Long gone are uninviting dark Dickensian cluttered shops. Antiques have entered a new (eco) friendly state where they have never been more desirable.
If you are excited to step back inside now that the number of hot days have outweighed ideas for al fresco experiences, then October is the month for you. Save the dates 19-21 October 2018 – the weekend of Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair is a good time to be in Somerset.
Nothing says let’s get cosy (with over fifty of the finest dealers in decorative antiques and Mid-century design to dress our homes for winter) like a bucolic weekend in the South West.
After a working summer in Suffolk interspersed with inspiration trips to Italy and France, Chris Randle of The Antique Partnership is handpicking stock ready to make a debut at Bruton this year. Taking the traditional with the trendy, Chris shares his secrets for fashioning friendly environments…
Twenty-five years of dealing and restoring antiques has earned Chris what’s referred to by insiders as the knowledge, an increasingly rare quality in today’s new market changed by the Internet and social media selling.
Chris uses the Internet to his advantage – not having a shop helps him keep prices keen. But hashtag searches only get you so far and his clients are not one-click wonders. He has built a genuine reputation by splitting his time between antique dealing, interior decorating, and through real face time with buyers at high calibre events.
So how does one attain the knowledge? Chris is modest.
“Take on challenges and overcome the mistakes made… never be afraid to ask those who know more than you,” he says. Chris happily returns the favour by sharing his knowledge with those who ask.
The new season is about touchy feely interiors. “Attractive, difficult to find talking pieces often with a rustic country touch…nothing over perfect but with a warm feel,” says Chris.
An appreciation for old things comfortably coexists with fashion. Buying antiques can be your fastest route to trends with quality iterations that add individuality which never dates. Chris says fashion is getting louder with “brighter colours than of late” and no room – no matter how small – is devoid of a talking point or two.
Try bold geometric designs in primary colours and Victorian pub signs like this scoreboard (probably made for indoor excitements such as a game of skittles).
Bruton is brought to us by Sue Ede, the woman behind the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, which is celebrating its 30th next year. This October is only the 3rd edition of Bruton, but it has already created a buzz. Stands are artfully curated and highly personal, filled with objects that exhibitors truly love. From immediate wows to settings that show the potential of even the humblest pieces, beauty is everywhere to be found for all manner of tastes.
I dressed this corner of my home with pieces collected from regular exhibitors at Bath and Bruton.
Step inside The Antique Partnership’s stand at Bruton this year and you will get a taste for rustic 19th Century French and English pieces. Your eyes will meet the glass eyes of a polychrome rocking horse and rest on pairs of upholstered French armchairs. The modern home is not museum-like, beautifully upholstered chairs are actually bought to sit in.
Chris is a fan of the “practical but strikingly nice to look at.” A flight of painted Georgian drawers, a lime waxed pine dresser base, and a rare walnut topped centre table fit the bill for Bruton.
The months when the great indoors beckons is a natural time for living green to resonate. The choices we make for our own homes effect that place we all call home, planet earth. Chris believes the green angle will translate over time, but it has not hit the right spot yet. “A huge effort needs to be made to bring this concept back into the publics mind,” he says.
Choosing antiques over new is surely one of the most pleasurable ways to sustain our planet. But who needs preaching when the beauty found at Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair can inspire change without words.
19 – 21 October 2018
Haynes International Motor Museum
Sparkford, Somerset, BA22 7LH
Entry is £5 or get your Free Ticket here
©Photographs courtesy of Reclaimed Woman & The Antique Partnership