Stylist and Interiors Editor Lisa Piddington shares her home with 75,000 followers on Instagram. Here she reveals here favourite vintage find and her tips to making a house a home.
How did you start you Instagram account? I have collected vintage for more than 30 years so my home always looked different to my friends’. A lot of them didn’t quite “get” my look so when I started on Instagram (@lisa_loves_vintage) I found a lovely little community of fellow vintage hunters where we could chat about our shared passions for car boot sales, charity shops and flea markets. I never for a minute thought it would be any more than that and I remember being amazed when I hit my first 1,000 followers. While I get my home will never appeal to everyone, I think people can admire how I can take a something I’ve found at the side of the road and (hopefully) make it look stylish!
Do you think it is important that we buy vintage/upcycled furniture rather than mass-produced? Did you know that modern chest of drawers has a carbon footprint higher 16x than its vintage equivalent? In my bedroom I have this stunning 1950s chest of drawers – complete with its original decals – that I bought years ago from eBay. It cost me £5 and I have loved it every day I’ve owned it. It makes me smile, it lights up my room and what’s more, because it’s old, weather worn and probably seen better days, I saved it from being one of the 10 million items of furniture that are thrown out every year in the UK alone.
Which room in your home is your favourite and why? My lounge, because it’s the most relaxing space. I decorated it during lockdown last year when my son and I learnt how to wallpaper. The colour on the chimney breast is called Mallard Green by Dulux Heritage and I love how it feels cosy and warm in the winter but, because it has so many plants and French doors, it feels like a garden room in the summer.
Do you have a favourite vintage find? The leather club chair in my lounge. It’s where I curl up, where I nap and where I drink my coffee; I remember countless cuddles with my children in this chair and finishing off favourite books; I can recall sitting here having contractions before babies came along and sinking into it to mourn the loss of too many loved ones. I’ve laughed in it, I’ve cried in it and more than once I’ve been kissed in it. Over the years this inanimate piece of furniture has been at the heart of so many memories. My vintage collecting has always been about rescuing pieces that once held precious memories for previous owners. I’ve never bought something because it’s fashionable or on-trend or because everyone has one; but because I know that it once meant the world to someone else and now it means the world to me. That sentimentality also explains why I struggle to throw anything out!
You’re known for having a home full of colour, bucking the trend for monochrome interiors. What advice would you give someone interesting in injecting colour into a room? I get a lot of DMs on Instagram from people asking how they can be more brave with their decorating. A good place to start is to paint a feature wall, maybe in a fabulous deep mustard or terracotta, or perhaps try changing the colour of your kitchen units, repainting a table or shelving unit to add an instant splash of colour that draws the eye. You may decide that a bright wall colour is not for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a colourful statement – you can create a colourful gallery wall against a white background, while bright throws and cushions add texture, depth and interest. My advice would be go for it … experiment and play around with the colours that you love. And let’s face it, if it’s only a tin of paint it didn’t set you back too much money and you can easily cover with something a little less “out there” if you hate the results!