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Friday, 30 March 2018


Transforming old and battered pieces for your
 home can be rewarding, in more ways than one.

 Saving on the pennies, to begin with.
But the feeling of satisfaction you get
can outweigh even that.

We often have customers who have an old
 and on their own admission, 
shabby, looking item of furniture.

"What on earth can I do with it?" they ask.

I always tell them that
even the simplest coat of paint will transform
 and lighten that heavy old 1930's sideboard.

If you've never had a go before, here are a few sites that may help.

Car boots are a good source of  treasures
that others might consider junk.

 Ford car boot near Arundel is on Thursdays and Saturdays.
It's grown huge over the years.

Antique fairs such as Ardingly are really worth a look.
The next Ardingly is 17th/18th April

Our Upcycling

I started playing about with upcycling about 20 years ago.

Here are a couple of our 
English Victorian Bamboo Tables 
Homes and Gardens Magazine. did they come to be in such a prestigious interiors magazine?

When this is how we found them............. may think, it's just a tatty 
old table, or bookcase
 lying there in grannies shed
or down at the car boot sale.

You may think it is from China, and it's new.
Or maybe, that its old, and from thOrient.

Its a fascinating story and that table has 
been around a lot longer than you have.

Well....unless you happen to be about 150 years old, that is. 

The furniture was made circa 1860,
many of the factories were in London and Birmingham.

There were around 250 factories producing the pieces.

Its a great story and there are a few sites on line you can check it all out.

Gary Sharpe  now lives in 
Edmonton Canada,
though, for 20 years,
 was an antique dealer in the UK.

His site is full of interesting, interiors information,
and his knowledge on 
English Victorian Bamboo
Worth checking out.

Victorian Bamboo Table...with lions and leopards
this featured in Homes and Gardens magazine

Victorian Bamboo table....with chickens decoupage

As a Brighton gal at heart, I always found it interesting
 how the Brighton Pavilion was
 such an important part of bamboo furniture's popularity.

When I was at school in Brighton
(The Blessed Sacrament Convent,  
we had prize giving in the beautiful music room at the Pavilion.)

Here's some of what they say on the link,

"Undoubtably the best known Chinese bamboo furniture in England is at Brighton. Although Chinoiserie had faded in popularity during the 1780s and 90s it was suddenly brought back into the fore of public taste at the turn of the century by George, Prince of Wales, with the creation of the Royal Pavilion. The building that began its life as a `gentlemanly' farmhouse was to be transformed over a period of forty years into the most resplendent and bizarre royal fantasy. During its history designs were contributed by such accomplished architects as Henry Holland, his assistant P. F. Robinson, William Porden, Humphrey Repton and John Nash. The gardens were laid out by two pupils of Capability Brown, Lapidge and Hooper. From the beginning, the interior of the Pavilion was in the hands of the firm of John Crace & Sons, the principal designer being John's son, Frederick, admirably assisted by two remarkable designers, Robert Jones and Lambelet. Between them they created a new form of Chinoiserie with brilliant colours and exuberant decoration far removed from the earlier more restrained and delicate style."

Image result

a bamboo cabinet decorated for House and Garden magazine shoot

We track down these
 battered bamboo pieces
 and bring them back to our Arundel studio.

They would probably have rattan on
 the table surface, or lacquer, sometimes leather..

We clean them up, restore and sturdy them.

Sometimes it's possible to retain the rattan.
But more often its beyond repair.

we paint and decorate them

if they are in good shape we like to keep them as original as possible.
It's very rare though, and we usually restore &  decorate them.

This table has botanical decoupage.
The images 19th century.

They take a long time to cut out, but I think it's worth it.

 It was sold online and now resides in Paris, France.

we send them on their way....for another 100 years or more.........

some have been sold through our space in Liberty London

many items go off to America
appearing in some extremely upmarket stores.

Victorian Bamboo Table with chinoiserie ...we had my clever, artist,
 Aunty paint this, and it sits very well with original painted pieces. 
This had lovely lacquer.
We just cleaned it up

Victorian Bamboo table....with butterflies decoupage

We were lucky to find a  bedroom set of almost perfect bamboo.

We just decorated the top ...the rest we left original

Victorian bamboo bookcase with fish decoupage.

 This is unusual...we don't often find such large bookcases.
English Victorian Bamboo Bookcase

This also was quite a treat to find.
After a 100 years the flaps on tables that are meant to have flaps...have long since disappeared.

one of our botanical bamboo tables in an old House and Garden magazine

Victorian Bamboo Cabinet with gilt and dragonflies

This is one of our cabinets in a magazine.
It went to a home via Liberty in London.
The home was featured in a magazine.
I spotted this quite by chance

We don't stop our upcycling with bamboo.

We work on boxes, bowls, chests....I revamped this for the Handel Society in London.
It's covered in...well, you get the picture.

We find old enamel wash bowls such as this

and with paint, gilt, decoupage, varnish and a shed load of patience....................

We turn them into this.....

below are some I am working on at present...about halfway through

We also take chests of drawers and give them the upcycling treatment

and something that started 20 years ago has somehow taken off.

 and gets us into magazines...

which all helps as we are ever so slightly off the beaten track.

Our warehouse is hidden behind the Co-op in Arundel.

We don't only upcycle.... we also have a large collection of English and French decorative antiques

So, where are we?

From Arundel High Street and the prestigious
 Spencer Swaffer shop, you walk down to the river. 
Come over the bridge and keeping to the right you will find a small alley next to William Hill.
Yes you are in the salubrious part of town now.

Go to the end, turn left and sharp left.
Dont be put off by lorries and Co-op vans, you've come this far.

You will find 3 large warehouses in a row. 
First French Loft, the Harmony Antiques then us Arundel Eccentrics.
We are all in the last remaining buildings of the 19th century Swallow Brewery.

We are last in the row.
Last but by no means, least.

More of what we do on The Hoarde

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To visit outside of opening hours just call or email.

More about us in this little video

phone for trade appointment...+44 (0) 7973968446
or email