New stock: rocking chairs, sofas and retro writing desks

‘Upcycled’ metal rocking chair £135

Pair of kitchen stools, recovered in floral oil cloth £35 each or £60 for both

Mid century Danish teak sofa, reupholstered in grey cotton blend fabric £295
Mid century Danish teak sofa, reupholstered in grey cotton blend fabric £295
Lovely collection of purple glassware, from £6

Mid century Danish teak writing desk £160

Mid century Danish teak writing desk £160

Mid century Danish teak writing desk £160

‘Upcycled’ (painted top, sides and front details) vintage writing desk £95

‘Upcycled’ (painted top, sides and front details) vintage writing desk £95

How to create a cool interior with mid-century furniture

“Oh my goodness, my mum had one just like that!”….
“It’s like walking into my auntie’s house”….
“I know folk who burnt a whole lot of these on the bonfire, that’s what they used to do”

Yep, that’s what I hear in my shop almost on a weekly basis! I sell old furniture that for some people is too much ‘like their childhood’, or is ‘too recent’ for others. But I love it. And this is why.

The wonderful Mies van der Rohe pavillion in Barcelona
http://www.themodernist.co.uk/2011/12/ludwieg-mies-van-der-rohe/
 —
Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen,
who made the famous ‘Ant’ chair

In Groningen, The Netherlands, where I am originally from, I studied Architecture History with the emphasis on the 20th century. Modernism was a big part of the course and that is most definitely where I got my passion for form and design. A lot of architects, such as Juhl, Eames, Mies van der Rohe, Jacobsen and Le Corbusier are not only responsible for revolutionary buildings, but created some of the most iconic pieces of furniture too. If you have ever visited Barcelona you might have come across the gorgeous pavillion by modernist Mies van der Rohe (pictured above). Would you believe this was built in 1929?

The Eames DSW chair

A lot of great chairs have been produced by these guys too. Who doesn’t know the famous ‘Eames chair’ from the 1950s, that is still being produced and more popular than ever? Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Barcelona chair’ is still in such high demand that there are now numerous companies around selling reproductions.

It is the attention to detail, the love for material and the belief that ‘form follows function’ rather than to adorn a piece of furniture – or building – with unnecessary decoration, that make these ‘vintage’ designs into timeless classics. Buildings are ‘light and open’ instead of dark and heavy and so are the chairs, tables and sideboards.

Danish architect Finn Juhl’s house in Copenhagen. http://www.finnjuhl.com/inspiration/inspiration-finn-juhls-house-copenhagen-2/
A Danish style sideboard combined with a Mies van der Rohe ‘Barcelona’ day bed and some bold artwork. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259027416041155470/

 

A 1960s tallboy that may have ended up on the bonfire if I hadn’t
rescued it, polished it up and painted the outside grey to cover
the stained top.

The key to a great looking interior with these vintage pieces though is to create a cool mix. Don’t buy a complete matching set of 1960s teak furniture or you will recreate your auntie’s house (especially if you get that orange Hornsea coffee pot out as well). Buy a good solid mid-century sideboard, hang a large bold painting or photograph above it, invest in a great new sofa from a designer shop (or get a budget one from Ikea 😉 and add old and new accessories you find on your travels to make the room truly your own. And keep it light and airy.

When you visit my little shop you will often find teak sideboards and chests of drawers, 1960s dining room sets and Scandinavian looking armchairs of at least 40 years old. Some pieces I paint when I think they look better in a different colour or are too damaged to sell as they are. Some chairs I recover to give them an updated look. But all items are chosen because I really liked them.

The word ‘vintage’ is terribly trendy at the moment and the word ‘retro’ always reminds me of brown and orange psychedelic wallpaper (and that matching Hornsea coffee set). When I select furniture for the shop I go for pieces that have a beautiful shape, are well made and would look just as good in a modern home as they did 50 or so years ago. While I can’t promise you that all pieces found at Nina’s Apartment are designed by famous architects and designers (but I do my best to hunt them down!), I do promise that they will be great examples of beautiful & classic design.

Is this 1960s dining set still reminding you of your auntie’s house?
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259027416042566364/

 

A great looking dining room with some prime examples of mid-century modern design
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259027416042407314/

Nina’s Apartment is restocked and open for business!

My latest creation already supervising an upcycling project

So I guess my maternity break or whatever you call it when you’re self-employed is kind of over and I am back to work. Well, as much as is practically possible with a 9-week old baby and a toddler to look after in between gathering stock, painting, styling, taking photos, advertising and speaking to customers.  But as a true ‘mumpreneur’ that won’t stop me from doing what I love: hunting down beautifully designed pieces, giving them a new lease of life and selling it in my shop!

After the successful pop-up events at Nina’s Apartment in March organised by fellow traders, I have my shop to myself again. New stock is now arriving regularly, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the website or facebook page to see what’s new.

The shop is currently open by appointment only, but visits can be arranged on most days, so please get in touch if you want to come by. No obligation to buy anything, if you just want to pop in and have a look that is absolutely fine. Hope to see you soon! Nina X

Here’s a few photos of what’s in the shop just now:

Solid teak retro dressing table + stool by Austinsuite £195

 

Upcycled retro dressing table £125

 

Retro mirror £25, painted mirror on the floor £49, upcycled Parker Knoll rocking chair £185

 

Vintage demijohn £49, metal trunk £45, antique wooden travel trunk with labels £85, foldable cake stand £25

 

Retro (McIntosh?) extending teak dining table with six chairs £350
Vintage G Plan wing chair upholstered in blue velvet £150

The transformation of a battered old retro dressing table

I buy furniture mainly to give it a good clean, polish it up or paint it and then resell it in my shop. But sometimes I come across pieces that I keep for my own use. I picked up this £20 dressing table last week without viewing it, and when it was delivered at my house I was a bit disappointed with the state it was in. I know, what do you expect for £20, but still!

It had a lot of water marks and scratches on the surface and even a big black burn mark from a candle. I tried to give it a polish to make it look any better, but it wasn’t doing anything for me. So last night, as I was painting some other bits of furniture in Annie Sloan’s French grey chalk paint, I thought ‘well, it can’t get any worse than it is!’ and within an hour I had painted the top and sides of the dresser grey. I finished it off this morning with some bees wax to seal it and voila – revamped, updated and looking good!

I am keeping to myself, but if you fancy something like this – a dressing table, cupboard, sideboard, etc – I can hunt down and revamp a similar piece of furniture for your own home. Just get in touch!

***

Update your rooms with mid-century and retro furniture

I love mid-century (50s/60s) furniture, particularly the clean lines of sleek sideboards and elegantly designed chairs and tables. The Scandinavians were – and are – very good at this style, and back in the days various British manufacturers started producing furniture in this more ‘airy’ style to be part of the trend that became very fashionable after heavy wooden, carved and dark furniture had been filling the houses for decades. Some of the better known British brands producing beautiful mid-century pieces are Ercol, G Plan and McIntosh, using solid teak wood and creating furniture that lasts.

As I am based in Britain it is hard to come across true Scandinavian made vintage furniture (I guess it wasn’t readily available up here to people in those days), but I do sell beautifully crafted pieces made in Britain in a style that reminds you of classic Danish design.

I regularly stock retro sideboards that look stunning in a contemporary setting, especially combined with some great artwork hung above it and some ceramics grouped together on top. Recently I also picked up a lovely small chest of drawers, a 1960s plastic woven chair and a wonderful Ercol dining table and chairs. Even though all of these pieces are up to 50 years old they would make any modern interior look stylish and up-to-date now. You only have to open one of the many Home Interior magazines and they are full of vintage and retro style items.

I was told that Marks & Spencer now does a replica of the 1962 iconic Ercol dining table and John Lewis has also started selling 1950s/60s style furniture. Great news that it has come back into fashion, but I still believe that you cannot beat the real thing. Yes, old stuff often comes with scratches, but what is nicer than introducing some well-made key designer pieces to your home that last, have a story to tell and have been loved by many?

Ercol dining table and four chairs £350.00

 

Mid-century chest of drawers £95.00 / chair SOLD

Sparkles, fur and lots of fun at the vintage ladies night


The very first ladies night organised by Nina’s Apartment in Lethenty Mill was a great success! Over 35 lovely ladies made a fantastic effort to stick to the dress-code “sparkly vintage” and arrived in the most spectacular outfits – including hats and fascinators, glitter dresses, posh satin gloves, high heels….and a LOT of fur. Necessary, as it was only just above zero degrees Celsius. The cocktails and jazz band soon warmed us all up though. Sparkling Vintage – Ladies Night really was a great start of the festive season.

Here are some pictures to prove it!

Nina’s Apartment is open every Saturday from 11am to 4pm.


Nina having a giggle

Nice hair do!

Good effort, ladies!

Handmade goodie bags (upcycled magazine pages stitched together!)

Barbara, our bar manager for the night wearing the hottest hat she could get her hands on

Bags by Black Butterfly

Coasters and lavender hearts by Mydecorideas

Canapes

Barbara, Diane and Nina looking Christmassy

Jazz singer Cindy Douglas and band

The most spectacular vintage outfits of the night!

Vintage jewellery by Peapod

Sparkling Vintage Ladies Night – Friday 8th of November

On Friday night 8th of November ladies are invited to join us for some quality Christmas shopping, live musical entertainment, drinks and canapes and the opportunity to get yourself photographed in our glamourous vintage photo-booth.

                                   DRESS-CODE: *SPARKLING VINTAGE* !

A great opportunity to dress up like a diva, catch up with friends and get started on your Christmas shopping! 🙂

Stalls include vintage fashion and accessories, beautiful one-off handbags, gorgeous crafts, unique handmade jewellery and gifts for your loved ones. Plenty to spoil yourself with too!

Tickets are limited and cost £15

BUY TICKETS HERE 

With your ticket you will get 2 free drinks, canapes, a goodie bag with little surprises and your photo taken in our glamourous photo-booth. Plenty of exclusive special offers in store too.

Jazz vocalist Cindy Douglas will be providing us with quality musical entertainment, fitting in perfectly with the theme and atmosphere of the evening. cindydouglas.co.uk


If you’ve been to any of Nina’s Apartment’s bazaars before you know you can expect a fun environment, inspiration, quality products and a friendly atmosphere!

                          

Furniture in stock right now: Danish design, retro sideboards, storage units and more

Ladderax unit with desk £395

‘Trioh’ Danish design teak coffee table £160

Solid wood chest of drawers £85

Danish design teak coffee table with glass top £95

G-Plan low sideboard £140

Retro – super comfy! – swivel chair £150

Vintage ottoman £40

Upcycled bedside cabinet £45

Lloyd Loom ‘Lusty laundry basket £35

Retro 1960s sideboard £245

Upcycled chair. painted and slightly distressed, plus recovered seat £85

Vintage stackable school chairs £40 per chair or £200 for six

Fill your house with art (and gorgeous vintage furniture!)

My recent purchased sideboard and favourite artwork in our house

One of the great things about my job is that I get to meet so many different people in very different houses. This week I picked up a wonderful 1960s McIntosh sideboard and another British-made mid-century desk from a lovely couple in Aberdeen – with a wonderfully eclectic interior. As soon as I arrived I was taken back by the vast amount of original artworks that filled their home. These people clearly were true collectors with great style and taste! Visiting their house also made me re-think my own wall space and where to place artworks. I have always had this idea that a room can only handle one very large piece and a few other smaller pictures on other walls, but the walls in the house of this couple were filled – wall-to-wall – with paintings and it actually looked good. “Just fill it!” the lady said when I told her my dilemma of having too many artworks and not enough walls. I think I’m going to take a leaf out of her book. After all, being surrounded by art can only be a good thing for mind and spirit.

I have made a collection on Pinterest of beautiful rooms filled with art and pictures, combined with iconic Danish furniture, to share this idea with you. What do you think, a winner?

A wall covered in small pictures http://pinterest.com/pin/259027416041063896/

Amazing art in this bedroom http://pinterest.com/pin/259027416041063901/
Art, sideboard and great books – what more do you need in a room? http://pinterest.com/pin/259027416041063902/
Ceramic objects, another love of mine! Great display http://pinterest.com/pin/259027416041063891/
A wonderful monochrome palette http://pinterest.com/pin/259027416041063892/
Great splashed of colour and art display http://pinterest.com/pin/25473554114710163/
http://pinterest.com/pin/229894755948987319/
Who needs a TV when you have this to look at? http://pinterest.com/pin/273030796132204724/
Who says large artworks are only for museums? Fabulous. http://pinterest.com/pin/273030796131276801/
I like how this artwork has been hung to the right rather than centrally. Great wall colour too. http://pinterest.com/pin/273030796130992110/