Its great when you have wonderful neighbours, but we've sadly waved goodbye to ours as they've recently sold their house, which has been in their family since 1928. How amazing is that?
Their house was like stepping back in time to the 1940s or earlier; full of brown furniture and plenty of original features like this wall paper:
But, as our neighbours spend most of their time abroad, they only wanted to take a few select pieces of furniture with them, not a complete houseful. So as a "Thank You" to us for keeping an eye on the house over the past few years, they asked us to take whatever we wanted before they sold it off.
Seriously, I couldn't believe what they said and kept asking if they were sure. Their reply was that they'd rather us have the things that we liked as they knew it would be treasured and wouldn't be far from its original home.
Husband was particularly happy with his choice of a dis-armed hand grenade, which was originally kept on a bedroom mantlepiece; cue lots of 'pull out the pin' jokes!
There were so many lovely pieces of furniture like marble washstands, a chaise longue, chest of drawers etc., but we couldn't fit it all in our house and I didn't want to take things just for the sake of it. So, we settled on some smaller objects, like the Staffordshire flat-back watch stand above, some Union Jack flags to add to our collection...
I reckon these must be from the inter war period, as the large one is printed linen, whilst the bunting appears to be rayon.
The large flag lives in this old iron umbrella stand, which stands in the same place in our hall as it did in our neighbours'...
I'm going to black it up with grating polish once I get the time. Doesn't the owl look lovely?
We didn't take much furniture either; only this mahogany what-not that fits in neatly beside my craft table and makes a handy place to store my art equipment, and a stick-back chair; the cushion cover is a recent sewing project. The arms of the chair are well-worn and as its surprisingly comfy, I'm sure this was once someone's favourite seat.
However, I did find wallspace for this Victorian pastel of a Romany boy. I'd always admired this picture and the boy's face reminds me of a friend's son. Its such beautiful picture and his eyes follow you around the room, but not in a freaky way though, more of an inquisitive look.
To give you an idea of how much of a timewarp the house was, these are some of the newspapers that were scattered about...
...these date from 1916!
Our neighbours also asked Husband if he could clear out their sheds for them too, which hadn't been touched for at least twenty years. That'll be another blog post, but Husband did find this marmalade jar in one of them that only needed a good scrub up to be as good as new...
It makes the ideal vase don't you think?