UP­DATED RETRO

A 1930s house is the per­fect set­ting for an eclec­tic blend of mid­cen­tury, vin­tage and con­tem­po­rary style.

Flea Market Décor - - Contents - By An­abelle Grundy

This 1930s home is the per­fect blend of vin­tage, mid­cen­tury and con­tem­po­rary style.

LOU’S PRAC­TI­CAL AND EL­E­GANT BOOK­CASE was built in to max­i­mize a nar­row space. “The shelves aren’t deep, so the books sit at the front, which cre­ates a li­brary-like feel,” she says. “My friends of­ten browse and pick some­thing out to bor­row.” WHEN LOU WATKINS STARTED HOUSE-HUNT­ING, HER NUM­BER ONE “MUST-HAVE” WAS A GAR­DEN. While she loves pe­riod prop­er­ties, she de­cided to fo­cus on 1930s houses, as she felt up­keep might be an is­sue with any­thing older. Lou found a three-bed­room home she loved in 2012. “It of­fered plenty of space for the price, al­though the in­te­rior felt harsh and clin­i­cal, with or­angey pine, yel­low walls and brown car­pets and lam­i­nate floors.” Over the en­su­ing years, she’s com­bined the mid­cen­tury style she loves with up­cy­cled bar­gains and mod­ern finds, and now has color, pat­tern and in­ter­est­ing pieces ev­ery­where you look. “I’m drawn to el­e­ments from lots of dif­fer­ent eras and styles rather than stick­ing with one look,” she says. She’s used clean, geo­met­ric fab­rics and wall­pa­pers for an up­dated retro edge. “Since then I’ve added dark tones for weight and con­trast, and bright pops of color too.” Lou is an equal op­por­tu­nity shop­per, hunt­ing at con­tem­po­rary ven­dors as well as from vin­tage deal­ers, ar­ti­san mak­ers and ebay sell­ers. To cre­ate stor­age space, one of the first jobs she tack­led was hav­ing the book­case built. “I trea­sure my books,” she says. For flex­i­bil­ity, she bought neu­tral-col­ored seat­ing. “Ev­ery house has one tricky room, and for me it was my din­ing room,” she says. “It barely gets any nat­u­ral light, but in­stead of try­ing to fight the dark­ness, I’ve de­cided to go with it. It’s worked well, es­pe­cially as this is an evening

“I’ve mixed my fa­vorite el­e­ments FROM DIF­FER­ENT ERAS.”

space. The fire­place is the fo­cal point. I painted the pine sur­round and the pe­riod-style flow­ery tiles, which luck­ily weren’t orig­i­nal. The black wall­pa­per on the chim­ney­breast cen­ters the room and adds el­e­gance and real drama.” Stor­age is pro­vided in two up­cy­cled pe­riod dis­play cab­i­nets, which have more of a ’30s feel, and ad­di­tional dis­play space comes via a gor­geous cock­tail cart. Lou of­ten works from home and has plenty of room to keep or­ga­nized, thanks to a Lad­derax shelf unit and a bureau. The dark paint, she says, was in­spired by so­cial me­dia. “I saw this gor­geous deep gray-green color; my of­fice was an ideal place to ex­per­i­ment be­cause it’s self-con­tained and I’m not in there ev­ery day. I’m ab­so­lutely thrilled with the re­sult. I can eas­ily fo­cus when I’m work­ing, as it’s al­most co­coon-like. She ac­ces­sorized with vi­brant tones like or­ange, turquoise, pink and yel­low. Now that she’s set­tled in, Lou has the tex­tiles, ac­ces­sories and one-off fur­ni­ture items to make her home eclec­tic, com­fort­able and unique.

LOU FOUND HER MAG­A­ZINE RACK ON EBAY. The teak fin­ish and pared-down mid­cen­tury de­sign are just her taste.

“The ’50s styling with the splayed legs re­ally ap­peals [to me],” she says, “I love cush­ions, so hav­ing plain chairs means I can add color and in­ter­est­ing prints and tex­tures.” LOU’S COMFY SEAT­ING IS CON­TEM­PO­RARY.

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