We all know that what some people see as junk, others see as treasure and every time we go hunting for vintage goodies at a boot sale, an auction or a collectibles and antiques fair I realise the truth of that cliche.
Recently we stood in front of several tables laden with railway collectibles, scarlet signal finials reaching for the sky, signs, lights and several unidentifiable industrial metal objects and as we looked more closely we spotted a box at the front – a job lot of railway torches and lanterns. Our pulses quickened as we imagined all the possible steampunk style lights we could construct and we agreed a deal with the stall holder.
As we negotiated with the seller another keen buyer began to rummage through the box – “would you like to buy it?” we quipped and yes we sold it on the spot (for a profit) without having even picked the box up.
The alarm bells rang when disappointment set in.
The tension between the desire to transform and give unloved objects a new lease of life and the ability to make a living by buying and selling is always with us.
The brief was to create a Japanese inspired bathroom with a beach hut feel.
The room had to be a functional and tranquil with a bath, a shower and Jack and Jill basins. The room is west facing and “L” shaped and is the main bathroom for the house.
The Japanese influence was inspired by the soaking tub which is a deep square bath that also functions as a shower tray.
We sourced local ash to create a shelf for the basins and cladding for the bath. There is another narrower shelf underneath for towel storage. The wall length mirror is framed with ash and has a colour popped inner edge to the frame.
The wow moment comes when you step into the room and see the window.
We worked with Badger and Hake to create the stained glass panels for the window and the panel in the oak door.
The inspiration for the window came from photographs of draincovers curated by Designmeworld from her @drainspotting Twitter account. Badger and Hake combined a variety of techniques to create the panels, coloured glass is fused to make the border which echoes the square motif of the bath and basins, textured glass is mixed and matched and placed alongside slumped and painted squares.
You step from the heated floor into the bath from a bench step also made from ash. The tiled walls have the sun and sea washed look of a beach hut.
On the side wall there is a three way control for the shower, bath filler and microphone spray head.
An asymetric cupboard made from one of the tiles houses a shaver point and convenient place to keep an electric toothbrush.
We leave Dunbar on Friday 12th June with car, trailer, Pika and a sledge to deliver to a good friend living in a hilltop village in Tuscany.
After a stopover with old friends we haven’t seen for ages (great chance to catch up) we head for a night in Folkestone before going through the channel tunnel early on Sunday morning.
Through Trusted Housesitters we have arranged to stay in Le Moulin with Sylvia and Saffi her Staffi. Nestled by a river close to a lake Sylvia’s watermill has a list of jobs that need doing and enough space to put up willing volunteers.
Sunday 14th June to Friday 26th June
We then head to Nice to celebrate Eric’s birthday in the first of three airbnb studios – a brillant and affordable way to see the world and live like a local.
As we travel we will be seeking out brocante and local flea markets to find artefacts and interesting collectibles for Vintage Recycled to work some magic with. On our list is lights, lampshade bases, lettering, small furniture – chairs and benches.
We will be posting on our Facebook page as we go and if you see something that you like let us know and we can earmark it for you and deliver it on our return.
On Monday 29th June we will be wandering round Cours Saleya in Nice looking for a bargain, being inspired and soaking up the atmosphere.
This past week has been spent setting up the workshop.
Enough space for me and my knitting machine, transitional storage space and a potential pop up space to offer to others in the future. The business is beginning to take shape, there are still a lot of unknowns and the fun is trying to push the lines of possibility into recognisable shapes. We are having conversations that are uncovering lots of options and lots of choices.
The design process is not just about the range of accessories coming from my knitting machine, not only what kind of life are we going to live in the next few months and not only about what kind of business are we creating its a wonderful dynamic mixing pot of possibility.
Day 3 and we’re beginning to get our bearings – we have not been lost at all today. A combination of Google maps, online access to buying a bus ticket and taking a phone charger to boost the battery life when we recharge ourselves with coffee.
We are lucky to be enjoying a stay in an amazing city in a comfortable house in exchange for walking a dog and feeding two cats.
Sunday in Copenhagen is a relaxed affair, lots of families spending time together playing hide and seek in the park, cycling through the city.
We met the little mermaid this morning reclined on her rock with her liquid tail and upright pose. We jostled with the many tourists crowding down to the water’s edge to capture her image most with themselves in the foreground – selfie style.
We enjoyed a visit to the design museum and recognised many famous names, toys from our past and toys we have to play with our grandsons – Brio and Lego!
We were struck by designers who are using their talent as a force for good – little sun gives a way for children in developing countries to have solar powered light when everything around them is dark and life straw gives access to clean drinking water.