Monday, 25 May 2015

Print and Pattern on a Bank Holiday Monday




Hello! Did you have a good bank holiday weekend? Mine was spent solo parenting while John worked and, what with the fact that it was just me and the kids (who are not in any way demanding, on no), and that sun which refused to stay out and shine, and I had that cold which lingered and is finally shifting...considering all that, I would say it was not a bad weekend at all, actually. At times, I even did some Good Parenting. We went to the beach. We baked. I took them to places where they could practice riding their bikes. I tried to do washing and housework and some DIY and told them to put down the iPad every now and then and only raised my voice a few times. And when John came home tonight I did a happy dance as he's off for the next week and we have all sorts of lovely things planned.

It all seems to have gone very retro round here. I'm not quite sure when exactly that happened, but suddenly I find myself drawn to these brightly coloured repeating floral patterns in the things I am making and buying. It could be because summer's coming, or a natural shift in my taste, or perhaps our new home is having some kind of affect on me. Our house was built in 1968 and, while I don't know how it was decorated when it was first built, I envisage lots of pattern and strong oranges, blues and yellows. Suddenly it feels like future projects and new additions to the house have an older feel about them.

I first saw this cotton valance being cruelly mistreated by our gas man and used as a dust sheet. I told him of it's value (he thought that was hilarious) and he said I could have it. I already have a duvet set in this colourway but it's very faded, and the colours here are so much brighter.


With this pink linen, I am planning to make reversible cushions. I'm even learning how to insert zips!


Ditto these yellow pillowcases bought in a charity shop in Northumberland, teamed with beige linen. 


I pulled these two rolls of vinyl wallpaper out of a skip at our local tip, or Household Waste Recycling Centre as they're now known. They were folded flat and, apart from being a little dusty were in incredibly good conditon and cleaned up really well. I couldn't leave them there, could I?


Also rescued was this orange tin, in which my Dad had been storing plumbing bits in his garage. It used to be a biscuit tin I think. It's seen better days but my heart is lifted by that cheerful colour and perky pattern. It's not water tight so I think it will eventually make a great little planter for the garden. 


And after some persistent stalking of my local supermarkets, I have all found three of the limited edition Orla Kiely for Douwe Egberts coffee jars, and I have lot of instant coffee too. I really, really like these, especially the simplicity of the design and the way it's etched onto the glass. Very effective and pleasing to my eyes. 


I have noticed that many of the above items have provoked comments along the lines of "Why do you want that, it's hideous!" or a raised eyebrow at least. People have strong opinions about homeware from the sixties and seventies and it's not always positive. Perhaps it's still seen as dated and old fashioned, as something to be banished in exchange for something clean and crisp and new. The bold colours are often a bit much for some. Plus there's such a strong nostaliga element; people often fondly remember curtains or bedding sets in a certain style and associate them with their childhood. I love the colours, I love the patterns, and for me there is a comforting familiarity in the homewares from this era. But for me, I think it's the excitement of finding some treasure amidst the junk and grabbing a bargain. If I see something I like the look of in a skip for free, or at a car boot sale for £1, I'm going to grab it and have fun thinking about what I can do with it. 

59 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Love them! I love looking for retro stuff (especially fabric) when I go to thrift stores.

Amy at love made my home said...

I really like retro things too! I can totally imagine that the style of your house is having a subliminal influence on your taste and style, go with it and enjoy it I say!! xx

Jennifer said...

I like them. I know you'll make them look beautiful in your house. I can't believe he was using that as a dust cloth, what a travesty. But that he even had it is amazing. The best dust sheet I ever saw had Snoopy on it, nothing as nice as your new pretty. :)

Jenn M said...

What a lovely colourful post! I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of 60's and 70's things, but some bits are wearing off on me. I notice I have been buying the odd sheet at the thrift stores here and there. There's no reason no to like it: the colours and patterns really are terrific and somehow the simple lines of the pieces seem to go with the many colours and lines of the pattern. The best part is that if there are still enough people out there who don't like it, you should be able to pick things up for a great bargain.
Have a great week together!
Jenn

Annie Cholewa said...

Some great finds here, especially your Dad's tin ... you have me wondering what's lurk
King in my Dad's garage!

The folk with negative opinions about ones taste always amaze me. Do they wish we were all the same? Much of what you have here is not at all my style, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate your aesthetic. And plenty of what you come up with I positively covet!

jabbott said...

Really good finds x

Karisma said...

Such pretty colors in your corner of the world! =)

Mishi said...

I love those colours and patterns, they're just so happy!

Yes, I've had the "Oh, that's hideous!" about some things I've bought; most notably an orange tiled coffee table. Of course, as soon as you're finished the project, people are amazed by how good things look.

Librarian said...

Comforting familiarity is what I feel, too, when I look at these. They are lovely, and I wouldn't mind having them in my own home. The yellow bedsheet is very much like the wallpaper I had in my room as a child. I was born the same year as your house was built :-)
Congratulations on some really good finds! I wouldn't have been able to leave those rolls of wallpaper at the tip, either.

Catherine said...

I adore the retro prints. I was taken back to when I was a young mum in the 1970's. I had the same bedlinen in lilac and purple, the same tins in the kitchen. I had quite forgotten about them. Thank you for the lovely post.

Anonymous said...

I love all your finds, especially the wallpaper. You'll certainly not run out of coffee for a while! X

VeggieMummy said...

LOVE those coffee jars. Unfortunately, I have to stick to decaff - I wonder if R would like lots of Douwe Egberts?! Best dust sheet ever! Have a great half term. xx

Bex Jenkins said...

I think the prints are gorgeous and definitely remind me of childhood too. Love love love the coffee jars. You won't need to buy coffee for ages now xxxx

driftwood said...

love that the gas man gave you the dust sheet, what a treasure x

wishing that we drank coffee so that I could collect those jars. Come on Orla some people only drink tea you know.......

Ingrid Orens said...

Was is happening to you at the moment, that attraction to all things vintage '60 or '70, also happened to me about five years ago :-)... Still don't know why I suddenly was interested in the stuff I hated as a child. I think it is nostalgia...
Love that wallpaper. If I would find some like that, I would be using it immediately (with the strong approval of the hubby.... Not, that is ;-))
And I am still angry that Douwe Egbergs decided to sell their instant coffee in the UK in those great jars, and in their home countries, those jars are nowhere to be found !

SaraJ said...

We have the pink sheet as a throw for the sofa in Spain - and I love it! Such happy childhood memories are evoked by these patterns. Have fun! :) x
(And I hope you feel better and enjoy your week together.)

Pam said...

I want all of it. I am building a collection of vintage linen and one day I may just cut into it. I have the yellow version but love the pink. I must get out and find those coffee jars, it is my usual instant brand so will not be a hardship to buy.

CJ said...

It's wonderful to find something for nothing, or at least for very little isn't it. We have a fabulous local Sort-It Centre where you can find all sorts of bargains and on occasion free stuff. How brilliant that you rescued that valance from the gas man. It's not a very manly dust sheet is it?! I hope you all have a lovely week together. CJ xx

Lotta said...

I had the pink floral pattern on a pillowcase as a child! I loved it!

Jan Doling said...

Wow, your yellow pillowcases bought back memories, I had a duvet set in this design and one wall had wallpaper in that design with the other walls being a plain yellow when I lived at my parents house before I got married. Nothing wrong with retro, your house is going to be so colourful and cheery. xx

Christina said...

I have the exactly same two fabrics, the pink one and the yellow one! They are waiting to be turned into something for the house. It sounds to me like you did A LOT of good parenting Gillian. Solo parenting is never easy, no matter how low maintenance the children are. Enjoy the nice activities with your family this week. xx

Sol said...

I had a hand me down quilted dressing gown in the pink flower material. And a PE bag of it also. Gosh what memories of sunday nights with that dressing gown on eating crumpets in front of the fire, where we were really hungry from running around for hours.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful fabrics and hooray for rescued things! I do love the Orla Kiely coffee jars, they look great as vases!

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

I have a love of retro too. The trouble with me is that my small abode is mainly light and pastel, so bits of retro look a bit out of place. I also love bright kitsch and modern country, so my house style is a bit all over the place. I always love your space as it flows so well, and I guess I can get my bit of retro fix here! I do love the patterns of that era, and I couldn't resist those jars when I turned down a food aisle and there they were staring at me in the face. I think Douwe Egberts are onto something here, as their big jars are perfect to be recycled into vases. If only other companies took note.

Glad you had a decent Bank holiday weekend, and hope your half term week is awesome. I'm looking forward to lazy mornings and a bit of crochet as a treat this week!

xxxxxxxx

Sharon said...

Great finds, I love them. I bought a couple of similar sheets recently in a charity shop and also some vintage sheet fat quarters from 'vintage sheet addict'. I have some Christmas pressie ideas for my sister-in-law as she too loves the vintage look. Have fun creating with them :-)

Penny said...

I think you packed a lot of great things in to your weekend! I love your rescued dust sheet! The gas man will be dining out on that story for a long while to come! I was a child in the 70's so love all these types of colours and patterns for nostalgic reasons, but also for their own sake. They are fun, simple, bold, bright and cheerful. X

Jacqueline said...

I had that yellow set of bedding, so that was a blast from my past seeing that this morning. In the 60's we did have bright and cheerful colours and those sheets you have bought will make great cushions. I'm seriously thinking of getting my mum's old Hornsea storage jars out of the loft, they're as good as new and will brighten my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, even though your husband was working. Time at the beach is always good! I personally love the three glass jars, especially the apple one.

Emm.A said...

I'm totally in love with your wallpaper. I love everything blue. I also like those 70 vintage patterns. You just have to be careful not to have too many of them in your home. At least in my opinion! ;)

Marion Ogden said...

I love the bold and bright patterns from the 1960's and 70's. They're so cheerful and they fit in with a lot of the things that we have in our house. I'd love to find something similar to your Dad's tin. I really like it and I agree, it would make a great planter. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the rest of the school holidays. Looking forward to seeing your finished cushion covers soon. X

Sarah said...

This all reminds me of being a youngster; having grown up during the 1980s there was a lot of leftover stuff from the previous few decades floating around. Nobody wanted to touch it then, I suppose in a similar way to us now not wanting to wear things from the 1990s or decorate our homes in the way they used to on 'Changing Rooms' (remember that?)
I do like how these patterns and colours and motifs remind me of sunny childhood days and yes, those floral biscuit tins always had goodies lurking inside!
S x

Anonymous said...

I remember that floral pattern (in blue) from my childhood. I didn't like it then but I do now. Hope you have a lovely relaxing week and that the sun shines. Sam x

Thrifted Treasure said...

Love all your finds!! I am yet to find the Orla Kiely coffee jars here in Ireland :-(

Su said...

My uncle was one of the top textile manufacturers in Greece and he used to send our family stuff in bulk in the early-mid 70s with these exact prints, towels, bed linen, tablecloths etc. We constantly moaned about them as they became unfashionable and I finally got rid of a whole load of stuff when all the shabby chic stuff came in and all I now want to do is scream nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I so wish I'd kept it all, you really never know what is going to come back in and what we are going to view with a 'must have' or a 'have to get rid of'!

Michelle H said...

Oh my goodness, lady! You've made out like a bandit! I love, LOVE it all! I've been bitten harder than usual by the vintage bug lately, too, haha. I've recently bought vintage pillowcases and sheets off etsy and ebay. I bought one full flat sheet to make pillowcases for our large pillows, but Emma (10) fell in love with them for her bed. Fine. Bought a full fitted sheet instead (see where this is going?) and it went beautifully with the flat, haha! Bought another and I'm KEEPING this one!! I've been bummed to not find any queen flats for our bed, but found one yesterday at Goodwill!!!! Happy Dance!! Hubby laughed, but knows I get a little stuck on these things. Patient man. I have laughed quite a bit at seeing so many of the sheets I grew up with, along with bummed because I know my mom ditched most of hers for nice, "80's" and "90's" sheets. Your jars are amazing...well, everything is, I can't even pick a favorite. Hope your week with hubby goes off beautifully!!!

gilly said...

What a lovely, happy collection of fab retro - I love the combination of the floral fabric and the plain linens especially. And don't pay any heed to the critics - the world would be a decidedly boring place if we all liked the same stuff. Style and taste is an individual thing, so you just go ahead and love what you love :-)
Have a happy week,
xx

Cyndy R said...

All I can say is that your passion for the visual is inspiring. Makes me want to open my eyes a little more to spot that which brings me delight and surround myself with special things....not by heading to the store, but by opening my eyes! Love seeing your visual journey :) And I had no idea what a 'skip at the local tip' is!! Looked it up...oh...you mean a dumpster at the dump. I like the ring to your British lingo!

Angel Jem said...

I love the Orla Kiely jars, but I'm not sure that giving all the coffee to the kids was a good idea before a weekend of solo parenting.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

What lucky finds! The wallpaper is fantastic and in such great condition. I wonder where that had been hiding for so long. The orla kiely jars are great, I love those designs.

Curvywitch said...

I'm seriously coveting your Orla Kiely jars. I haven't seen any here yet; I'm guessing bandits have raided any wagons carrying them 'oop North'.

Maybe your house is speaking to you and you're gathering the things that will best make it a home. The material reminds me of childhood bedding - oh how we hated it as teenagers but here I am now thinking - ooh I could use that in a quilt. :-)
I'm loving your whole retro look; it wouldn't sit well in my house (C19th terrace) but isn't that the joy of homes; they're all different so we get to experience an appreciate something unique with each one (unless you have a 'celebrity show house', which all seem to look the same; impossibly uncomfortable sofas, huge cold floors and forests of chandeliers).

I can't wait to see what's next!

Lisa said...

Hope you are having a good week off together.
The wallpaper was a fab find.
I like the coffee jars, they do make great vases.
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

Love the wallpaper,that's because I had the purple colourway in my bedroom in the 70s It was made by Crown and all the colourways were a best seller.

galant said...

we're all different and I can understand why someone in their thirties of forties would like the fabrics and designs of the 1960s and 1970s but been an adult during these decades I can honestly say they weren't the finest hour of interior design. I dislike stylised flora, preferring my florals to look like the flowers they represent, but as I say, I can appreciate why younger people lap them up. Call me old fashioned, but I only like pristine white or cream bed linen, and only pure cotton, a high thread count. And I only like white towels, too. Fussy beggar, I am!
Margaret P

Anonymous said...

I much prefer a splash of colour and my worst nightmare is plain white or magnolia, which I find seriously offensive. I would hate for my bed or walls or even my loo roll to be colourless. I love these retro prints especially the lovely fabrics. Not so keen on Orla Keily however. The lovely pink fabric is my favourite. I have a small stash of these fabrics and love them. I really like your tin and wallpaper as well.

The kind of people who think them hideous are too frightened to have any tastes at all and tend to think that white loo roll makes them middle class and that anything else is just 'common'. I rather like net curtains for that matter. I would rather have a crinoline crochet lady toilet roll cover in my loo, than be so po faced as to think all pattern is frightening and is an indictment on class, taste and morality - snobbery more like. How bland and boring and safe can design be if it is just white? Hyacinth Bucket comes to mind.
Jane

Kate-Em said...

I really enjoy a nice bit of retro patterning, especially of the it's so bad it's actually good variety. I have some of that yellow bedding and love using it.

Old Magnolia Tree said...

Must look for those jars. I love them! I just can't understand why people don't like these wonderful bright vintage wallpapers and fabrics. They really are fab and I've got quite a collection myself. Slightly afraid to use some of it in car I make a mistake with it and waste it.
Rosie

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Oh Gillian...you know why you're in the Retro vibe don't you? You're happy...happy in your new home, with your new life! They are such happy patterns aren't they ;) xxx

Anonymous said...

We were married in 1971 and the first people in our family to have a duvet!! The pink floral pattern was the set we were given as a wedding gift but I had plain pink sheets and pillowcases to match. Sadly it was used in our house as dust sheets for many years and I now buy only white sets and add colour with quilts and cushions. Catriona

Anonymous said...

Actually, white roll is essential when a close relative has had bowel cancer and all those who are related to her must be vigilant for the signs in themselves. We were advised to do this by the specialist nurse who treated Mum uo to her death.

Katie said...

such brilliant finds, well-rescued and given a loving home! and those coffee jars look fabulous too x

Alison said...

Oh my word, that cotton valance has brought it all back, I had a duvet case like that! Love the Orla jars xx

Col | Hello Olive Designs said...

I love it all! Those Orla coffee jars, that floral tin, the soon-to-be cushions! Gorgeous, all of them! x

galant said...

HI, Jane,

Our house is filled with colour, it's only the bed linen and the towels I like to be white. I couldn't live without colour, it's everywhere in this house, but not primary shades which I find too harsh.
Margaret P

Little Miss Know-it-all said...

My granny's wallpaper is still 60s bright yellow floral and she has a few other gems my mum thinks are dreadful but which I, despite growing up in the 60/70s will be happy to inherit when the time comes.... Others - not!!! ;)

Julie said...

Loving all the patterns. I snapped up some purple flowery fabric that was being sold off at my quilt group which I think is 60s or 70s. The wallpaper reminds me of some that was in my parents kitchen when I was school age and I always liked it. I didn't know about the Orla jars but when I was in Sainsburys this week they had all of them! I've snapped up the sunflower design - thanks for telling us about them. x

Lucy B said...

I have the yellow pillow cases on my bed! They cheer me up, still struggling to find jars though hope you had a fab half term. Lucy x

Ali Whale said...

I love your style and the house completely complements the stuff you already loved it seems to me. All that pattern, colours and style from the sixties and seventies is definitely coming to the fore. I think it is because it makes us nostalgic as all those things certainly remind me of my childhood.
We had some fantastic patterned place mats and some matching sticky back plastic that my Dad used to cover the stools that my sister and I used to sit at the dining table. They would work in your house for sure x

cassie said...

As you can guess, I love all of these patterns and colors! So fantastic!

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