Arts & Crafts Rediscovered – Vincent Trading

Image: Vincent Trading

In a blog post towards the end of last year on interior trends for those who don’t do interior trends (such a snappy title), my first tip for what will be big this year was handmade furniture.

The Great British taste in interiors has come a long way since Ikea encouraged us to chuck out our chintz in their brilliant 1996 campaign.  Heavily influenced by the simplicity and price point of cheaper retailers and the freshness of the Scandinavian look, we ditched the heavy furniture and patterns of our parents and grandparents and filled our houses with Billy and Kallax.

Now I love Ikea as much as the next woman, (in fact probably considerably more than the next woman, I really really love it) but even I have grown a little tired of the identikit houses that Ikea has created.  Suddenly we all had the same stuff and, influenced by superb marketing, we were even styling and hacking it exactly the same way.

This year I am feeling and seeing the beginnings of a move away from this flatpack life.  Influences, particularly across social media, are giving us an insight into to a much greater variety of styles and we are more often finding our own way when it comes to interior choices.

In our efforts to create some thing more unique we are also turning to a much wider variety of retailers.  Over the last decade or so vintage furniture has gone from being the choice of a selected group of enthusiasts to a viable option for many when looking for high quality furniture.  And handmade pieces from small businesses tick all of our boxes in our quest to make our house unique in the most sustainable way.

And this is where a company like Vincent Trading comes in.  Set up by husband and wife team Mike and Emma, the business has gone from strength to strength providing reclaimed wooden furniture which has been handmade in Devon.

Image: Vincent Trading

The aim is to create “timeless pieces that will last generations” using traditional methods and with more than a nod to sustainability.  The majority of the wood is reclaimed and a proportion of the business’ profits are donated each year to help to create sustainable woodlands.

Products include stools, benches, side and coffee tables, serving trays and serving boards in a variety of sizes.

Mike and Emma’s ideology of ” slow fashion” with a passion for “traditional methods, beauty in imperfection and our planet” is perfect for the market today.

Image: Vincent Trading

This move back towards the appreciation of handmade and unique is also highly evocative of the ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement which began in the UK but flourished throughout Europe and North America between around 1880 and 1920.

The movement was a reaction to the age of industrialisation and aimed to celebrate the craftsman and the handmade.  A key proponent of the movement was William Morris who famously advised “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Emma and Mike’s products are beautifully made and can be adapted for so many uses in a wide range of styles of houses.  I was lucky enough to be gifted the mini stool which is currently living in my bathroom, looking beautiful but also acting very usefully as a perch for when the kids are in the bath.  I love how Emma has styled in in the picture at the top of this post as a side table and it would also make a beautiful bedside table.

Image: Lived In 365

You can see more about Vincent Trading at www.vincenttrading.co.uk and don’t forget to follow Emma and Mike on Instagram for a brilliant insight into their business, plenty of beautiful Devon landscapes and a bit of lovely food to boot!