Well hello there, it's been a while! I don't know where the last four months have gone, busier and faster than usual and here I am again feeling bad for neglecting my blog and not making time to post when I have SO MANY good ones lined up... anyway, they will appear in time but to start with here's something I'm very excited about. I was on holiday a few weeks ago when I got a message form my friend who works at Atomic Antiques in Shoreditch. He knew I was after a coffee table and how much I'd admired the Ercol dining table that he'd been restoring and he wanted to let me know about a pair of Ercol coffee tables that he had just got in. One in particular was a stunning example with exceptional grain that he thought I would love. Well he was right. I told him to hold it for me while I figured out how I was going to pay for it as buying it wasn't in the budget that month! Luckily a couple of very lovely people offered to give me money as a birthday present which covered half the cost and I decided that this was too good an opportunity to pass up and that if I didn't splurge on the payment for the rest I'd probably regret it. Two days after getting back from Lisbon, we drove to Shoreditch to collect this beauty.
I'm so glad that on this occasion I let my heart rule my head. Look at it! The grain is really something to behold and Ross did a great job on the restoration, it's an gorgeous example which really brings the whole room to life. It almost radiates warmth and definitely makes the room look more 'finished'. Plus it has a great magazine shelf so I can store current copies of whatever I'm reading (in this case the excellent Trouve) I was worried about the table making the room look smaller, because it sits right in the middle of the rug and there's not a huge amount of floor space as it is.
In a way, I'm glad that was a long time concern, because it had put me off buying a table before now, and this is just the right one! It's also one of the few pieces in our flat that isn't IKEA. It's not that I have anything against IKEA but it's bothered me for a while that there's too much of it in our place and I'd been longing for some real furniture for a while... ie, solid wood, well made and something to keep forever. The huge bookcases in the top photo are something of a necessity right now due to the sheer number of books & CD's we need to house, but they are not my favourite things. Somehow the addition of this one small piece of furniture though, offsets them rather well and I dislike them a little less. But back to the table, which I sometimes just stroke the surface of because the wood feels that good...
I've styled it with a plant, a pile of Anthology back issues (the current issues are stocked in the V&A Museum bookshop) Rupert, an antique sheep skull who lives on top of them, and a plate I painted last month, inspired by Marimekko designs. I think it's important to invest in good pieces when you can. Our flat might be rented, but with the addition of quality pieces, it feels less temporary.
Now for some background information. Ercol was founded in 1920 but came to prominence in the mid to late 40s after being featured in the seminal 'Britain Can Make It' exhibition at the V&A. The company is most well known for it's mid-century designs and earlier Windsor chairs. My table was an early 1970s design and is made from English elm. It's still in production today but the thing I like about my original, is the patina of age and that someone I know was involved in it's journey to our living room.
Next week I'll be posting about Atomic Antiques in more detail, but for now, here's their info:
Lastly, as we're talking Midcentury and seventies style, here's a gorgeous hand collaged birthday card from my friend Lucy, with a very 50/70s vibe thanks to the clock shape, radio console and colour palette. It now sits on the picture ledges above the sofa, a very fitting addition to our living room!
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