September Reclamation Special

It was a joy to be asked again if I would review the Arthur Swallows Decorative Home and Salvage Show at Ripley.  It was a beautiful serene Saturday morning when I arrived, the air slightly Autumnal.  Walking through the gates makes me feel like coming home, a familiar place that has a special place in my heart.  Seeing old friends and catching up, wandering around the perfectly styled stands full of new finds.  There is always such a warm friendly vibe at Ripley and definitely something for everyone, it’s simply a great day out and if you leave with that perfect item you’ve been looking for, even better.

You’d think that the exhibitors had all talked and compared notes about the look of their stands, they all flowed and coordinated so well: green tones, metals and neutrals.  These elements always catch my eye, it’s a look that I’m extremely inspired by at the moment.

As always Millington and Hope‘s careful arrangement made me gasp, tactile wooden bowls, rough hewn linen chairs and tactile ceramics.  I was also drawn as always to Chris Holmes display, Chris has such an eye for the unusual. He is the master of curation and is so knowledgeable of his stock.  Chris was also showcasing a body of work by Chloe Holt an artist who creates stunning contemporary paintings. I fell in love with them and I am seriously saving my pennies to own a piece of Chloe’s work that I can call my own.

This fair Matt Dixon of Tallboy Interiors in Aberford has taken his own stand. A qualified interior designer with a flair for the unique; I loved his stand and it’s curios but also thoroughly enjoyed talking to Matt who really knows his stuff.

I’m so pleased that this fair has taken place twice this year, you always find something new for your home. I was looking for something in particular this time that I didn’t find so the search goes on. Maybe it will appear in May next year when I next visit.  I did get seduced by a simple ceramic vessel to add to my collection as ceramics are a growing passion of mine so I left a happy customer.


The Sun Shone on Ripley

Ripley is a small country village on the outskirts of Harrogate in Yorkshire but to me Ripley means Arthur Swallows Decorative Home and Salvage Show.  I love it when May comes around, the anticipation of walking through the gates, colourful flags and bunting swaying in the breeze, canvas arcades packed to the rafters with beautifully styled wares.  The excitement builds, wondering who I will see and what treasure I will find and last weekend was no exception.

The traders were of a very high standard this year, businesses that hone their craft superbly well, whose stands are a pleasure to browse around and to forge new friendships with.  Chris Holmes is always a joy to visit such a knowledgeable man, if only I had the space for an antique wooden fairground unicorn!

When it comes to buying I have an eye for certain items, a certain look that I know when I’ve found the perfect piece. Once home it blends into my interior perfectly, so I make a bee line for specific traders I know will have those items on my required list.  Lucy from Lucy Vintage Lifestyle has the best brocante stock around, P.C. Pirates specialise in reclaimed vintage and industrial furniture, Millington & Hope well I just wanted everything.  I made friends with new traders this year especially Monkey and Bird, their display was exquisite with a touch of quirky that I love so very much. It was also wonderful to find that Gaille Skinner came to Ripley, her linen is out of this world, my last purchase from her has now been fashioned into a Roman blind in my newly decorated kitchen.

Along with sumptuous linen, a perfectly chippy foxed glazed French mirror was sourced and an antique dough trough (I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect sized one for years) so the finishing touches to my space are now complete.

If you missed this fair not to worry for the first time this year Arthur Swallows will be holding another Decorative Home and Salvage fair at Ripley this coming September from the 9th ~11th one to definitely add to the must do list.



Salvage Love ~ Linen Wood Glass

That excited feeling is starting to build, as Spring approaches it’s time to go out salvage hunting again.  As soon as Easter is here I make a trip to Lincoln to the Arthur Swallows Fair Antiques & Home Show, it’s a large affair with many dealers from far and wide.  It’s the perfect place to pick up all the wonderful things I like to replenish my home and the Owen and Hunter shelves with.

I go with an open mind on what I want to buy but I always seem to come away with items I can’t walk past: piles of beautiful French and Hungarian linens, old worn wood from bread boards to garden sieves, glass pickling jars are a weakness of mine and don’t get me started on enamel ware that can fill a post all by itself.

In the winter months I like having a good clear out, remove things that don’t fit in my scheme any more, to make room for new items that are cohesive and unique.  Shopping at any Arthur Swallows fair is a joy.  Stumbling across that one item that will lift your space knowing that you won’t be able to find it anywhere else makes me smile and also gives me a buzz when purchasing it.

I’m definitely leaning towards the less is more look at the moment, a pared back style with wonderful earthly colours and tactile items so my top three buys fit perfectly.   Linen is a perfect medium, I couldn’t be without it, from making curtains, throws on sofas, beds and table tops.  It dyes beautifully too, as I found out a few weeks ago when dying a French bed sheet, it came out the most perfect grey and is going to be turned into a roman blind for my kitchen.

I have recently hung an old garden sieve on the wall as a piece of art it looks stark and interesting, to make a bigger impact group a few together for a cohesive look.

Then the glass jar obsession, I simply adore them, they look wonderful placed by themselves but work equally well as storage jars,  or displaying simple stems.  Fill them with fairy lights for a unique light instillation, I did this over the Christmas period and loved it so much it’s still in my living room!

So the days are being ticked off for my visit to Lincoln, my excitement also builds for May and the anticipation of Ripley Decorative Home & Salvage Show.   This one I highly recommend as an overall superb weekend and if you are lucky the sun will shine on that one item that you simply can’t resist to take home.