Presents from the past

GOOD VIN­TAGE: This old farm­house and barn have been trans­formed into a stun­ning fam­ily home full of nos­tal­gia. Sharon Dale re­ports. Pic­ture by Ger­ard Binks.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Homes -

FTER us­ing all her pow­ers of re­call Sally Wood­head is forced to con­fess that she can’t re­mem­ber the last time she bought any­thing new for her home. Her pas­sion for vin­tage and clever up­cy­cling has helped to fur­nish her farm­house, near Keigh­ley, and has a won­der­ful ef­fect on vis­i­tors, who of­ten get car­ried away on a tidal wave of nos­tal­gia.

The gi­ant gonk on top of the fridge trans­ports them to the 1960s and is as kitsch as they come, while the Homemaker plates on the shelf scream 1950s finest from Woolies.

The ex­quis­ite set of but­ton draw­ers, now a bed­side ta­ble, bring back mem­o­ries of long-gone haberdashery shops and gents out­fit­ters now sadly con­signed to re­tail his­tory.

Giv­ing new use to old items is also a Sally spe­cial­ity. In daugh­ter An­nie’s bed­room, a wooden meat safe has been trans­formed into a child-size wardrobe painted in pretty pas­tels.

The wire stor­age units in the kitchen spark mem­o­ries of the “baths”. They were once swim­ming pool lock­ers and now hold a hoard of toys. The old of­fice fil­ing cab­i­net is also keep­ing fam­ily clut­ter un­der wraps.

Her lat­est ac­qui­si­tion is a pair of match­ing 1970s easy chairs and their charms are ob­vi­ous to those of us who en­joyed the sump­tu­ous seat­ing of that decade. There is noth­ing so comfy as an old Dralon chair. They don’t make them like that any more.

Sally agrees: “I rarely buy any­thing new. It’s not nec­es­sary and it’s a lot more fun find­ing old things. I love the his­tory that comes with them and the fact some­one else has had them be­fore.”

When I bought my first house I fur­nished it en­tirely from a sale­room.

Her love of all things old is ge­netic. Her mother Ca­role, an auc­tion­eer’s as­sis­tant, is a former an­tiques dealer who al­ways ar­rives bear­ing gifts, in­clud­ing fly­ing ducks and vin­tage glass­ware.

“My mum al­ways bought and sold an­tiques in Ne­wark and when I bought my first house I fur­nished it en­tirely from a sale­room,” says Sally, a former knitwear de­signer who now or­gan­ises vin­tage fairs.

She and her friend Sam Makin be­gan with the Vin­tage Fash­ion Fairs at Leeds Town Hall in 2005 and they now have a cult fol­low­ing. They also run the Vin­tage Bazaar and Hand­made Fair in Ilk­ley.

The next bazaar is a week on Satur­day and Sally will no doubt spend a good por­tion of any profit there.

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