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Vintage Homeware Q&A with Emily London

Vintage Expert Emily London recently gave us all her tips on shopping second hand fashion and her favourite Charity Shops and you told us you wanted to know more, so we asked Emily to give us her expert tips on second hand homeware, what to look out for and what to leave behind...

Q. You include home-ware in your Charity Shop edits, this is really interesting as buying second hand home-ware such as glass and crockery isn’t yet as fashionable or even as acceptable as buying pre-loved clothes. Tell us your tips for shopping home-ware in Charity Shops.

I love shopping for second-hand homeware. The bargains you can find are seriously deep. Here are my top tips for finding cracking, preloved bric-a-brac:


- Check the bottom. See a plate, vase or cup you like? Flip it over and see if it has a maker’s mark. Take a photo of it. Start building up a profile on the brands, styles and shapes you like. The more you do this the quicker it will be to find something special, the next time you hit the shops.

- Be led by your curiosity, not outside influence. Get comfortable choosing pieces based on what you love rather than what’s on trend. Currently, most charity shops are filled with cut crystal glasses, decanters and vases, as that style fell from popularity over a decade ago. Brands like Soho Home are trying to bring it back. Why not see if you enjoy the look by snapping up an original piece from a charity shop, at a fraction of the price of an SH tumbler? Take time to figure out what you like and what you want to use; it’s an enjoyable process once you get the hang of it.


- Don’t be afraid to go bold. Shopping for vintage bric-a-brac, is a process and one that isn’t going to be completed in a single shopping trip. Mix prints and colours together. Use Royal Doulton dinner plates from the 30s, with Waterford crystal glasses from the 80s. The decision is entirely yours! Think of it as starting a collection, which you will continue to add to as your needs change and evolve. Finding a complete dinner service isn’t the goal.

- Don’t rush the process. Take the time to check for chips, scratches and cracks in your second-hand item before you decide to buy. Plus, see if you can wash it in a dishwasher, as some vintage dinnerwares’ patterns will fade in hot washes and cut crystal glasses can explode. If you don’t have the time to handwash crockery, it’s best to leave it behind.


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