot resist a yellow or blue rose motif.
Where does your interest come from? What or who is your inspiration?
My love of all things vintage came from a very limited budget. I originally bought from charity shops and ebay to save money. Then I came across the world of blogs and Flickr and realised that other people did the same. I am continually inspired by the way other people put their homes and the things they love together.
I also keep scraps books of torn magazine images that have become works of art in themselves. I love to just sit and look through them from time to time.
Can you give any tips in collecting, restoring or sourcing vintage items (clothes/furniture etc)
My biggest tip is to be prepared to have a rummage and then to buy only things that you love. Don’t worry so much about where you are going to put it or how you will use it. The worst thing is to only focus on what I call the ‘holy grail of thrifting’ .You know going out looking for that one piece that you saw in a magazine and you desperately want? You aren’t likely to find it and in the process are likely to miss out on some real treasure.
Find out where you local vintage fairs are and make friends with the stall holders. I can tell you from experience that they will look out for things they think you might like on their travels. Same with charity shops. They throw out lots of damaged linen for example that is often perfect for a little stichery magic. Make it known what it is you like and they’ll remember you when they are sorting.
I love a spot of ‘speed thrifting’ too and have a few well planned routes for the towns local to me. I only give myself an hour (parking restrictions help) and then go on the hunt. Having to make decisions quickly tells you whether you really want something or not. You can just tell.
Also remember that everything looks better after a good clean so don’t let a bit of grime put you off. In fact anti-bacterial gel is a thrifter’s best friend. Most of all have an open mind. That chipped china might not make it to your dinner table but could look mighty fine holding your pens on a desk maybe? That old chenille bedspread that is slightly faded could be chopped up and repurposed perhaps?
Tom Wright is a Manchester based Photographer who runs the Impossible Workshops in the Uk and Europe. He champions Polaroid film through the Workshops and his ethos harks back to the days when we treasured photographs, not thought of them as disposable. “Down with snapshots, Up with memories!” is his motto. He prefers to work with film when possible.