As we pass the mid-point of the year I thought I would update you on recent reading of topical mags following my resolution to subscribe to a regular publication at New Year.
Homes & Antiques remains a firm favourite. The May edition featured a great article by Caroline Wheater looking at how to use British Studio Pottery as part of your interior design with stunning pieces in a variety of settings. Prior to the recent referendum I was considering selling up and downsizing but given the uncertainty the result has thrown up, as a family, we have decided to stay put for a while. This means a number of my favourite pots which had been put into storage for safety are back gracing my home, including this Robert Tarling stoneware jug pictured here filled with beautiful pink alstromeria. It makes me smile every time I pass it.
One of the regular articles in Homes & Antiques that I always turn to is that by Drew Pritchard, the renowned ‘Salvage Hunter’ from the Quest TV series. His down-to-earth approach comes across in his writing as much as it does on screen and his stories of buying and selling successes and mishaps are very entertaining. Two pieces of advice for those just starting out in the antiques business from the July edition particularly resonated with me – to believe in yourself and engage with the antiques you love to evolve your personal style over time, and to always learn from the mistakes you will inevitably make!
Two other publications that I recently tried are ‘Reclaim’ and ‘Reloved’. Reclaim lived up to the promise of its strapline providing great photos and interesting writing about ‘Inspired Interiors. Unique Design. Salvage Trends. Vintage Style.’ although the twirly-curly font that they used in places really jarred. I particularly enjoyed the pieces on buying at auction by Lisa Lloyd of the Antiques Roadshow, and how to buy vintage art by Geraldine James. I was disappointed however to find articles about God’s Own Junkyard and Aynhoe House both of which have recently been featured on Salvage Hunters as they didn’t tell me any more than I already knew, and this tendency to feature dealers and craftspeople who we have already seen on TV frustrates me when there are so many vintage and antique dealers across the country who might show us something new.
I was attracted to Reloved as a ‘creative guide to upcycling your home’ and it is filled with projects to turn something beaten up and unattractive into a pretty piece you could live with rather than just buying vintage for its inherent beauty. Again there were great articles such as the pieces about design duos R&B Designs and Jess & Jules, but once again known faces such as Jay Blades, Sophie Robinson and Salvage Sister were the fall-back.
This criticism couldn’t be levied at the last two magazines I want to mention. I bought the April issue of Her Vintage Life online from a back-copy list and added a 2013 copy of the men’s edition for a contrast. The latter was dated by its articles about moustaches and how to get the perfect shave which certainly wouldn’t attract the currently ubiquitous hirsute metrosexual man, and I haven’t been able to confirm whether it even remains in print so it isn’t something I can recommend. The women’s version, however, is filled with stories of ‘real people’ complete with photos of ‘Rocking Readers’ showing off their street style in Bargain Basement vintage, although the choice of a skinny model in plain black for the front cover seems an odd choice. Bursting with adverts for vintage dealers and shops, this magazine is certainly a must if you love authentic clothing from a bygone era but it doesn’t contain enough on using vintage in interior design for me and it isn’t one I’ll be returning to.
So, my search continues and if you can recommend any good mags I’d love it if you got in touch via the Contacts page. For the time being I have decided to subscribe to Homes & Antiques because it is definitely one I don’t want to miss but I am still looking for more really good magazines about vintage living, dealing and upcycling.