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!

CreditTelegaph

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!

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.

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.

Bring the Outdoors In!

By Liz White.

The gorgeous weather is making us all head into the garden and enjoy some time outside but venturing back inside makes the room seem dark and gloomy in comparison to the great outdoors. To keep that outdoor feeling alive hang some well placed mirrors in the room adjacent to the garden to encourage the sunshine in.

This is a great little trick to brighten up any room – a restaurant, hotel foyer, beauty spa, boutique or even in your own home.  Mirrors reflect the light so on a gorgeous summers day make sure you are getting the most from the weather!

Vintage Vibe have a huge selection of mirrors and I feel their white framed mirrors are perfect for the summer season – see my top five below!

french-style-cream-wall-mirror-2368-p[ekm]300x225[ekm]1. French Style Cream Wall Mirror – the reason why I have given my top spot to this mirror is because it is something a little different.  The mirror is large and because of this the inlay design does not detract from the practicality of the design but adds a different dimension to it.
extra-large-classic-white-rectangular-leaner-wall-mirror-wapping-8532-p[ekm]300x344[ekm]2. The Classic White Leaner Mirror – a large, full length mirror that is amazing for reflecting the light into a room but also so handy to check out your outfit!  If you are a business this is the perfect mirror to encourage your guests to linger longer.

large-metal-antique-white-french-style-bird-cage-mirror-272-p[ekm]300x495[ekm] (1)3. Metal Bird Cage Mirror – this is quirky, enticing and fun.  The perfect mirror for a conservatory, summer house or garden room.

extra-large-white-gloss-circular-round-mirror-blanche-7457-p[ekm]300x383[ekm]4. White Gloss Circular Mirror – mirroring the shape of the sun this is a stand out piece of design. The mirror will be a centre piece of the wall and be admired by all.

large-rectangular-ornate-cream-louis-style-carved-wall-mirror-louise-cream-258-p[ekm]300x321[ekm]5. Rectangular Louis Style Ornate Mirror – I love a little decoration.  This is elaborate without being whimsical and if you have a luxury brand – high end hotel, spa or boutique – adding a little grandeur never hurts!

Vintage Vibe are specialists when it comes to mirror delivery having trusted couriers that deliver the mirror to your room of choice and give you the opportunity to check the product over before signing for it.  Encourage the outside in this summer and enjoy the Great British Summer!

Ship to Shore with a Vintage Vibe!

ship-to-shore-213-c[ekm]133x200[ekm]By Liz White.

Welcome the sun as the great British summertime arrives.  With the longer days and warmer nights comes holiday season and all things nautical suddenly come onto fashion!  The ‘ship the shore‘ look is really popular and you can get a slice of this design pie by simply making a few subtle changes to your decor which make a huge difference.

If you are in the hotelier trade this look is fantastic to get your customers in the holiday mood and if you are beside the sea there is no excuse not to embrace it!  A driftwood theme is a particular style that creates a shabby chic look and can be created with ease.

large-vintage-style-painted-driftwood-chest-of-drawers-back-in-stock-end-of-march-8620-p[ekm]300x254[ekm]large-antique-white-upcycled-vintage-mirror-made-from-old-reclaimed-wood-4502-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]This Vintage Vibe driftwood set of drawers creates the perfect feel to a hotel room and twinned with their reclaimed wood mirror, the style is complete for the fraction of the cost of buying a whole new bedroom set.

The easiest way to give your rooms a nautical feel without disrupting the furniture is to include a porthole mirror.  Round mirrors are fabulous at creating the atmosphere of ‘a life on the ocean waves’ and are also a little different, a talking point for your guests.  Here are 5 of Vintage Vibe’s round mirrors to motivate you into making a nautical statement with your room design.

L-R classic Porthole Mirror £95, copper and aluminium porthole mirror £154, White gloss round mirror £230 silver fish eye convex mirror £230, silver and black metal embossed mirror £295

green-gold-round-deep-frame-porthole-fish-eye-convex-mirror-52cm-9968-p[ekm]300x277[ekm]

large-metal-copper-aluminium-riveted-circular-porthole-mirror-10517-p[ekm]300x305[ekm]

extra-large-white-gloss-circular-round-mirror-blanche-7457-p[ekm]300x383[ekm]

silver-round-deep-frame-porthole-fish-eye-convex-mirror-86cm-9977-p[ekm]300x293[ekm]large-circular-round-black-silver-metal-embossed-mirror-10575-p[ekm]300x311[ekm]

An Alice in Wonderland Home – Celebrating the 150th Anniversary.

alice in wonderland theme styleshot 2By Liz White.

This year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.  Published in 1865 Lewis Carroll’s wonderful and whimsical world still has us entranced today.  Alice in Wonderland is the perfect theme for decorating a child’s bedroom or for bringing a fantasy element to your garden so why not celebrate this anniversary in style and welcome Alice in Wonderland into your home.

There are many gorgeous designs out there taken straight from the book or film, but if you want the theme to have a contemporary edge and styled effect then these Vintage Vibe pieces are perfect!

antique-style-playing-cards-book-chest-of-drawers-side-table-cabinet-9876-p[ekm]300x350[ekm]Playing cards chest of drawers – there are a pair and they scream Alice in Wonderland loud and clear without the cartoon element.

decorative-vintage-style-silver-leaf-crown-table-decoration-eliza-246-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]Queen of Hearts Crown is an essential decorative item and for the bed these scatter tapestry-black-crown-cushion-free-postage-6431-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]crown cushions are a must!

large-gold-decorative-key-wall-hanging-free-postage-1482-plarge-silver-key-wall-hanging-decorative-silver-key-plaque-with-crown-detail-free-postage-6407-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]moon-gazing-hare-garden-statue-ornament-10434-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]For the walls along with any quotes or wall stickers you want why not add an element of fun with these gold and silver key wall hangings. Keys have an iconic connection to Alice in Wonderland so let your room design reflect this…oh and don’t forget the last magical touch…Vintage Vibe’s version of the White Rabbit!

To have an Alice in Wonderland tea party is the ultimate celebration of this classic tale and selecting lavish, beautiful tableware is essential.  Imagine your table set in your garden, with fine china and long table cloths reaching to the ground, piled high with gorgeous treats to eat…your friends and family will love your attention to detail so select the best and create a wacky, wonderland tea party with silverware to match!

oceana-gorgeous-silver-plate-shell-condiment-set-table-decoration-ex-display-was-135-now-889-p[ekm]300x369[ekm]The Oceana condiment set – invite a fish for tea!

vintage-style-silver-plate-golfing-toast-rack-or-silver-plate-letter-rack-free-postage-was-65-now-4949-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]Ensure the right look with this beautiful silver plated toast rack and serve up the very finest toast and jam!

wmf-style-ornate-silver-plate-wine-bottle-holder-was-125-now-2844-p[ekm]300x325[ekm]

And for the adults a drop of ‘Drink me Potion’ should be served in style – this  silver plated wine holder should do the trick!

The 150th anniversary is a wonderful occasion – celebrate it by purchasing items that will keep the Lewis Carroll’s magic alive and that you can use again and again!