Little drawers

May 6, 2011

Are what I wear on a Friday night…

I’m actually talking about apothecary chests. Or haberdashery shop storage units. Teeny tiny drawers all labelled and vintage and LOVELY. I spotted the huge one above on my travels recently – complete with original German labels. ‘Watte’ apparently means cotton wool, so I presume this was originally in a chemist’s shop, but it’s being used to store tea nowadays. ‘Oh, where can one buy such a thing?’, I hear you cry…

You can find beautiful antique originals at The Old Cinema – the top one shown here is a vintage 1930s treasure. Beautiful. But, how can you ‘get the look’ when your budget is, well, less than £2000? You could head to John Lewis (bottom right) for cute numbered drawers with a galvanised zinc case for £60, or to your local HomeSense (bottom left), where little four-drawer units start at just £14.99 each! Here’s my lovely new HomeSense one, with labels I made using a Muji stamp set:

This brings me conveniently on to my next post, entitled: The Joy of HomeSense (OR, Where To Find An Angora Throw For Eight English Pounds, No, Really).  – Ellie

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Rupert Blanchard is a scavenger with style. He’s been all over London, finding, reclaiming and collecting odd drawers, and has up-cycled them into beautiful pieces for his ‘New Furniture’ collection. ‘Every drawer has been salvaged without its original carcass or housing,’ he explains on his blog. ‘I don’t use or collect drawers that already have a use in an existing piece of furniture.’ The results of Richard’s work are impressive – he’ll be launching the range later this week, but here’s a sneaky peek:

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rupert blanchardEvery drawer has a story behind it. Rupert’s collection includes, among many others: oak haberdashery shop drawers from Battersea, Singer sewing machine table drawers from a factory in Shoreditch, a handle found in Brick Lane and a teak-fronted 1950s office desk drawer from Clapham. I really like these pieces of furniture and they prove, once again, that recycled furniture can be just as stylish as new designer furniture – if not more so, because it oozes history and charm. I’m looking forward to meeting Rupert on Thursday at his launch party to find out more. – Ellie