Our Retro Recipe…

Retro image

By Liz White.

What do you love about the past that you want to still have in the present? Unfortunately, bringing back Johnny Depp from the 1990’s is not an option, but re-creating the styles you loved from the past is easy!  Whether you want retro fashion, furniture, accessories or even make-up simply follow our retro recipe to retro your life!

Key Ingredients for your new Retro Recipe:

A large splash of Colour – Love the 1980’s? Think neon, hot pink and all the colours on a Rubik’s cube and you are on the right track. 1930’s? Golds, blacks and all things ‘The Great Gatsby’, 1950’s? Pastels, polka dots and elegant patterns ruled…you get the general idea!  The colours of your re-created design or wardrobe (whether you are bringing retro into your furniture or fashion) makes all the difference.

A pinch of Unique – simply copying a style doesn’t make it retro – you need to add in a twist, make something new and bring it up to date to fit in with your life today.  Retro is not about nostalgia, it’s about bringing positive influences from the past back into your life!

An eye-glass full of Iconic Inspiration – Who or what epitomizes the retro look you want to keep?  Do you love the Rar Armchair of the 1940’s? The Egg Chair from the 1950’s or anything Le Corbusier 1970’s design?

Maybe icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Richard Roundtree or Jamie Lee-Curtis make your creative juices flow – the rich and famous are great for inspiration but don’t forget to look at your own life too.  Maybe you had a glamorous Aunt or Granny?  Old family photos are great for inspiration and take you back to your own roots as you grew up – you may see an amazing piece of vintage furniture in the background of a photo you want to recreate!

A generous spoonful of love – Your style is your style.  Buying an antique chair from the 1930’s is not retro but painting it neon pink and adding big bold buttons from the 1950’s is!  There don’t have to be rules in retro.  Taking your favourite parts of past designs and entwining them is just part of creating a new style.  Whatever you do, you have to love it because it will be a reflection of you as well as the era you are re-interpreting.

Stick to these three principles when buying retro or creating your own designs and you won’t make the mistake of simply bringing back bad design or fashion that dyed out for good reason!

If you want style tips or retro furniture then check out Vintage Vibe.  Happy retro hunting my retro realists!


Beautiful, Brilliant, Elegant Essex – Bling your Bricks!

By Liz White.

It is true what they say your home really is your castle!  As the historic experts in bricklaying Essex owes a debt to their ancestors to make their bricks marvelous!

With dozens of home improvement programmes clogging up the TV it’s easy to get carried away with ambitious plans to build, knock down and redesign your home so if you have an itch to bling up your bricks take a look at some of Essex’s most amazing buildings as inspiration and make sure you keep the vibe vintage alive…

credit to walthamabbeychurchcouk

Credit: Waltham Abbey Church

1. Waltham Abbey Church – What an amazing structure!  Still revered today as one of the finest churches in the UK taking a look inside is enlightening.  The wells of light, creamy colours of the stone and stained glass windows can’t help but inspire you.

Gareth Bale credit Rightmove2.  Gareth Bale’s Ex-Essex Mansion – of course looking at Essex houses would not be complete without a peek behind the scenes of a footballers house.  Known for attracting the rich and famous, Essex is to footballers as honey is to bees.  There are some extensive, luxury mansions attributed to the football crowd but this mansion (once owned by Gareth Bale) is modest in comparison to some and a little more down to earth.  The muted colour tones of the decor and neutral style makes it easier to visualize your home as a footballers mansion.  It’s all about clean lines…

Ingatestone_Hall_ credit tohhadotcodotuk

Credit: Historic Houses Association

3. Ingatestone Hall – a rather grand place owned by the Historic Houses Association. If you want to grow plants up your brickwork this is the place to come for ideas!


Credit: The Telegraph

4. Grayson Perry’s FAT House for Essex – so if you want wacky, off the wall design look at this technicolor creation that embraces all the colours of the rainbow and looks like a mad, bad, scaled down version of the Brighton Pavilion.  Good for art inspiration.

08-01-13-cruella credit prime locationdotcom

Credit: Primelocation.com

5. Cruella de Vil’s Pad – In Sible Hedingham is a Queen Anne residential house that supposedly inspired the author, Dodie Smith who penned ‘One Hundred and One Dalmatians’.  The author took inspiration from this house as the home of the infamous Cruella de Vil.  In truth it is a gorgeous house dating from 1690.  It was ‘updated’ in the Georgian period so the features are original.  For high ceilings and ideas about how to make alterations with a Georgian twist this is a great place to keep in mind!  With a fabulous wooden stairway and Georgian paneled rooms you can’t go wrong if you like historic houses.

Your home will always be your style but there is no harm in getting a little help – if you want some design pointers from design experts Lisa, Wendy and Kim from Vintage Vibe are always happy to help!

Inspiring Summer Soiree – tricks of the trade for a tip top garden.

purpleflowerMonet said “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” and we all hope to take the same pride in our own back yards.  Looking for the first red strawberry of the season, the first apple to drop or the first flower to bloom is a joy – then comes the battle of the bind weed, plague of pests and late season frosts to test your dedication. So to keep your garden looking amazing and ready for your summer soirees (whether you have an acre or a few plant pots) I have a few great tricks up my sleeve…

To stop birds eating my fruit, I hang up old cd’s on strings in my fruit patch to scare them away (like a 1990’s scarecrow!) Usually red current or black current bushes are best for this.  Another trick is sprinkling zoo poo (available from any good garden store) in the borders to stop foxes and cats messing on your pansies – after all a garden where a lion has marked its territory is not worth messing with!

For good irrigation finely pierce a length of hose pipe, intermittently, and bury it along the border ensuring easy watering throughout the dry season without the use of back breaking watering cans. Attach one end of the pipe to your water butt or outside tap for easy irrigation and block the other end – ensuring the water escapes through the pierced holes.  I also like to trap flower munching snails with an old watering can – by lining the inside with grease the snail can’t get out again.

Getting in the garden is all part of summer fun and at this time of year, when the veg patch is spilling over and fruit trees are heavy with offerings, is the perfect time to delight your friends with a garden get together.  Make sure you know where the ‘sun trap’ in your garden is so you know where to place your garden furniture (and plant the sunflowers) and any uneven ground cries out to be used as a rockery!

Grow your own mint for the mojito’s or fruit for the pimms jug and for the little ones in your life a garden bug hunt to satisfy their curious, growing minds and a ‘pick your own strawberries’ section of the garden is brilliant – as Charlie Dimmock says “the great thing is if they’ve grown the plants themselves, they’re more likely to eat them!” It’s a clever way of ensuring little ones get one of their 5 a day!

cabbagesIf the idea of gardening appeals but the reality of the work involved is daunting then you are not alone!  Every gardener fights slugs for their beloved lettuce, sprays greenfly away from their rhubarb (soap and water spray usually does the trick!) and clears bird poo away from the garden furniture – it’s part of having an outdoor space, but keep calm – we found this great quote from the mighty Monty Don that gives encouragement to us all:

“If you can dream every square inch of a garden, every day of its year and every flavour of its season, then you can make it happen” Monty Don.

At Vintage Vibe we all love out gardens so if you want to ask us anything about gardening then feel free and we will do our best to help!

Candlelit Weddings…

The is nothing like a candle lit room or terrace to create a romantic atmosphere and picture perfect setting. Candlelight is perfect for weddings and whether you are planing to decorate a church, chapel, reception room or outdoor space candle light creates the best ambiance.

Vintage Vibe has some gorgeous candle holders and lanterns that would work well to decorate any setting or their heart themed candle holders make the perfect gift for bridesmaids.

Tall lanterns for a patio or outside area create low level lighting to guide the wedding party to their destination or clustered together they create a brilliant light well to make sure evening guests can mingle in the garden long into the night.

Here are my top three candle holders from Vintage Vibe that can help to set your wedding apart from the crowd…

large-heart-leaf-metal-sconce-candle-holder-189-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]Large Heart Leafed metal sconce candle holder – Imagine this on the wall behind the bride and groom at the top table and you will see why this decorative candle holder is so desirable.

stainless-steel-heart-lantern-36cm-tall-candle-holder-826-p[ekm]300x425[ekm]Stainless steel Heart Lantern – the perfect present for bridesmaids, mothers or even for your wife to be.  This is a classic design and they would look beautiful lining the top table or on garden tables to brighten up the evening.

extra-large-polished-copper-square-lantern-79cm-candle-holder-5011-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]Polished copper square lanterns – I love these lanterns because they look stunning with a highly polished finish.  They also come in four different sizes which means you can create a stepped effect by placing them together.  Height sizes are 79cm, 69cm, 59cm and 49cm.

Once you have used these for your wedding day keep them and home! They are practical, beautiful items and will give you you a permanent reminder of your special day.

A ‘Must Have’ for Wedding Planners

As a wedding planner you know that it isn’t necessarily the big things like wedding cars, cakes and venues that cause the biggest headaches to organise, its the little things – the details that have to be so precise to give your weddings that edge of professionalism and personalisation which will ensure your brides and grooms highly recommend you.

large-ornate-bronzed-silver-display-easel-wedding-event-display-easel-1527-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]For a small outlay it is worth investing in some wedding accessories that you can use again and again and offer to the bride and groom as part of their wedding package – or hire out as you see fit, especially as some wedding venues do not have these to hand!

These little extras help to make the day go smoothly – for example a small silver tray to present the wedding rings on, a vanity mirror to give to the matron-of-honour to ensure the bride always has a mirror at hand, a candelabra for the top table, a gorgeous white wedding letter box for the happy couples cards and gifts and a steady supply of easels!  In fact, easels are my ‘must have’ items for versatility and practicality on the day.

pair-of-antique-cream-of-white-metal-cherub-easels-10509-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]Easels are simply great for display purposes.  Choose a large ornate beautiful easel to display your seating plan (or alternatively a distressed gold painted easel depending on the look of the wedding) or choose twin cherub easels to display the seating plan and menu flanking the doors to the wedding breakfast.

six-small-antique-white-metal-table-top-easels-wedding-display-easels-8917-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]There are also some amazing small easels for table tops to display the menu, name of the table or love quote – whatever the occasion demands! At Vintage Vibe these are sold in packs of 6 and investing in these will ensure you don’t have to rely on anyone else to provide them which make such a difference to the ‘worry factor’ in wedding planning.

By investing in the little things, like easels, you don’t have to rely on venues to provide them and you know the quality and condition of the products in advance.  You can show the bride and groom before the big day to enable them to visualize the little details of their wedding. They will know they are in safe hands with a planner that is so meticulous, so think about making a small investment to help secure more business and take a look at Vintage Vibe’s  wedding products that could be yours to offer brides and grooms (and venues!) for years to come.

Perfect Summer Garden weddings…

large-cream-painted-heavy-cast-iron-vintage-style-garden-bench-10807-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]By Liz White.

Whether you are organising a wedding in your own garden or a business catering for weddings in high season the outdoor space is all important – it is where photographs are taken, reception drinks held and celebrations continue long into the evening.

There are two things that will help to keep your guests happy – comfort and atmosphere.

In the sunshine everyone wants to be outside and the biggest debate is always ‘sun or shade?’ If your outdoor space is lacking in comfort or looks a little weathered then take inspirations from a Vintage Vibe and add garden furniture that is not just all about chairs and tables – use the space you have to maximum effect!

circular-green-metal-tree-bench-vintage-classic-design-8172-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]A great example of space saving garden furniture that is perfect for a wedding is this gorgeous circular green metal tree bench.  What else are you going to do with the space around the base of the tree? It’s fantastic for a social area such as a pub garden and brilliant for a small courtyard space!

butterfly seat 1To reflect the grace and beauty of a wedding, the outdoor furniture can have a look of elegance about it too.  This beautiful butterfly garden bench is in keeping with a wedding and would look amazing in photographs – Vintage Vibe also have a cream cast iron garden bench which would create the same wow factor.

distressed-green-iron-bicycle-penny-farthing-plant-pot-holder-display-stand-9146-p[ekm]300x308[ekm]Adding an element of fun to your garden design is worth while and this Penny Farthing Plant Pot is ideal – a great way to photograph the brides bouquet and if you are dressing the outdoor space with flowers it would look gorgeous with trailing sweet-pea’s or roses in the basket!

vintage-green-painted-metal-garden-pots-on-a-stand-cut-flower-display-stand-9153-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]Vintage Vibe’s flower display stand is brilliant for creating a ‘wall of flowers’ with impact of for practical purposes you could use this to display gift bouquets for the mother’s and bridesmaids.

white-vintage-style-cast-iron-garden-table-10721-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]People always struggle to ensure there is enough table surface for people to put their drinks down upon and a brilliant solution to this is these smart slim, tall, white garden tables – dot them around and see how quickly they gather glasses, cameras and confetti – your guests will be glad of your thoughtfulness.

vintage-style-distressed-green-painted-metal-circular-display-stand-was-260-now-5162-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]Last but not least an outdoor weather proof display stand is a must have – use if for your champagne flutes, cakes, flowers or even as a series of confetti trays to ensure every guest has access to some!  It will look pretty, practical and can be used over and over again.

For people in the business of weddings these are great buys and will guarantee your outdoor space is utilized to the full.  Maximize the practicalities you can offer guests for summer weddings and take inspiration from  Vintage Vibe.

Iconic Gifts you will want to Keep!

By Liz White.

One of my struggles when it comes to present shopping is finding an iconic gift that stands the test of time, yet has a unique quality about it that will set it apart from the rest and ensure it is a memento to be remembered and treasured.  Presents for brother-in-laws, fathers and teenagers seem to be the hardest presents to gain inspiration for, so if you are the same, here are some ideas for fabulous iconic gifts from Vintage Vibe which I feel hit the target…

large-black-wooden-light-bulb-box-vintage-sign-letter-a--10744-p[ekm]300x300[ekm] (1)1. Large light bulb letters – For theatre lovers and those with a big personality these light bulb letters are designed as wall hangings and run on AA batteries.  Spell out a name or simply some initials to achieve a theatrical look in any teens bedroom – perfect for those who want to see their name in lights!
set-of-three-canvas-and-leatherette-travelling-trunks-10800-p[ekm]300x300[ekm] 2. Canvas and Leatherette travelling trunks – for the bachelor, brother or father/brother in-law this is a great present because it is a gift that either hints at travelling yet to come or compounds the memories of the many countries they have already explored.  They are an iconic pieces of furniture which look great in the home, never go out of fashion and because they are robust they are perfect for storage.

3. Garden ornaments – whether you are buying for family or friends there is always a joke to be shared over garden ornaments.  Vintage Vibe has stripped the traditional gnome of his fishing rod and instead introduced the pixie gnomes – fast asleep as nature intended!  Other ornaments available include small painted robins, multi-coloured zoo animals, sheep, pigs, hippos…I could go on but it’s quicker for you to click on this link to Vintage Vibe’s garden ornaments section!

large-silver-plated-rocket-cocktail-shaker-free-postage-4304-p4. The cocktail shaker – which late teen would have a party without cocktails?  Let them know you think they are responsible with alcohol – or encourage some non-alcoholic cocktail making – by giving them a cocktail shaker that not only looks amazing but will put them in the cool camp when it comes to throwing a party.

decorative-leather-globe-on-a-stand-3911-p[ekm]300x489[ekm]5. Globe – this is a great classic gift and wonder upon wonders this is simply decorative, it is not a drinks cabinet, does not hide anything inside and doesn’t play a tune when you spin it – it is a gorgeous aged leather embossed gift perfect for a home office.

Iconic gifts do not have to be all about fountain pens, cuff links and perfume holders.  Check out Vintage Vibe for more inspired iconic gifts.