And so now…I have my very own shop! With a door and a key: Nina’s Apartment vintage furniture and interior design, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

Well, not quite yet…but soon!

Sometimes things change quickly. Less than a year ago I set up my own business and started promoting my ventures online. In January I set up an Etsy account, in May I started selling at Yeadon’s bookshop in Elgin and I’ve done a number of craft/vintage fairs since last Christmas.

(Oh yeah, I also had a baby)

It is August now and I have just got the keys to my very own studio & shop space. Eeek! What’s going on?! Am I scared? Yes, I am!

It is out in the sticks and not on a busy high street, so I am going to have to shout loudly to draw attention! Nevertheless, it is hugely exciting and I will be part of a lovely old building housing other creative people who make furniture – and even complete handmade kitchens (the woodworking workshops there would make any joiner drool!). Oh yes, and it has lots of parking space (try to find that in a city!).

It will be my own little work space where I can let my creative juices flow, paint, sew, design, make and also show off and sell my furniture, vintage, unique and handmade homeware and other nice things. I hope to make it a fun, inspiring and welcoming place to be, where people can come and spend some time, find inspiration, join me in creating things – or just catch up over a cup of coffee.

But first things first: redecorating! An opening party will follow. Promise.


Nina’s Apartment will soon be located at:

Lethenty Mill
AB51 0HQ

Ercol chair makeover with Annie Sloan paint

Just a quick post to show you a before & after shot of a chair I’ve been doing up this weekend. It’s an original Ercol chair, probably a 1950s one. I have two, so once they’re both done they’ll make a great pair in someone’s kitchen!

I painted them in Annie Sloan white chalk paint with on top a mix of the white with a bit of Farrow and Ball Old White through it. Distressed it with some fine sand paper at the end and put a clear wax coat on it.

Travel post: Sleeping in a Grand Design home: Dime House, lake Windermere, Lake District

We’re just back from a lovely two weeks’ holiday in the UK. I guess you could call it a ‘stay-cation’ since we decided to stay in Britain this summer, but with a long drive of about 1500 miles in total you can hardly speak of ‘staying local’!

The good thing was that on our epic journey from the North East of Scotland all the way down to Cornwall we stopped for three nights in the beautiful Lake District. You could pick any of the many B&Bs dotted around this area, but we picked the Dome House, a stunning piece of architecture overlooking lake Windermere and a place that added a real bit of ‘designer flair’ to our trip.

It comes as no surprise that it featured in the BBC TV programme Grand Designs, and with its domed roof and facade of wood and glass it really stands out from any of the historic homes and cottages in Bowness-on-Windermere. Although very ‘grand’ on approach, the guest rooms have a lovely, welcoming feel to them, with their open plan living space, vintage furniture and view to die for. Our room, the ‘Green Suite’ also features a rather unusual and very large wooden bath, which was a real winner – even our 7-month old baby loved scooting around in it. Rather than having to rush to a communal breakfast room, at the Dome House you are provided with a well stocked ‘breakfast hamper’, which makes your stay even more pleasant and relaxed.

We really enjoyed staying here and would recommend this place any time, whatever the weather. A thunder storm and torrential rain shower never looked more impressive than from the window of this grand design house.

View from our room after the storm

The fabulous wooden bath and my fabulous baby boy

How I became the proud owner of five neglected Hans Wegner CH24 wishbone chairs

I always keep my eyes and ears open on the hunt for great vintage treasures. Last week I decided to randomly type in the words ‘bentwood chair’ in the search box of our local Gumtree and in the listings I found something that immediately caught my eye. I contacted the owner to arrange a viewing and in his back garden I found five battered, dirty, damaged chairs – but of an unmistakable design and the leftovers of the labels on the bottom made me smile from ear to ear: here I had no less than five original Hans Wegner wishbone chairs. He got them from a house-clearing somewhere, some time. I couldn’t believe my eyes – nor the price: £60 for the lot! They do need complete re-lacquering and seat replacement at some point, but for now I am the proud owner of a beautiful set of salvaged Danish designer classics.


Looking good around our beech dining table!
I added cushions…to prevent my cats from getting their claws into those vintage paper cord seats!
Some more wishbone chair love (in much more grand and stylish homes than mine 😉 …

Nina’s Apartment vintage shop at Yeadons of Elgin

Today I drove up to Elgin, north Scotland, with a car full of vintage and handmade goodies and got my very own ‘shop within a shop’! It’s fantastic to see my stock displayed inside a beautiful shop amongst thousands of books. Hopefully the customers will love Nina’s Apartment @ Yeadons of Elgin and help it to become a well known place not just for quality books and stationary, but for quality, eclectic homeware too. I will regularly update the stock with vintage and retro crockery and stoneware, fabrics and linens, suitcases, furniture and of course my own cushion designs.

Please pay this wonderful bookshop a visit if you ever happen to be in the area.

I am so excited, I think it deserves a big High Five! Yeehaa!

Nina’s Apartment @ Yeadons of Elgin
32 Commerce Street
Elgin, Moray IV30 1BS
tel: 01343-20542411

Turning a page… Nina’s Apartment will soon be selling vintage furniture and homeware at Yeadons Bookshop, Elgin

I am so excited to share this news with you all… Not just a little bit… but UBER excited! I will be partnering up very soon with one of the best booksellers in the UK; Yeadons Booksellers in Elgin, north Scotland. This shop, one of the oldest continuously trading bookshops in Scotland – already established in 1887 – will be the perfect environment for my eclectic mix of vintage, handmade and upcycled homeware. It is a beautiful 1930s building, tastefully decorated with custom made shelving and vintage furniture and stocked with a carefully chosen, eclectic selection of books.

Recently Yeadons started selling vintage homeware alongside their books, which went down a treat with the customers, complimenting the great mix of books and stationary and the friendly shopping atmosphere. From next month Nina’s Apartment will be ‘moving in’ with them adding to the selection of wares with vintage treasures, handmade cushions and revamped furniture. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, have a look at this Vintage Inspiration board on Pinterest, to get you in the mood for for what’s to come…

My debut as a business…Nina’s Apartment at Inchmarlo golf club Christmas fair

It felt like I was finally officially launching my business in ‘real life’ yesterday, at the Christmas Fair in Inchmarlo. I had my table all set up, my products displayed, my labels and packaging organised…how exciting! It’s all very well running an online shop and blog from behind the safety of your computer screen, but physically speaking to customers and seeing what they pick up, look at, like and buy (or don’t!) really is a different ball game…and so useful!

I learned a lot in three hours. I am however pleased to say that my lovingly hand crafted patchwork cushions went down very well and so did my Christmas decorations and vintage items. I’ll definitely do more fairs next year!

In the meantime I had to update my web shop as I sold quite a bit! If you would like to buy anything, please order in the next few weeks – my baby’s coming soon!

Here’s me, proud owner of my stall!

Wardrobe makeover by Nina’s Apartment in Annie Sloan Aubusson and Duck egg blue chalk paint

I am proud to finally present to you the result of my £20 wardrobe makeover! Got it months ago from Banchory’s Box Room (great for finding old furniture) and I eventually painted it and did it up. I love the combination of the blue and the brass hinges. It is now baby’s first antique piece – holding all its baby grows, cute little cardigans and mini socks.

I painted the inside of the wardrobe in Annie Sloan‘s duck egg blue chalk paint and the outside in her Aubusson blue shade (with a layer of duck egg blue underneath which shines through after I lightly sanded through the corners and edges). I also stuck some blue-green retro fabric against the inside back panel of the wardrobe. My sister, who has been helping me finish the nursery over the past few days, put in an extra shelf (which she made out of our old bed slats!) and we got some useful storage boxes for underneath. She also saved me some money by suggesting using an old broom stick as a clothes rail and painting it in the same colour as the wardobe. Neat!

I’m very pleased with the result – hope baby likes it too when I show it its room for the first time next month 😉

The broom stick clothes rail and bed slat shelf!
My hard working sister ‘handy An’ – 🙂