Vintage revisited: journey of a sideboard

Vintage furniture is fascinating. What is the history? Who bought it first? One of the great things about buying and selling vintage is knowing where it came from and seeing it off to a new home. Often I buy from older people who need to downsize and it is lovely to hear the history of the dining table they had so many Christmas dinners at, the china cabinet that always took pride in their living room or the sixties sideboard they bought for their wedding. Some people are happy to get rid of things, but more often than not you spot a bit of sentiment in the seller’s face as you lift the piece into the back of the car and drive off. Knowing that their beloved piece will be given a new home makes things easier, for sure. I am revisiting the vintage pieces that left my shop over the years and find out where they ended up.

Today I am sharing the story of a sleek mid-century sideboard, now living in a converted steading in rural Aberdeenshire. I found her in an artist’s home, surrounded by other vintage pieces, colourful rugs, ceramics, books and artworks. What a treat!



New owner Kate bought the sideboard from Nina’s Apartment three years ago after spotting it on the Facebook page. She was looking for plenty of storage for her craft supplies and in particular her sewing stash. The sideboard was the perfect low shape for the location she had in mind: the upstairs landing which doubles up as office, library and cosy TV nook.



From cutlery drawer to storage for sewing supplies

“The beauty of these vintage pieces is that the functionality of them can change with the years” says Kate. “The top drawer of a sideboard was normally used for cutlery back in the days, but it actually makes a great drawer for sewing supplies like thread, scissors and haberdashery. The cupboards have plenty of space for fabrics too.”

Kate and her husband are clearly big fans of the mid-century and Scandinavian style which is visible throughout the house. Downstairs stands a vintage blond wood Ercol suite and matching tables take pride of place in the wonderfully bright sitting room looking out onto the garden. The chair, footstool and day bed were reupholstered in the mustard yellow velvet curtains from Kate’s family home, providing just enough fabric to cover all the seats. Artworks, old rugs and house plants add to the eclectic, colourful mix.



“If it has a great shape and design, we just add it to the collection”

Mid century ceramics can also be found dotted around the house as well as glassware. “Some of the things I have had for years”, Kate says,”Some were inherited and other things I picked up from shops over the years. If it has a great shape and design it doesn’t matter where it is from, I just add it to the collection.”

The sideboard has certainly landed itself in the perfect environment. To imagine so many of its contemporaries ended up on bonfires is incredible. This one is definitely enjoying a fantastic second life.



What inspired me this week: bohemian meets mid-century

I am currently working with a lovely family on the redesign of their living room in a new built home near Aberdeen. A wonderful project as they asked me to combine the mid-century modern and scandinavian style with a touch of bohemian. Right up my street, I love it! Needless to say I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest, finding plenty of inspiration. Here are some of the most beautiful images I gathered on my board this week. If anything, they show that mid-century modern or Scandinavian decor doesn’t have to mean minimalist at all.

If you want Nina’s Apartment to restyle your home, please find out more details here.

Gorgeous colours, mixing exotic rugs with modern sofas
Nice big hanging plant next to a mid century sideboard and pottery lamp base.
Great vintage textiles and a natural wooden table. Lovely.


I can’t get enough of oriental rugs! fabulous colour combination here with the blue sofa, white flooring and monochrome accents.
Gorgeous Danish chair with a South American textile cushion and Moroccan pouffe.

Is winter over yet? We think so! Bring in some colour!

Vintage directors chair £45.00
It is February, it is freezing, it is dark and we are all longing to see the first signs of Spring, right? Not long now until the first daffodils pop up in the lawn and I am sure I have spotted some snow drops already. In the meantime, why not bring some sunshine into your home? Add some bright colours, fresh flowers, new cushions, a funky light shade or a statement chair to your living room and lift that winter mood. We have been doing our best as always to source to most beautiful and unique vintage furniture as well as complimentary home decor products to add to the mix. We hope you like them.
As usual we are open every Saturday between 10am and 5pm and by appointment during the week. Pop in on a Saturday, or just phone or email us if you want to come and have a look around at another time.
You can never have enough cushions! Starting at £15.00

Beautiful solid teak mid century wardrobe and chest of drawers – in one! 185cm tall x 124cm wide x 55.5cm deep. £165.00

How funky is this chair? Mid century teak armchair with new seat cushions £195.00. Industrial ‘cage’ light shade £28.00. Star burst 1960s clock £49.00, Anglepoise 1960s light £49.00. Red trunk £70.00, black trunk £55.00, suitcase £18.00. Vases from £15.00.
Add a gorgeous hook to your hallway, bathroom door or bedroom. Beauty is in the detail! £14.50 each.

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

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

Nina’s Apartment…a local vintage shop with European flair

If you are on the hunt for a beautiful piece of vintage furniture, a statement mirror or just a splash of colour and uniqueness for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Meet Nina’s Apartment, a vintage shop in Lethenty Mill, just outside Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Nina’s Apartment is run and owned by Dutch vintage enthusiast Nina Eggens, who came to live in Scotland eight years ago and was missing the choice in home interior shops she was used to on the continent. After working for different North East arts organisations and becoming a mother she opted for a career change and opened her own shop in 2012. As she puts it, Nina’s Apartment offers people “colour, quality, quirkiness and European flair.” Above all, everything in Nina’s shop is carefully selected and curated, creating an inspiring shopping environment.

“I have always been a collector of vintage and design and am forever reading interior design magazines and pinning myself silly on Pinterest”, Nina says. “I dreamt about opening a shop for years and after having my baby boy 18 months ago I decided it was now or never.”
“I started selling only online and at fairs at first, but soon my house was full of furniture and boxes of china and it was time I found my own premises. My husband was delighted he got his garage back and since opening the shop in October I have been truly overwhelmed by the positive response from customers.”

In the shop you’ll find an ever-changing selection of vintage chairs, recovered foot -stools, painted chests of drawers, mirrors, upcycled lampshades, well-traveled trunks, retro dinnerware and blankets. Sleek mid-century sideboards, tactile Danish ceramics and graphic patterns show Nina’s love for the Scandinavian style, which also shines through in the cushions she designs and makes herself. 

“I love the clean lines and simplicity of Scandinavian design. It never bores and goes with so many different interior styles. I always get very excited when I come across gorgeous items on my travels. Last year I discovered a set of forgotten Hans Wegner wishbone chairs in the back of someone’s shed. Needless to say they sold pretty quickly. ”

One of the strong points of Nina’s Apartment is the mix and styling of products in the shop. This is no coincidence as Nina tries to bring a message across. “Vintage is a very trendy word at the moment, but I want to offer people something that works well in their own, modern interiors in the long term, whether you call it ‘vintage’, eclectic or timeless – as long as it is beautiful and made with care. I want to show them it’s easy and fun to mix and match old and new furniture and accessories in order to create a home with soul and personality, rather than to buy lots of mass-produced items in the same matching colours from the same shop. After all, your home is yours and shouldn’t look like everyone else’s.”

Nina’s Apartment is currently open on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm and by appointment on other days. She also sells at local vintage fairs.
Nina’s Apartment can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

Published in Made in Scotland magazine

A vintage sewing box that turned out to be a treasure trove, full of retro fabrics

Recently I bought an old sewing box from a family clearing the house of an elderly lady who had passed away. I took the box without having a proper look what was inside as I was mainly interested in the vintage style box itself. A few weeks later as I rediscovered the box and opened it up, I found the most amazing stack of 1960s and 70s fabrics, all neatly folded and in the most vibrant colours and crazy patterns, some of them by 1960s textile designers Barbara Brown and Bernard Wardle.
It made me wonder what kind of lady she was, this woman who picked those fabulous fabrics all those years ago and used them for her own creative projects. She must have loved bold colours and graphic patterns as much as I do. She sure had great taste!

I can’t wait to make them all into beautiful Summer cushions, which I’m sure the old lady would have liked very much if she she was still with us. Here are three cushions I have made so far;

What inspired me this week: grey basics, ethnic textiles and graphic patterns

Great collection of artwork above a wonderful grey wool sofa    
Love the pops of fuchsia pink and mustard against the black and white. Great textures too in the chunky rug and wool cushions
Another example of bold graphic patterns and pop of bright colours against a grey basic background.
Oh my…that tiled wall…loving the pattern! Would look great a smaller feature wall in a bathroom or kitchen too.
Nice timeless design sofa in grey, good combo with the graphic patterns and mustard yellow accessories
Another beautifully styled living room with the grey sofa and black and white graphic pattern accessories, including the iconic Marimekko bowl. Can’t beat a bit of Scandinavian design!

Scandi patchwork cushion collection by Nina’s Apartment, vintage furniture and Interior design, Aberdeenshire

I love Scandinavian fabrics. The simplicity of the geometrical patterns and the strong colours have been used for decades but are still so timeless and work well in most interiors – contemporary or traditional. Marimekko is an obvious name in the ‘Scandi’ fabric design world, but I have recently discovered Lotta Jansdotter, who makes the most stunning prints and whose fabrics I have incorporated in many of my cushions. One day I might try and design my own Scandi-style fabrics, but for now I source beautiful material already available.

Here are some cushions I have made recently using various Scandinavian fabrics.

(PS: If you like this style, I do take commissions and can make a set for your own home, based on the colour scheme of your interior. Just contact me for a free consultation!)

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 😉 …