At some point everyone has to leave behind the tatty posters of their uni years and admit that the second hand chair that they bought four years ago is dubious at best. But when it comes to decorating your own space, we all want something that is intangible, original ideas but in good taste. We want to feel bold in our choices but soothed in our home environments. Unfortunately this is somewhat hard to achieve when you are looking at the same generic options offered all over Europe courtesy of the father of flat pack (IKEA). Instead of trawling the high street for that pieces for your home, millennial’s are starting to buck capitalist trends and look into preloved items to make their rooms special.
While antiques bring to mind the idea of fusty shops that you are terrified to breathe in, let alone look at a price tag, vintage feels a lot more accessible and even fun. Trawling vintage shops offer a fun day out as well as quirky and unique pieces that you can love, safe in the knowledge that they are not readily available. If you are ready to get trawling, we have found some of the best spots in the Manchester area for you to discover your next piece of furniture.
An old hand on the Manchester vintage scene, Empire Exchange offers a trip down memory lane as it is crammed full of memorabilia, collectibles, furniture and more! You need to grab your nostalgia with both hands and look at that retro record sleeve as a piece of art, perfect for framing. With comics, clothing and (somewhat creepy) toys, the Empire Exchange is not only a great place to while away an afternoon but also a treasure trove that will help give your home a little je ne sais quoi.
If you have a bigger project on your hands (or are dying for an original victorian fire surround for some other reason) Insitu is the answer to all your prayers. It has everything from cinema chairs, unusual lighting and everything that could come under the heading ‘miscellaneous’. You may have to have a hunt but there are some gorgeous finds that make an incredible addition to any room! They have integral furnishings for a beautiful vintage bathroom or to make a statement with your entryway. No matter what you are looking for or the size of your project, Insitu is worth a gander.
Levenshulme Antique Village
This huge and beautifully presented collection is a joy to wander round. Based in a beautiful Victorian Old Town Hall, it is a perfect setting to go shopping for a piece of history for your home. The collection offers pre war, antique and vintage pieces to suit every taste or interior style. The collection of dealers that dwell in the Levenshulme Antique Village add a distinct flavour to the venue and all offer a slightly different experience to the amateur vintage collector.
Moveable Must Sees
Vintage Village Stockport
This little pop up arrives on the second weekend of each month between 10 AM and 4 PM and is well worth the mooch around. While there is a lot of clothing and accessories, there is also homeware and decorative pieces that are reasonably priced and easily transportable. Set in Stockport’s beautiful Victorian Market Hall and helped along with tasty refreshments, The Vintage Village is a great day out even if you don’t find the perfect piece. The sellers are dressed to impress which helps get everyone in the mood and as a bonus, well-behaved dogs are welcomes so nobody need be left at home!
Twice a year, the Vintage Home Show sets up shop in Victoria Baths and offers the citizens of Manchester ever vintage homeware item their hearts could possibly desire. Whether you are looking for weird 70’s retro in a swirl of mustard and brown or a dignified mid -entury piece, the Vintage Home Show has you covered. Based in the Victoria Baths, the next show is due to arrive 10th March 2019 and opens its doors from 11AM. Make sure you have a lot of boot space because this show houses bigger furniture as well as kitchenalia and other more portable pieces.
We all need a little inspiration from time to time. It is no good finding the most fantastic piece or whacky and yet wonderful art, treasuring it all the way home, just to have no idea where it will actually live or if it will even go. This is where these online angels will come to your aid, some amateur and some professional interior saviours have been inspiring us with their online look books and helping us be bolder with our own homes.
Carnival of Colour
If you have any anxiety surrounding colour, pattern or bold prints, Carnival of Colour quickly eases the mind that in fact anything does go. That is not to say it is a haphazard collection that succeeds through luck rather than judgement. Instead Rebecca has carefully curated her interiors, so they are opulent without being overpowering, an elegance that somehow manages to be understated and yet indulgent at the same time. I know it seems impossible! Whether you are looking at how to incorporate more yellow in your life and home or if you can actually manage to decorate in a palm beach style and keep it classy, the Carnival of Colour blog is perfect for you! It helps give inspiration of how to seamlessly blend the new items with your retro purchases and avoid appearing contrived!
Simply The Nest
If you are in need of help for a hands on project, then Simply The Nest is a one stop shop of inspiration, advice and general hope to get you through the purgatory of a half finished room. This is a blog for the brave, with pieces like ‘How to renovate a Victorian Cast Iron Bath on A Budget’ it will inspire you to be daring and put all those incredible vintage finds to good use. It is also accessible to complete novices to old hands looking for a new project. There is even a blog about renovating with kids (and stopping them from coming out covered in paint). There is no corner of the house left unturned and Alice focuses on everything from sad skirting boards to upcycled vintage dining room chairs.