New Grand Illusions Vintage Paint.

Well it’s been a while but after much ado going on behind the scenes we’re back blogging, with many posts lined up, so keep your eye out. If you can’t keep an eye out, watch this space…..IMG_1117_edited-2Grand Illusions Vintage Paint.

For those local to us, you will be familiar with the Grand Illusions shop that was in St Margarets for nearly 20 years, a few miles down the road from us. For those who don’t know, Grand Illusions Founders, Nick and David were early pioneers of the French Painted Furniture style we are all so familiar with now. They introduced their own paint range back in the mid 90s, to compliment their increasing range of French Style Furniture. They also ran very successful furniture painting courses from their little shop in SW London. Excitingly for us – and hopefully you – they have now relaunched their paint…IMG_1110Grand Illusions ‘VINTAGE PAINT’ is a unique, flat and chalky matt paint, and is designed to recreate the buttermilk paints of the 18th and 19th Century. Nick and David originally worked with an antique restorer to get the right blend and finish. Inspired by an authentic Nordic-French colour palette, these wonderful paint colours are ideal for painting furniture (or mirrors, picture frames, or walls) And we should know – we have tried a lot of different brands over the years! To give you more of an idea of the finish and differences in the colours, we have painted all the colours on to picture frames in the furniture shop, so you can get an exact idea of the finish….. and mix and match if you need to.IMG_1091Having been restoring, refinishing and repainting certain vintage furniture pieces as a business since 1999, it somehow seemed fitting that Grand Illusions have asked us to be the stockists for this part of SW London (their “old hunting ground”) Somewhat serendipitously as it turns out. They approached us, just as we were about to start stocking paint (by another brand) and the various consumables that go with it – i.e. brushes, wire wool, waxes etc. We will now be using Vintage Paint for all our painting projects in the shop from now on. We will be posting pictures of the finished results as and when we have finished them.IMG_1108

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Christmas at attic.

We thought you might like to see our new Christmas window display. We’re really rather pleased with it…..IMG_1908Some of the regular visits to our site (and this blog!) and various social media, may have noticed that we haven’t been very active in this last few months, Here’s a quick update on our year…IMG_1740We’ve actually been incredibly busy behind the scenes, setting ourselves up for the future with a new integrated till/ epos system and a better functioning website, that will be updated regularly!! There will also be some new things happening with the website over the next few months so we’ll keep you updated….IMG_1770 It’s actually been a year of ups and downs. The loss of a close family member to cancer in the first half of the year was difficult to say the least. That tends to put things into perspective. IMG_1771We’ve also had challenges with our website, stemming from unforeseen incompatibility issues, that have caused a lot of work – but we’ve also been shown the most incredible generosity of spirit (and time!) by certain people. One step back – two steps forward and all that…. Encouragingly though, our business in general, has had some incredible recognition from across the globe – so we must be doing something right!IMG_7009Anyway, we’re getting back on track and we’ve been busy getting the shops ready for Christmas. They are now jam packed with seasonal stock, gifts, decorations and inspiration. We’re taking new product shots as we speak, so new stock will also be added to the website this week.IMG_1750

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IMG_1763attic by night……IMG_1917And by the way, in case you are wondering – the mystical figures in the window are called Santos dolls. We bought them in New York last year. They are replicas of figurines found in churches and holy places in South America (and parts of Europe) in the 17th and 18th century. Not for sale i’m afraid, display only – sorry!

Quintessance, Paris.

While on our last buying trip to Paris in September, we stumbled upon the most intriguing and inspiring of places….. With no name on the outside, no business cards, no obvious signs of staff working there, we left somewhat mystified about where and what exactly we had just visited. All we knew was that it was quite breathtaking. And very, very inspiring….Only after returning home and looking up the address did we discover that it is called QUINTESSENCE…..Essentially it is a 650 square meters concept store created by Ludovic Messager, Interior designer and Antiques dealer. From what we can gather, this gallery style environment is used mainly as a showcase for the eclectic display, visual merchanding and interiors style of it’s creator.Some of the worlds most innovative and respected retailers and designers have come to this ‘house of curiosities’ to commission interiors projects. ABC New York, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, John Varvatos to name a few.You have to be careful in Paris when taking pictures in shops or boutiques. A lot of the owners/proprietors don’t like it at all. But they were kind enough to let us take pictures, in fact we got the nod from the man himself, Monsieur Messager. This is just a selection….

Trick or Treat?

Spooky goings on down down at our shops in Hampton Hill…….We thought it was about time we made an effort and got in the ‘Spirit’ of all things Halloween and so decorated the windows in an appropriately scary manner.We made good use of display domes, skull soaps and script wrapping paper. Not to mention old chemist’s labels, steel bank boxes and apothecary bottles. Oh and a large can of frighteningly good Spider’s web spray!

Vintage Industrial.

Here’s a few things we’ve been working on recently in the attic workshop – and now for sale in the shop……here.We’ve been sourcing, restoring and refinishing utilitarian, vintage furniture since we started in 1999. We do it all in-house from start to finish – hand-stripping, hand-finishing and occasionally repainting.

1950’s Steel Double pedestal desk with new glass…..

Sometimes, all a piece needs is a bit of TLC, or just a clean and polish!

!930’s oak roll top desk….

There’s an immense feeling of satisfaction, when we change something that is ready for the scrap yard (in some people’s eyes) having spent many hours working on it, and turning it into something, that generally results in comments in the shop, such as “Where do you get all this stuff”. Well, that would be telling wouldn’t it…..

!940’s steel filing cabinets with brass fittings….

1950s Plan Chest coffee table….

Collection of early 1900s deed boxes….

!930s Oak tambour front cabinet & Anglepoise lamp….

Reclaimed timber pigeon holes…..

All these pieces are on our website. Check them out here….www.discoverattic.com

Merci.

If you’re looking for inspiration in Paris, then Merci, on Boulevard Beaumarchais on the edge of the Marais, is always worth a visit…The brainchild of Marie-France Cohen & her husband (founders of children’s brand Bonpoint) Merci is a concept store, that since opening in 2009, has in a few short years, gained quite a reputation amongst interiors & lifestyle journalists and bloggers. And with good reason!Set in an old factory, set back from the main road (sorry Boulevard!) Merci has 15,000 sq ft of the very best in contemporary furniture, lighting & accessories, mixed with exquisite vintage & antique pieces…There is also a whole floor of exclusive designer clothing and accessories, with many pieces designed exclusively for Merci, by Stella McCartney, Paul Smith and Isabel Marant – to name a few. There is also a library/café where you can slow down and maybe browse or buy the books while you sip your green tea! It’s also worth mentioning that Merci donates all it’s profits to Women’s foundations in Madagascar. But the thing that stands Merci apart, is the innovative visual merchandising and displays that are implemented throughout the store… That and the little vintage Red Fiat 500 Cinquecento that stands in the courtyard ready to greet you as you enter….Merci, indeed.

New Website Goes Live!

So after nearly four months of designing, selecting, photographing, editing, uploading & writing content, our new website is now live! Here’s a few images from it. Do check it out if you get the chance. We’d love to hear what you think!

Rocks, Bullets & Spoons

So, our new stock has started trickling in over the last few weeks and now Valentine’s and Mother’s Day is behind us we can start to feature some of the more exclusive things we’ve had in. The following photos are pictures of Rosy Maddison’s new jewellery. Rosy hand makes them all individually. Every piece is unique, made from ‘found’ pieces – including antique spoons and brass bullet casings (discarded from a shooting range in L.A.)  All the stones used are semi precious stones, including Amethyst, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Pyrite and Black Tormelene.

Rock & Bullets Necklaces £32

Antique spoon necklaces,  £32

Stone Earrings £12

Stone Necklaces with vintage details. £32

Paris – New York (Pt2)

It’s gotta be said, normally when we visit Nyc, one of the down sides is, it’s usually freezing. I mean really freezing. However for this trip, the weather couldn’t have been better.  Blue skies, bright sunshine and really mild temperatures. Like spring time in England. Perfect really. Little did we know however, what was waiting for us when we got back….. Anyway, we kind of thought after Paris it would be hard to beat, but no, it was as good. Better in many ways. The reasons being in no particular order:  (1) The hotel was fantastic; Soho Trump, a new hotel that borders Soho, West Village & Tribeca. It made getting around to the parts of the city that we love, easy. (2) The weather, the light was amazing for taking photos. (3) The flea market finds we bought and filled our suitcases with. (4) The food/new restaurants. If you’re ever anywhere near The Ace Hotel, stop by The Breslin and have lamb burgers. Awesome. Very cool place indeed.(5) Lastly, the trade show was fantastic too. We weren’t expecting to buy much, but we found such great stuff this time we couldn’t help ourselves! We’ll let you know more about that over the next few months. Meanwhile here’s some snaps we took…….

The hotel…

The view from the hotel….

Flea markets…

Walking back from the Javitz centre…..

View from inside ‘Restoration Hardware’….. Possibly my favourite store in NY.

‘ABC’ Always worth a visit when in NY….

Nolita….

Meatpacking district (Chelsea)…

Midtown….

9/11 Memorial. Breathtaking…….

Radio City Music Hall. Can’t walk past without taking at least a dozen photos…..

Cab ride back to JFK….

We’ll be posting more photos from these trips on our tumblr pages over the next few weeks.

New In…..

Hopefully everyone is fully refreshed after Christmas! It’s already the middle of January and we’re pretty much back in the swing of it now and getting ready for the buying season ahead. Over the next few weeks we have trips/trade shows in New York, Paris & London (only up the road i know, but still, it is London!) Birmingham for a couple of days too….. So, loads of goodies to tempt you with over the next few months. Keep checking in here, we’ll keep you posted about new collections as we get them in! In the meantime, here’s a few new vintage pieces we’ve just finished & ready for sale!