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A life in antiques - Vintage glamour

PUBLISHED: 18:15 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:42 20 February 2013

These lace lavender bags have been given an interesting twist with vintage brooches

These lace lavender bags have been given an interesting twist with vintage brooches

Owner of The Packhouse antiques centre in Farnham, Alison Hougham reports on the growing obsession with vintage clothes and fabrics

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2009

Owner of The Packhouse antiques centre in Farnham, Alison Hougham reports on the growing obsession with vintage clothes and fabrics







Find out when and where upcoming Surrey antiques fairs are taking place







With the New Year now upon us, I have decided to update my home with a few vintage touches that will not only transform those corners that seem lost without the sparkle of Christmas but will also add a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

I am not alone here in my love of vintage treasures. We have become increasingly aware at The Packhouse of a growing resurgence of customers searching out antique fabrics, old costume jewellery, original buttons and interesting decorative items. These often glamorous and sometimes worn and faded treasures are being used increasingly as items that we choose to collect, display and embellish both traditional and more contemporary interiors with a quirky, individual edge.

In the current economic climate, the trend seems more popular than ever, as old pieces found in antique showrooms, junk shops and parents' and grandparents' homes are being given a new lease of life. What were once discarded items are now helping to give our homes an interesting twist but without the expensive price tag.

New lease of life

These delights are often remodelled and re-used in an innovative way: brooches become a new means of enhancing cushions and lavender bags; old blankets are used to upholster more modern day chairs and sofas; monogrammed linen sheets are transformed into curtains or cut up to create striking cushion and footstool covers; old faded floral fabrics are used to trim more contemporary bath towels; hemp linen sacks are turned into cushions; old photographs and jewellery are used to embellish new style art.

People are also becoming ever more creative with their use of old decorative objects. I received a present this Christmas wrapped in simple brown paper and tied with exquisite silk ribbon and dressed with an old sparkling diamante buckle. It looked too good to open and this personal touch made it all the more special. With many re-evaluating what is important in their lives at the start of a New Year, and with our day-to-day lives continuing at such a hectic pace, it is refreshing to see new inspiration surrounding the desire to create.

Personally, I enjoy the process of seeing former treasures finding their way back into our homes in different ways; and in time I wouldn't be surprised if many of these new ideas do in turn become heirlooms in their own right, but for very different reasons. As I go off to create at home, I wish you all a really happy and sparkly New Year!








Find out when and where upcoming Surrey antiques fairs are taking place






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