Thursday, 23 May 2013

Vintage Shopping in Exeter and Around

Unexpectedly amazing - The Vintage Trading Co, Exeter

James and I took a couple of days off this week and went to visit his parents, who live in lovely Devon. It was nice to take a break from work, it's something that we are trying to get better at doing! Having said that, you can take the vintage magpies away from work, but you can't stop them vintage hunting...

On our way into Exeter for a spot of lunch and shopping, we drove past the Vintage Trading Co, an average looking warehouse type building on a trading estate on the outskirts of the city. Our curiosity got the better of us and we stopped for a look. I'll be honest, my expectations of the place were not high as it really didn't look anything special from outside, but once we got through the doors we found ourselves in a pretty little vintage paradise! Never judge a book by it's cover, eh?

The main room was spacious and light, and had sections that seemed to be run by independent traders, which meant that each area had it's own little flavour. Some sections focused on reworked furniture in a more shabby chic style, others were more classic antiques style stuff and some were an eclectic mix. Our favourite sections were the amazing mid century areas, which were arranged like real rooms and were so inviting.

There was also another large room full of furniture and other bits and bobs, this area was more of a mix but was equally interesting. All in all, the prices were pretty reasonable, we bought a leather bag for £8 and an atomic magazine rack for £12.

After this, we were in a wombling state of mind and spotted a nearby charity furniture shop, and an amazing second hand warehouse called Steptoe's Market, where we found this beauty of a sideboard, which cost just £20! As you can see, it was actually a dressing table, but the mirror easily came unscrewed and we had our perfect sideboard (and a spare mirror for vintage fairs!). We have been looking for something like this for ages, and all the ones we had seen on eBay or in charity shops were either really expensive or not quite right, but this one ticked all of the boxes. It's just the right size, and has that great 1960's feel we were looking for. It needs to be sanded back and re-stained, but it is in otherwise superb condition. We love it.

Our bargain sideboard as we found it, and fitting in perfectly at home.

The next day, James suggested we take a trip to Exmouth Tip. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this suggestion didn't excite me. But then, he explained that Exmouth Tip, or Exmouth Recycling Centre as it is officially known, actually has a shop where they sell items that have been dumped there but are actually in good condition and can be reused. It is fantastic! I am such a big believer in reusing things wherever possible, and it always makes me feel so sad when people throw stuff away that could be used by someone else, so it was so good to see the people at the tip giving this stuff a new lease of life, and earning a little money in the process. There was lots of furniture, hardware such as door handles and even a lovely roll top bath, as well as brik-a-brak, books, records, dvds and all sorts of weird and wonderful items. We bought some records, which were 40p each, and some vases, which were 50p each. I really hope that tips in other areas will follow their lead and start offering this service, it is such a good idea.

Having a good old rummage at Exmouth Recycling Centre

If you live in Devon or are planning to visit, I'd definitely recommend taking a break between cream teas and checking these places out! We're back in Birmingham and back to work now, but we're already looking forward to our next visit.

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