The Orchard Blog For all things shabby chic, rustic and vintage.

November 7, 2012

Get the look – Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has become one of the country’s most staggeringly successful programmes of recent years, quickly establishing itself as a flagship title of ITV. The meticulously designed show has been praised for its attention to detail, in terms of props and locations, and it seems people can’t get enough of the vintage style on display.

Grand, classical, traditional, ornate; all keywords when describing the aesthetic appeal of Downton. They are also, coincidentally, keywords which you can find throughout The Orchard’s products!

Recently concluding its third series, Downton Abbey has been snapped up and televised in over 100 countries across the world since its inception just over two years ago. Nominations and awards have quickly followed, pocketing Emmys and Golden Globes (amongst many others), as well as Bafta Craft Awards for sound and directing. The first season even broke a Guinness World Record for the most critically well-received show in the world. Hordes of fans ensure viewing figures gravitate around the 9m mark, cementing the widespread popularity of everything classically vintage.

All of which led us to thinking…a hugely popular programme which features furniture, interiors and trends similar to those of The Orchard – let’s see if we can show how we can help our customers create their own little slice of Downton! A dash of baroque styling, a splash of antique white paint, a flourish of vintage; whether its transforming an entire room, or a subtle addition to a space, we have plenty of options for you. Downton Abbey is off our screens until Christmas, but hopefully we can help you fill the void until its return.

And don’t just take our word for it! We recently had two of our products featured in The Times as part of their Downton Abbey inspired ‘Bricks & Mortar’ section…

Downton Abbey’s return cannot come soon enough for us here at The Orchard. Be sure to check out all of the photos in the blog on our Pinterest profile too!


October 4, 2012

Dispatching your furniture

This week, as ever, we had a number of orders for our French Brocante furniture due for dispatch, so we booked them in with our furniture delivery service, and set about the task of readying them for their journey’s to their new homes. We thought it might be interesting to document some of the steps we take to best ensure our furniture arrives in perfect condition. So, we took a few snaps along the way!

Before we start the process of securely packaging the furniture, each piece is QC’d (quality checked), by both the manufacturer and The Orchard.

First up, two Brocante Medium Serving Tables, wrapped in this rather fetching, well fitted corrugated card.

But, cautious as we are here at The Orchard, we then fit our trusty ‘foam edges’, which provide an extra level of protection – as well as looking really good.

Don’t they look nice and ready for their travels!

Next up, the rather lovely solid Pine Brocante Trunk Coffee Table, which is packed in a double walled outer box.

So, once again, out came the trusty blue foam edges, which we put on the inside as well as the outside of the box, just to be safe.

The next two pieces were of the smaller variety – how pretty are these!

These two beauties are Brocante Aries Two Drawers, in the ‘Olive’ colourway. Again, packed with a protective cover for the table top (which is a shame really because it would’ve been good to photograph for you!). Nevertheless, more blue edges were measured, cut down and applied to both inside and out of the boxes, and two more pieces were ready to go.

And with that, five pieces of furniture were ready to go for today’s dispatch. There was, however, another box which isn’t due to go out as soon, and after all this activity I couldn’t resist opening it up and getting a sneaky picture or two…


And this fancy little item is a Brocante Lamp Table – One Drawer, in ‘China Red’. Just fabulous!

So that is how we prep our furniture before it leaves us here at The Orchard. If you like the look of any of these pieces, have a look at our entire French Brocante collection.

The Orchard

August 7, 2012

From MOMA to The Orchard!

Filed under: Painted Furniture — auctiondesigns @ 12:49 PM

A new exhibition was unveiled this week at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  Toys, games, small painted furniture, and books all featured in the showcase of 20th century design for children.

The exhibit, entitled Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000 opened last week and will run until November.  It looks at the symbiotic relationship between children and the artists who designed for them.  The museum’s curator Juliet Kinchin said: “We’re showing the two-way, very dynamic relationship between new concepts of childhood and children and new ways of thinking about design process and creativity.  One of the amazing things that design can do is take you on a journey, and with children, they’re halfway there already, and design helps propel them that bit further.”

Everyday objects such as Lego, the Rubik’s Cube, Etch-a-Sketch and Slinky are part of the exhibit, along with painted furniture by Alvar Aalto, a chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, school desks by Arne Jacobsen and Jean Prouve and playground equipment by Isamu Noguchi.  Curatorial assistant Aidan O’Connor said that he particularly enjoyed the painted furniture series personifying childhood misdeeds done in 1930 by Minka Podhajska and lent by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.

Short of flying out to New York, we’ll wait to see the official photos from the exhibition (with a sneak peek above!)  For our take on painted furniture, visit our website and have a look at our painted furniture collections.

July 9, 2012

Paint your way to a beautiful home

Filed under: Painted Furniture — auctiondesigns @ 12:26 PM

Everyone is buying into the painted furniture trend as sales of painted pieces soar, and people are getting handy with a paintbrush!  Painted furniture is a really affordable way of transforming your home as it can add a fresh and colourful feel to your home and garden.

We love our homes, but it’s all too easy to get trapped in an outdated style.  Painted furniture will allow you to refresh older pieces of furniture that you can;t bear to throw away, or buying new painted piece will give your home a lift in both colour and style.

Buying painted furniture is a cost-effective way of updating your home.  As the economy struggles to emerge from the credit crunch, this style of furnishing is making a real come back.  As our culture becomes more aware of the ethics around recycling and more appreciative of the inherent quality in old, well designed furnishings, the painted furniture look continues to rise.

Looking for ready-made painted furniture?  Welcome to The Orchard, the vintage inspired home ware and gift online boutique!

June 11, 2012

Painted Furniture: Make your own or buy online

Filed under: Painted Furniture — auctiondesigns @ 8:05 AM

Are you looking for a new style for your home that’s in-keeping with your budget but still gorgeous?  Then look no further than painted furniture.

Your house could soon be brimming with painted furniture pieces found on a budget – from restored boot sale finds to recycled units and pre-loved pieces.

And, to give a nod to the jubilee of last week, even Prince Charles has recently revealed he’s a member of the ‘make do and mend’ generation and that he’s had his old bathroom curtains turned into cushions.  You don’t get much higher than the royal seal of approval!

It is this principle of recycling and re-using furniture that we are passionate about, and giving an old chest of drawers or bedside table a fresh lick of paint is just one way of doing this.

Your home should be an expression of your taste and style – a home that is warm and welcoming.  You shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting with techniques, colours, and fabrics.  There’s nothing like the satisfaction of buying a cheap boot sale piece and turning it into something wonderful with just a pot of paint.

A homely and bespoke look will rely on all of those homemade touches.  So, if you are looking to inject some personality into your home, there’s no better way than with a piece of painted furniture.

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