People that are fighting addictions or habits often swap their old bad ones for alternative or new ones. I’ve well and truly been captured by that trap. While my tendency to browse on mind-bogglingly extensive ranges on fast fashion sites and making purchases on those trend-led things I don’t need, but want, has dissipated, I now find myself unable to resist the allure of a different type of bargain.
It’s pretty impossible for me to walk pass a charity shop before I ‘pop’ in…I always describe it as a pop by because somehow that casual phrasing makes it feel less naughty and less of a notable event. You know…just more of a casual drop by just in case I spot something useful, nothing to see here. Nothing to be alarmed about people!!
But do you know what? If this is going to be my ‘vice’ then it could be a lot worse. Instead of contributing to disposable and unethical side of consumerism, I am giving pre-loved items a new home and sometimes a new lease of life through the up-cycling that often follows. I’m also donating and supporting some wonderful charities with every purchase I make too. While I used to get that temporary high when treating myself with new clothes, guilt was always part of the aftermath. At least by recycling these homeware items I know I’m doing some good with every spend, while adding unique elements to our first home, for both Si and I to enjoy.
I could talk about ethical and sustainable shopping till the vegan friendly hide alternatives come home, but today I wanted to do a post about the item I seem to be most compelled to come away with when I venture into my local favourite charity shops. The item my eyes scour the shelves for more than any other. The item I feel worthy of carrying all the way home on foot with. The humble decorative and purposeful vase.
My most recent purchase, one that entered my increasingly cluttered world a mere three days ago. In pale Orange and impressively big, it was instantly irresistible to me and at £3 the sort of figure that you say to yourself ‘ I might as well’. That’s how they get you! This one was from my local RSPCA shop which is run by a lovely group of ladies who I regularly share a giggle with. Last time I went in one of the ladies had spilled her baked bean lunch all over her…hilarity ensued.
A Red glass vase purchased from Woking and Sam Beare Hospice charity shop . Since deciding to rearrange the books on my shelf according to colours – yes I do have too much time on my hands, and no, I am not a Virgo – I have got this idea in my head that next to each colour I’d like a vase or ornament to match. Red was one of the colours I was yet to tick off so was instantly drawn to this glass one when I saw it in the shelf. It casts some beautiful reflections on to their walls too, much like stain glass in a church. Although the @athomewithegg church is a somewhat dyfunctional religion…but aren’t they all.
This green one I got way before I started the colour coded book arrangement. I just saw that radioactive green colour and instantly imaged how well it’d pop against the dark teal walls of the lounge. I was right too. Put in some pale pink flowers and it looks absolutely divine. Am I sounding enough like Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen yet?
This wide and curvy crackled Cream was one of my early vase purchases when the area felt undiscovered and exciting. At that point I wasn’t aware of what charity shops were local, nor how well stocked they’d be. This purchases signalled the start of a beautiful relationship. Even though the bedroom was far from finished at that point I knew it’d have lots of calm and neutral tones so I was confident it’d work in there, but failing that the largely white second bedroom would serve as a satisfactory home for it.
Perhaps the most excitable I’ve gotten when it comes to a vase purchases was this set of white vases. Although vastly different to my overall aesthetic I do follow a lot of paired down minimal and muted accounts on Instagram. I’m constantly seeing vases with pleasing shapes like this, usually in muted tones.
They instantly give that sophisticated, clean and effortless feel to a space. They’re like the the old Calvin Klein slip dress of the homeware world. I’ve decided my lounge is this bustling bohemian space filled with colour, texture, clashing patterns…and a whole lot of stuff. But having never had the option to have one before I really wanting a calming sanctuary for the main bedroom…and these would be just about perfect for that kinda look. There were a few marks on them but a simple case of making sure they’re facing the back and you’ve got yourself a very expensive looking set that would cost you an irksome amount from a branded home-store.
It’s fairly easy for me to resist the allure of West Elm, Habitat, Heals, Maison Du Monde, etc not because I don’t love what they do…trust me I’ve dreamt about some of their furniture, lighting, and soft furnishings, but when it comes to HM Home, I am weak and pathetic woman. It’s so my taste and so affordable and therefore feasible, that I can’t help but fall off the second hand wagon. I make myself feel better though, because I personally don’t want to buy used bedsheets, bath mats and towels, so I figure a trip to HM Home isn’t something I should feel bad about, particularly when I’ve often purchased from the conscious collection. This beige vase with an abstract black line face kept appearing on my feed. It was love at first, almost as if this peculiar face was that of the Gosling, and I knew that if I were to find one in my local Kingston store, or in Soho on my next trip to town, that the atypical looking fella would be coming home with me.
This next vase was completely guilt-free as I was able to purchase it with a gift voucher that was given to me as part of some AD work with TKMaxx…..Just in case you didn’t know, for me working with TK Maxx in a way that gives me an excuse to shop for homeware is an absolute DREAM! I found this in the clearance aisle for a mere £6.99 and although it’s hard to show you scale I can assure you that it’s an impressively roomy glass vase with expensive looking ridging. It always has prime position on the TV stand so I can see it whenever I’m slouching on the sofa…which is 90% of my life if you must know!
This was gifted to me by the lovely team at Prezzybox before I’d even exchanged/completed on the flat. They knew my first home purchase was imminent so very kindly invited me to pick out some home bits and bobs. They’ve got some gloriously fun gadgets and novelty items but I was instantly drawn to this shiny gold cactus vase. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with all thing cacti shaped, embroidered, printed…and with just actual cacti but i think it’s been amped up since our trip to Joshua Tree last summer. I love having a little nod to these marvellous low maintenance plant friends in my calming office space.
As I said when I filmed the video for my Instagram page (@athomewithegg – come follow) when I saw this in Poundland I was a bit torn and was forced to question my taste. I had to ask myself whether it was on that good side of kitsch and tacky, whatever I ended up deciding on all that I concluded that at £ I must have it. I figure someone with EDS has to have something with zebra stripes in their house (the zebra is the mascot for those with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). You wouldn’t think it’d work but the monochrome stripes looking fantastic against the dark teal wall.
This Vase/Pot from Barnardos was actually bought for a job I was meant to be doing for a film company that ended up being cancelled. I was mean tto be recreating some famous Vincent Van gogh paintings in photography form so started collating pots that matched the originally paintings, in shape at least. This was was pretty close although would have needed painting. It started off with a floral print on the top which wouldn’t have matched anything in the flat so I used an Earthborn sample pot to put a sold matt grey over the top. In now resides on one of the kitchen open shelves.
When I used to dream about shopping for my first home I didn’t envisage I’d be doing it at the dump, but boy am I glad I do. It feels more of an adventure, like searching for treasure Goonies style, minus snogging Josh Brolin. I found this gem of a pink vase on my first trip to our new local recycling centre. They have their own shop there called Revive, which is stocked with things that are dropped off at the dump that they think could be of use to someone. They have bikes, deckchairs, furniture, lawn mowers, picture frames….basically anything that’s in reasonable knick. You don’t often see vases in this beautiful candy pink colour so I knew right away it had to be mine.
This one I should have slept on a bit, but I panicked because it said low in stock…again I think that’s how they get you! Don’t get wrong , I love it, it’s a great bit of homeware, but it just hasn’t found it’s place in our home yet. I think because it is white I thought id’ be a good fit in the second bedroom/ office with it’s Earthborn Flutterby walls (a not quite white cloud-coloured hue) but the Roman silhouette doesn’t really go with the Zen, Joshua Tree vibes of the space. Maybe this poor chap will end up in the cramped bathroom….what a fall from grace for the emperor.
This Sass and Belle was another purchase I got before we had even chosen the flat. When i knew we were finally going to take the leap I was hella excitable and starting created mood boards and mentally decide what I was going to buy. I say mentally….it very swiftly became a very physical thing when my hand started to scroll through offerings on Trouva and I eventually ordered this sweet polka dot vase. A that point I new I’d be going for a pale green bedroom and I thought this would be a good match, we ended up going for a slightly different shade that didn’t go well with it. So take my advice WAI till those walls are done before splashing out on everything.
This Chinese planter is perhaps the my favourite charity shop find overall. It was in the window on a day that I set out to find exactly a chinese planter and was a very reasonable £10….it was destiny!!
Another HM tormenter. I’d spotted this way before completion on the flat and at the time said to myself I’d wait till we were nearing the point of starting to decorate. Then as the process got longer the panic set in. I didn’t want to miss out and then the worst thing happened….SOLD OUT in bold letter online. I was so desperate I contacted their customer services on Twitter to see if they could locate one in store. They failed too, but luckily I managed to find a scratched one in my local Kingston store which they allowed me to have at a discounted rate.
So that’s a quick tour of my vast vase collection. What’s the thing you gravitate towards when it comes to lifestyle shopping? The object you you sneak in or hide from your partner or housemate because you know what they’ll say…’Another one???”. Tell me what your homeware obsession is in the comments. Think of it like a group meeting….no one else needs to know.