We'd like to say hello to the hundreds of you who signed up to our mailing list at this year's Vintage festival on the South Bank. Together with some top mid-century furniture dealers, we introduced thousands of vintage fans to the aesthetic of mid-century design, and of course the magazine. A rare weekend of summer sun made this event all the more fun, and with a bit of hairspray and a trilby hat, we got right into the vintage spirit ourselves!
The content for the next print issue is shaping up nicely. This month it was a privilege to see some one-off pieces by Robin Day in a stunning architect-designed house in North London and meet the owners of a unique American ranch home, deep in the Berkshire forest!
Our mailing list has significantly grown this month, so please continue to spread the word, and if you haven't already done so, do follow us on twitter or befriend us on Facebook.
Photo © John Hinde Ltd
We did manage to sneak a peak at what was going on inside the Festival Hall at Vintage too, and we were pleased to find a couple of mid-century treats. We have long been a fan of British designer Lucy Turner, who has collaborated with classic brand Formica to transform '50s and '60s furniture by niftily using laser-cut laminate decorated with her own designs. A classic bit of upcycling if ever we saw it!
We also spotted some highly collectable prints from the recently released archive of '60s and '70s photographer John Hinde. With their dreamy colours and stylised narratives, our dear editor had to be dragged away before making an impulse purchase.
Moving house is a massive milestone. So too is getting married. And I'm about to do both in less than three months time.
The wedding part is seemingly under control; having decided that we didn't want to spend every weekend for the next year planning the minutiae of the event, we decided to book everything within a month. That's right. Just four weekends.
This cannily means that we have more time to get our first home ready, which we are moving straight into after the big day. For a furniture freak and designaholic like me, this is far more exciting than deliberating over seating plans and table linen. Don't get me wrong; I'm still a perfectionist when it comes to my wedding, but it's telling that I've spent more time choosing bathroom towels in Heal's than I have picking out my wedding dress.
The upside to moving in October is that we can make the most of the summer sales happening right now (those bathroom towels were reduced, I hasten to add). But the downside to having a penchant for mid-century classics is that no amount of summer sales can make even the most understated of iconic pieces affordable when you're on a tight about-to-be-newly-wed-and-redo-the-kitchen budget.
Take Ercol. Since the living room is relatively small (let's call it cosy), I figured a nod to a mid-century style reference in the form of nested side tables would more than suffice. But buying them brand new means they'll cost us nearly £400; a similar set on eBay is only about £50 less.
But then again, there's a reason why this style costs - it's in the quality of the materials, in the curves of its form, in its timeless design. I have however sometimes, just sometimes, found an affordable classic through scouring markets or staying up into the small hours looking for niche finds online. Among the bits and pieces coming with me in the big move is a favourite 1970s footstool covered with bright blue Marimekko fabric, a total bargain at just £40 that I picked up this way earlier in the year.
And for everything else? I've bypassed eBay and its unattainable Ercol and have moved straight on to Etsy. I've sourced vintage Sanderson linen cushion covers at £15 a pair, bright-pops-of-colour retro prints with typography that makes me weak at the knees for just £10 - not to mention no end of crafty bits and pieces for the wedding too.
So with a little bit of imagination and even the tiniest of budgets, I've learnt that a taste of mid-century living is entirely possible (even if I can't afford those side tables): a vintage fabric print on the wall, a ceramic retro vase on the table. After all, as any bride will tell you, it's the little details that make the difference...
by Huma Qureshi
There is still a chance to win a highly collectable pair of 1950s cushions - just subscribe to Midcentury Magazine before 31 August. Made by Jane Foster Vintage Cushions using fabric designed by Marion Mahler and David Parsons, the pair would normally retail at £90.
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In celebration of Butlin's 75th anniversary, this exhibition combines the work of contemporary photographer Anna Fox with that of '60s photographer John Hinde, who created stage-managed narrative souvenir postcards of Butlins.