Reykjavik: Part 2


I had coffee and the most delicious-smelling waffles in Reykjavik's oldest coffeehouse - Tiu Dropar. I've learned a new way of eating waffles by watching the locals - cut off a square at a time and dunk it in syrup/cream/chocolate sauce (each square was a biteful, so it was a huge waffle). Ok, that might not be new for some of you, but I always attack my waffles however which way. Some of the locals came in with their knitting as they catch up with friends over coffee or tea. The interiors were kitschy, using lots of old teapots, old lamps, antique framed photos of maps, tables and chairs.

This is inside Saegrefinn, a seafood shack by the harbour. They're famed for their fish and lobster soup and grilled fish skewers. Point what you like from the fridge and they'll grill it for you. Not sure if the stuffed animals qualify as vintage?

And I love Scandinavian houses - peaked roofs, balconies, huge windows, steps to the front door.

Reykjavik: Part 1


I had a few days off and what better to spend the winter than experiencing the cold as near the Arctic as possible, right? Yes, a lot have laughed at my holiday idea. But I was the one laughing back as Iceland was actually warmer than London the first couple of days I was there (and snow was wrecking havoc in London). It was below 0 the next days but it is still not as freezing as I have expected. Temperature only went as low as -6(but it is still the coldest place I've been to).

And it seems that vintage and antiques are well and alive in Reykjavik, occupying several shops in the premier shopping district in Laugavegur. Look at the shops I spied.

This bookshop is one I would love to get lost in. Thousands of volumes. Quite a lot in languages I don't understand. Organised like an unloved library, there are books on the floor in the corners, some in dust and cobwebs. They're right across the street from the hotel where I stayed. But I've never seen them open. sigh

Posh-looking antique shop. I can only look through the window, as always.

This is in the other end of Laugavegur, nearer the harbour. I grew up with religious statues and icons. And this just brings me back (though I know there are people who are freaked out by religious statues).

There's actually a few vintage clothing shops in Laugavegur. This is one of them.

Tomorrow, a cafe and a seafood shack as well as houses I would love to move in to.

A Rug Beater Collection


I've been looking around Marley & Lockyer site and gasped at this wonderful collection of rug beaters.

Don't you just think they're gorgeous? But I'd probably just love to have a closer look. Imagine all the dusting and cobwebs they'll attract! Oh well, I do sacrifice prettiness if it means I will get a few more minutes of sleep.

Merry Christmas!!


Just a quick post to say that I wish everyone a Happy, Happy Christmas!

Repurposing a ladder


I think it's wonderful that more and more of us are finding new uses for old things. |I would really like to see more repurposing ideas like this.

I think it's guaranteed to make friends look and stare.

(Image from Recyclart)

Vintage Wish List


(Image via Furniture Fashion)

Do you know where I can find something like this in London? I wonder if a raised glass top will work with this?

Camden Stables Market


Let me whisk you to one of my favourite places to hang out in London - The Camden Stables Market.

The kinds of people that this place attracts is really interesting. The tourists, the younger crowds, the goths, the hippy-looking bunch, the older sets. Maybe there's a noticeable absence of people in suits, but you don't really have to go too far to see them, and so they're not really missed.

Talk to the lady in multi-coloured hair and a thousand and one piercings and you'll realise she's no different from you. I think it's freedom when you can choose to dress any which way you want and not be perceived any differently. So leave your biases aside and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

The market is the mecca for vintage clothes.

Check out the restored oak furniture

And don't miss the antique market where I get my fix on oggling vintage luggages

(did I spy a vintage Louis Vuitton in there? How did I miss that?)

I usually get a black chai tea and cake at one of the coffee shops there with a good view of the goings on in the market below. And be spoilt for choice around lunch time with a number of stalls competing for your attention (i always seem to end up with fried rice and chicken at the japanese food stall though).

Let me know what great finds you take home with you.

Letterpress Types


I would love to collect and make a framed collage out of wooden letterpress types.

(Image from Country Living)

Maybe if there's some phrase I wouldn't mind seeing everyday, I'd make it look something like this (but with different-sized types)

(Image via Behance Network)

Ebay finds


I do love ebay. It makes an easy job out of finding treasures. All for a cost, though! I'll aim to feature sellers I browse through when I'm in the mood for some window shopping.

*Note that I'm not paid to advertise nor am I associated with these sellers. I haven't even bought anything from them (yet).

Tuderhoff sells a good mixture of vintage furniture.

A few thing I would love to see at my home:

Ex school chairs via Tuderhoff Ebay Shop

 Teak sideboard with a Danish feel via Tuderhoff Ebay Shop

I think it's called (vintage) love


I first saw it at an antique shop at the Spitalfields Market. And saw it again whilst on holiday in Prague. After some googling, I found out it's called a Riddling Rack.

(image from Eclectic Restorations)

It's originally meant for champagne and sparkling wines to consolidate sediments and make the drinks clearer. I think modern technology used in wine making had made these riddling racks obsolete.

I would love to have it hung on a wall and filled with wonderful wines.

What you won't see here


Maybe it's because I'm no designer. But I think there are some words that keeps popping up throughout the various design sites that I visit. And they annoy me.

Pop of colour. I do get it. A red cushion in a sea of creams and white interior. The colour does pop. But I would rather say it's unexpected or adds a touch of colour.

Curated. A curator is to a museum. They actually do a lot of research and work. As opposed to those who 'curated' a collection of stuff for a shop window. Don't tell me that if they 'curated' that it means they are a curator? Please. Don't cheapen the word. And I am so not alone on this one.

Vintage knockoffs. Or antique reproductions. Why buy something new that looks old? Is it just for the sense of irony? Maybe antiques are a bit out of reach for most of us. But there are plenty of good second hand and vintage items out there that makes buying a repro so wrong. But if a make a mistake of posting a picture of a repro mistaking it for a 'real' old item, do let me know!

Apple Crates


I do wish I can purchase loads of old apple crates and use it all over the house.

This stained version looks quite elegant

But I still want them in the kitchen to house my root vegetables and garlic and onions.

The start of a love affair


Ok. I think that was an overly dramatic title. But I feel like I need to christen this blog with an explanation as to how it all started for me.

I've always loved decorating as far as I can remember. I would rearrange the furnitures in my room as a teenager. I would sometimes wreak havoc in the family rooms as well, much to my mom's dismay. My dad would consult me when he buys stuff and starts projects. We would try every corner of the room just to find a place for a single vase. I trawled home magazines, dreaming it was my home.

I never really thought I had enough knack to make it as a career though. It was something just for me, for my space. Decorating has become something really personal.

Now, I look back and realised that I've always been drawn to cosy, homey places. Old barns, Victorians, churches and palaces. I have secretly enjoyed the confusing hallways of old country houses we've been to. I've discovered markets and carboot sales and find myself dreaming how I can use discarded treasures as my own. I've discovered antique shops and just learn to gaze longingly and to never look at price tags lest I faint.

I think it's just inspiring. To look at things that have already stood the test of time. To find another use for something. To look at imperfections and only see character and maybe stories of what they were before it came to you. And to know that you are going to add your stories to for someone else to discover.

Yes, it's overly dramatic. But how else could you describe your passion?

About Me

Call me a weird girl, but trawling through carboot sales and markets often gives me more thrill than going home with a bagful of new clothes from the high street.

Pre-loved things have a story to tell. Each wear and tear only seems to add to its beauty. And I don’t know why anyone would want a home where everything’s just too precious or too new to be used.

I’m Ana. This is my journal in my search for my decorating style, and my love for browsing markets, vintage shops, and home decorating blogs. Maybe in some ways, this is a documentation of my daydreams and some of the life that happens in between. I do hope that when I finally settle somewhere I can call my own, some of the real treasures I’ll share with you here will hopefully find their way into my home.