Last week I had a lovely email from Caroline over at Bubbledrum introducing me to her lovely site. It is not an exaggeration to say that I was in awe of all the lovely products that they stock and I just couldn’t understand how I had never come across this fabulous little shop before.
Owned by Steven and Caroline Cass, this gorgeous little gem of a company was recently chosen by Theo Paphitis as one of his favourite small businesses and it is easy to see why. Sourcing vintage industrial furniture from factories, schools and other sources around Europe, Bubbledrum is the perfect one stop shop for those looking for exciting, inspirational and unique vintage finds that will add a dash of industrial chic to any home or business.
From an enamelled factory light to a trio of stacking storage crates, an army ammo box to a set of wooden school chairs, Bubbledrum has it all. The store is divided into five sections: Furniture, Storage, Lighting, Accessories and Garden, each of which offers an array of vintage pieces as well as some reproductions and contemporary items that complement the range.
Having fully explored the website and read up on Caroline’s colourful background I could resist the opportunity to ask her for quick interview so that you guys could get a better insight into the company and their product offering.
How do you go about finding all these vintage treasures?
We source our stock directly from factories, schools, businesses closing down and from fairs, flea markets and various suppliers mainly in France and the UK but all around Europe too.
What advice would you give to people looking to create an industrial chic feel in their home?
- Mix materials: aluminium, wood, steel, plastic etc.
- To achieve a homely industrial look, choose bright, bold, striking accent colours and furnishings to lift the ensemble.
- Lighting is a key element to achieve the right look/atmosphere; choose anglepoise lamps and hanging enamel shades.
- Don’t forget the garden. Reclaimed planters, vintage trolleys on which to place pots and classic deckchairs are a must.
- When buying one statement piece, don’t be afraid to pick an oversized item such as a station clock or large aged mirror.
- Be creative and have the vision to re-invent items’ original use: Use fruit crates as shelving units, factory crates as bedroom storage etc
What are the most important factors to remember when trying to create an industrial chic interior?
- Industrial is easy to work with and won’t date.
- An industrial piece from an old factory or warehouse is a piece of history that looks original and effortlessly stylish in a home. The urban warehouse look is very trendy and edgy.
- Individuality is key to bringing personality and originality to an interior.
- Industrial pieces are not fussy, their design is practical, simple and striking. Their functionality is what makes them interesting.
Recycling and upcycling have become important trends in recent years. Why do you think this is?
People have become increasingly aware of reducing their carbon footprint, recycling and upcycling and have discovered through salvage companies such as Bubbledrum that it can be done whilst adding character and individuality to your life and home. This is how we started collecting vintage finds, because we love the fact that each object tells a story and brings personality, originality and a sense of style to a home. We even re-use cardboard boxes from our local furniture shop to help reduce our carbon footprint.
There is also an element of nostalgia and sentimentality with some items triggering childhood memories. Parents have fond memories of their 1960’s school desks and chairs and want a reminder of these carefree, fun times in their homes. When they haven’t managed to pass on their own to their children, they love having the ability to purchase some.
Having grown up in Paris, how has this affected your approach to interiors and interior design?
I was born and brought up in Paris, just around the corner from the ‘Marché aux Puces’ where I regularly went on the look out for unique items. My parents salvaged a number of furnishings from businesses, schools and shops, inspiring me with a vision of how industrial items could be used in the home.
My dad is English and my mother French so I can’t say that my style has a strong French influence. I came to discover the industrial style with French inventor Jean Louis Domecq’s Jielde lamps and was fascinated by the design, functionality and the variations. My favourite design is the wall mounted one. These lights are still extremely popular and this is what I find fascinating about the style – it doesn’t age, it keeps its edge and is striking.
In terms of being brought up in Paris, most people live in apartments without a garden. I remember my teenage years spent dreaming of the perfect type of home: large open plan space, loft apartment, warehouse conversion etc and naturally the type of furnishings were big and bold and took a perfect fit into such spaces.
Caroline also has some examples for us of how to best use vintage furniture in the home:
- School chairs around the dining room table
- School desk in children room or in entrance for storing papers, keys etc, looks great with flowers on or in ink well
- Enamel lights hanging low over dining table or office desk – achieve the factory / warehouse look with a series of shades in a row
- Factory cart table and trolley (sideboard) – use as coffee table
- Textile trolley or cart – for storage, toys, laundry
- Stacking crates – office, living room
- Wooden fruit crates on the wall as shelving unit
Caroline has kindly offered readers of my blog a 10% discount off any purchases made before 30th June. To take advantage of the brilliant offer simply enter the discount voucher code SSB2597 at the checkout.