There’s a real charm about vintage interiors pieces – be it furniture, accessories or kitchenware. A few vintage pieces can really bring a room to life, giving it a sense of personality and unique style that you can’t always get with brand new buys. But what if you love the vintage look but have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to sourcing pieces and styling them up alongside other items in your home? This is where a professional curator comes in.
Paul Cody and Tom Edington are the duo behind Vintage Matters, an online retailer where you can find eclectic collections of new and vintage homeware, furniture and accessories. These are collections that have already been sourced and styled up together, so if you love the vintage vibe but don’t have the confidence or time to find your own pieces, then this is for you.
Based in Camberwell in South London, Tom and Paul live and breathe their work. Their home is a vast treasure trove of beautiful pieces and they’ve turned this passion into a bespoke sourcing service, working with hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and retailers who all want to inject a spot of vintage charm into their brand. The company’s supplied pieces to Le Labo Fragrances’ new Covent Garden store, Shinola in Soho, Hawksmoor Restaurant in Manchester and The Life Goddess Cafe in London’s Bloomsbury.
Vintage Matters also offer prop hire for weddings, photoshoots and TV and film set designs and have a regular pop-up event at (Roost favourite) West Elm on Tottenham Court Road in London.
We caught up with Paul to find out how he and Tom got into the business and what their tips are for anyone wanting to jump on the vintage bandwagon in their own home.
What was your background before setting up Vintage Matters?
I was a sourcing and merchandising specialist, spending most of my career with US speciality retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. (you’d know them for Pottery Barn and West Elm) managing their London office. I sourced product, worked on product development and bought antique and vintage pieces for the stores.
After being made redundant in November 2014 I had the momentum to launch Vintage Matters with Tom, who was a creative designer and interior architect. Vintage homeware is a passion of ours and it was an idea we’d often talked about.
What do you love about what you do – and where do you find the inspiration for your work?
We enjoy the excitement and anticipation of finding characterful pieces on our travels in the UK and Europe, then taking those pieces and curating them with new product to bring an environment to life.
We follow interiors trends for inspiration about what’s current and relevant, and we keep a close eye on what’s happening in the retail market as well as seasonal trends. For example, there’s a real travel-related interiors trend right now, where furniture, textiles and accessories are being transformed with maps and topographic prints. This inspired our next collection which will be launched this April, featuring some amazing vintage wall maps and globes, as well as vintage luggage and cameras.
Do you have any special types of vintage pieces that you’re often drawn to?
With Typography still on trend, we’re specialising in salvaged and reclaimed vintage shop front and pub letters. Many of these can be illuminated, so we strip the old lights out, clean them and then recondition them with LED lights. These are proving really popular, especially for weddings, spelling out the couple’s initials, but also as a unique gift. We recently received a huge shipment from the US of 70 letter lights that we’re in the process of reconditioning. These will be online soon.
What tips do you have for people interested in incorporating a range of styles and eras in their home but have no idea where to start?
Start by finding at least one vintage piece for each room that makes a statement and provokes a conversation. It could be a unique piece of furniture or a decorative accessory, or something unusual and quirky for the walls. Vintage finds work well in a contemporary environment too and help to bring contrast, interest and personality to the space.
Another tip is to start collecting something which will reflect your personality. It could be vintage initials, or perhaps vintage soda syphon bottles or corkscrews, if you have a bar at home. For an office, it could be a collection of old wooden rulers – or for the avid gardener a collection of vintage hand forks. The list is endless!
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