Monday, 3 February 2014

Telling the Stories of Antique Furniture #WritingInspiration

This week is National Storytelling Week in the UK. My world is full of stories. Just this morning I can tell the tale of how my three-year-old daughter woke up late for pre-school after a restless night of sleep, and about the conversations we had on our short walk out. Our dog insisted on stopping to sniff every wall and bush we passed, and then I had to explain for the hundredth time why we stopped at traffic lights before crossing the road. It is never a dull moment being a mother, that’s for sure!


I recently celebrated my birthday, and for a treat I got to visit my local craft and antique centre. Dagfields Crafts and Antiques is a fabulous place. It is a collection of converted barns out in the Cheshire countryside, and it contains a wonderful array of treasures and curiosities. I was able to visit it twice within a week, and without children in tow, which is a novelty these days! Subsequently I found time to browse all of the units and inspect everything on display, which set my imagination alight once again. Each piece of furniture, every ornament, and every seemingly tired object has a story to tell. Here are a few that I particularly liked:


This beautiful antique telephone table looked to me like it would not be amiss in a luxurious Victorian home. It might be a twentieth century piece of furniture, hence being sold as a telephone table, but when I looked at it I pictured in in the sitting room of Lady Sarah Stockton from my recent novel The Darkness of Love. The sofa is luxurious and delicate, it looks comfortable enough to seat a lady of a dainty disposition, and there is a useful table on which she can place her book, her cup of tea, and maybe her fan if the weather is warm.


I really liked this sideboard and am still contemplating purchasing it for my home, although my husband may not like the piece. It has a pull-out writing desk feature, and I could see myself seated there working on my laptop if I were to bring it home. I also pictured this in the Victorian home of Stockton Manor from The Darkness of Love. It was not grand enough to warrant a place in Lord Gregory’s personal rooms, but perhaps it would suffice for the office of his butler, or maybe as a side table in  a hallway. It is very small, so it would only work in a less important room of the house.


These are just a couple of examples of what I saw recently. There were so many treasures to discover that I didn’t even make it all the way round Dagfields on two visits. I was constrained by time on those occasions, but that only means I have to return so I can finish my visit of course! Ah, the simple pleasures of life…

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3 comments:

  1. Love that sofa! As an old time fan of the original Dark Shadows, I am always drawn to Victorian furniture. Your red light story reminds me of the segment in Star Man where she lets him drive and he zooms through a yellow light. When she protests, he tells her that he watched her very carefully as she drove and he knew that yellow means "go very fast."

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    1. Ha ha, thanks for commenting! Oh yes, I was trying desperately to think of a place to put that sofa at home, but in a modest 2-bed terraced house (former railway worker cottage), I really couldn't fit it in!

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  2. Wow was the expression when I viewed this victorian furniture at a store here in Croydn, London that had the best of everything, starting from intricate hand carving, ornate wood work, rich hand polishing and gorgeous upholstery work that reminded me of that grand Victorian Era when furniture design was simply gorgeous and sublime with extensive attention to detailing. Hope the luxury armchair that I bought for my country house in Swindon, perfectly matches with the ambience.

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