Monday, 14 March 2011

Tick, Tick, Ticking

Yesterday I started restoring the vintage brown trunk I picked up at Kempton Park. The exterior is cleaned up and I've stripped the interior. It's going to air for a few days while I get on with some other work. The thing I'm kind of stuck on is what fabric to use for the lining. I went to my usual fabric shop  on Saturday but came away empty-handed. I guess I just wasn't in decision-mode. My auto-pilot setting for trunk lining is to use a traditional blue & white ticking with a red trim like this medium sized brown trunk:

Medium Brown Trunk available at

But I'm considering trying something a bit different for this project. Since I'm completely in love with Cabbages & Roses fabric I took a peak at some of their beautiful fabrics  for inspiration. I've picked a few favourites to share with you:

Cabbages & Roses French Toile (Raspberry)

I absolutely adore this French toile in raspberry from Cabbages & Roses but I'm not 100% sure it will work with the brown trunk. I came across this new Dancing Horses design on the Cabbages & Roses website which is really lovely and could work well:

Dancing Horses from Cabbages & Roses

But then I'm just a sucker for the classic ticking. Decisions! Maybe I could try red ticking instead....make the transition slowly? Alfie the pug has voted for the classic blue ticking but even I draw the line at taking design advice from a dog.

Alfie votes for blue & white ticking. 

 Well, I have a few days to decide. I'll forget about it and then hopefully be hit by a thunderbolt of inspiration. Maybe I should let you guys decide instead...which fabric do you think I should pick?  Either leave a comment below or drop me an email at It would be great to have someone else make the call this time! 

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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Vintage Brown Trunk

If you saw my post about Kempton Park (A Glorious Day at the Races (sort of), you'll know I picked up another vintage brown trunk, similar to the vintage green trunk featured on the West Egg website. This new find, despite being rusty and filthy is in much better condition overall - the catches are working just fine and it has hinges on the inside which has preventing any splitting. This time I've remembered to take some "before" photos...

Although it's rusty and filthy, this definitely has great potential!

The interior needs stripping and re-lining.

 I just love these trunks because they are so versatile - they can used as blanket boxes at the end of the bed or just for storage but my favourite use is as a coffee table. At 20" high, 34" wide and 19" deep it has the perfect proportions for this purpose.

This old battered trunk looks great against the fresh spring bedding.

This reproduction trunk works really well with the red corner sofa.
Inside the brown trunk was a pile of old blankets which I gave back to the dealer (normally I'd snap them up for protecting furniture in transit but these smelt seriously bad). Below the blankets though was an old newspaper which I left in. When I was taking measurements later on I took a closer look and discovered it was the Sunday Express newspaper dated May 3, 1953.

Sunday Express May 3, 1953
I know it's only an old newspaper but I was seriously intrigued! The front page was dominated by a story about the crash of a London-bound jet airliner which went missing on a flight from Calcutta to New Delhi and also that Blackpool had won the FA Cup Final against the Bolton Wanderers 4-3 with the winning goal scored in the last 40 seconds. So it turns out, after a bit of research (thanks google) that 1953 was actually quite an eventful year. President Harry Truman announced that the US had developed the first hydrogen bomb, rationing of cane sugar in Britain finally ended and Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy which sold 54,175 copies at $.50 each. For Great Britain, the biggest event of 1953 however, was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey which took place on June 2, 1953.

Unsurprisingly, this old copy of the Sunday Express had a number of Coronation related stories including an amusing account of a lively debate at Lambeth Palace. The source of the debate was the delivery of a £2,000 limousine to Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. The big issue of the day? Whether the Archbishop should have a new distinctive numberplate. Apparently Dr. Fisher's preference was for ABC 99 (he's the 99th Archbishop of Canterbury) but Mrs. Fisher felt LPL 1 (Lambeth Palace Limousine) was more appropriate. So far I've not been able to find out what he went for - if anyone knows a good way of finding out please do let me know.

I'll do another post of the trunk once it's finished but you can see another before/after makeover of the vintage green trunk by visiting the West Egg Restoration page on the website at or by clicking here. This trunk will be available to purchase on the website as soon as it's finished, please feel free to look at the other blanket boxes and trunks we have available by clicking here or going to the Trunks & Boxes page of the website.

If you would like a similar trunk sourcing for you please let us know by email to or go to the Source Book on the website

I'm off to the fabric shop to choose the lining for the interiors! Thanks for reading & have a fun weekend.

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Thursday, 10 March 2011

A Glorious Day at the Races...(sort of)

A quick post to share some lovely photos from Kempton Park Antiques Fair on Tuesday. Like most fairs, it's an early start - you have to be there at 6am if you're even remotely serious. I think most dealers are there much earlier to source new stock because the car park is always packed by the time I rock up at 6:15am. There are hundreds of stallholders, inside and out and despite the early start they are a pretty cheery bunch. I think one of the reasons it's so successful is that it caters for dealers and not tourists so you get a really excellent, eclectic range of furniture, decorative objects, silver, porcelain and pottery. It was -5 C when I pulled in to the car park, but I did remember to take a flask of coffee which saw me through and in an incredible display of willpower, I resisted the lure of the bacon sandwich van.

Sun rising over Kempton Park

6:30am absolutely freezing cold!

I love these large green bottles especially withe sun beaming down on them.

There are more photos of Kempton Park on the West Egg Facebook page which you view here. Amongst other things, I picked up another large vintage trunk - I'll do a separate post on that shortly, it's going to look fabulous once it's restored and will be available on the West Egg website.

Thanks for reading and, if you can face the early start, Kempton Park is definitely worth a visit - just make sure you take a large car/van and lots of hot tea or coffee!

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Thursday, 3 March 2011

West Egg Website Up & Running!

Visit the new West Egg website at

 As most of you already know the website for West Egg is now 100% up and running and you can visit it at Although it seems like a really long time ago now, when I was writing the original business plan for the company the main objective was to to make affordable and original antique home furnishings available for people to purchase online. Another objective was to provide the best customer service possible - calling customers in person to confirm their order and arrange their delivery, using trusted local courier services and bulk runs to keep delivery charges low and providing a no quibbles returns policy because I really want West Egg's customers to love their purchases.  I feel really proud to have stood by these 2 principles and I'm just so excited about what the rest of 2011 holds. These last two weeks have been a blur of enquiries and so many emails with lovely messages and practical feedback. Please visit the website and email me at if you have any comments or suggestions...I really do love to hear what you guys think. I reply to every email I receive and I never use an auto reply! 

My last piece of news for today is that West Egg will be collaborating with The Soft Furnishings Studio on some exciting new projects - watch this space for further details.

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West Egg featured on The House Directory

Hi everyone. I'm very pleased to announce that West Egg has been listed on The House Directory - an online directory and the leading website for interior and garden design and decoration. It is the much acclaimed successor to The House & Garden  Book of Essential Addresses and the essential tool for trade and public alike! It is fast, free and user-friendly with no tedious log-in procedures. There is a free monthly newsletter with the latest trends and useful info and also a free 'Ask the Experts' service for your decoration and sourcing questions.

The House Directory was set up by Nicolette Le Pelley and Cheryl Knorr. Both journalists with a background in interior decoration, Nicolette is a former deputy editor of The World of Interiors and Cheryl is an interior designer.

For more information visit