Sunday, 17 June 2012

The beauty of imperfection.

As a very small child, I can remember the internal and, more often than not, audible groan that escaped me whenever my parents would lead the way into an antiques shop. Every minute felt like an eternity in the musty, labyrinthine and tardis-like edifices that contained, to my ingenuous eyes, inconceivable amounts of old junk. Little did I know that my initial disinterest would later turn to curiosity, that in time would be followed by appreciation, and that ultimately, I  myself would become the kind of person that would happily while away an afternoon browsing antique shops, thirsting for hidden treasures.

There is something undeniably beautiful about age, a certain charm and allure to things or people that have a story, or indeed many, etched across their faces. Age, I suppose, is synonymous with experience, knowledge, history. If only inanimate objects could talk! Imagine the history each of them might have absorbed over the years - the intrigues they may have witnessed from their designated spot on the mantelpiece or dressing table...

There are so many buzzwords employed these days to essentially mean antique: vintage, preloved, shabby chic, upcycled, collectible etc, etc, and their increasing popularity has rendered them ubiquitous. Some might see their becoming commonplace as negative, but I am thrilled by it. I love the idea that people are becoming more inclined to put to use beautifully made things already in existence rather than fuelling the mass production of new things we don't really need. In fact, I resolved some time ago, that when it came to finding beautiful things to adorn myself or my home, that I would first turn to preloved ornaments, rather than soulless, mass-produced tat that you might find in a thousand homes up and down the country. That's not to say that somewhere like Ikea, for example, doesn't have its place, but I would gladly forgo shopping there permanently in favour of purchasing things with a little more je ne sais quoi. I suppose what I am trying to say is that next time you're on the look out for something pretty, why not consider re-homing an antique..?

Some of the inspiration for this post came from another post, written by our wonderful wedding photographer, Ria Mishaal, in which Ria discusses a shop she stumbled across in Oxford, Objects of Use, where each of the items they sell is tagged with details of its history and use - what a fabulous and utterly charming idea! There are many great places to find vintage treasures, from online boutiques to your local charity shop. Finding your own personal favourites is half the fun, but for me, I love the plethora of antique shops in Dorking, Ripley and Brighton, and online I don't think you can beat ebay or Etsy. As is my wont, I have posted a few gems for your perusal:

In a follow on from this post, early next week I will be looking at some of the wonderful people I have found who use old and beautiful items to create new and beautiful items for your purchasing pleasure. Be sure to stop by and check them out! Until then, I wish you all a wonderful week. Fais de beaux rêves...

pp x


  1. I love this pp! I am extremely fond of antiques - that patina of age caries so much meaning. There is such beauty in imperfection...I am looking forward to your next post xx

  2. Thank you, Ria! Sadly, report writing has consumed all my free time this week, so posting has had to be postponed until they're all completed. I'm really looking forward though to sharing some truly beautiful things and the very talented people who create them xXx