Damask curtains, a farmer’s market and a doggy shampoo!

Friday 9th March – It’s Friday and I’m off to our showroom at Ampthill. I go by bus and train and bus and Mr DV brings the car up later and drops off curtains for me and then takes Doris for a walk in the woods round Coopers Hill before picking me up again so I can relax on the way home! Whilst we were there two clients turned up with some lovely cream damask curtains and to add to our pleasure there were two pairs the same size, which is always a bonus as a lot of people need more than one pair for a room. You can read more about these curtains by following the link above but here are come pictures of the curtains.

 

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Sunday 11th March – Saturday had been a bit of a wash-out but we had plenty to do to measure and inspect closely all the curtains which had come in during the week before putting them on the website and deciding which showroom to display them in for the future.

Sunday on the other hand was much more fun being Mothers Day and we all went for a walk with Doris in amongst the horses somewhere in Bushey followed by a visit to a new Bushey Farmers Market which has recently opened and is open every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. This is a really good place to visit as the variety of street food available is amazing and so many stalls with yummy treats lining the pavements. We had Paella which very tasty and while I was sitting there with my daughter Jessica savouring every last drop I saw Mr DV, who had wolfed his down far too quickly, set off down the path between all the stalls and returned with Bread, Sausages, Cheese and various business cards from stalls. So thanks to @AndaluzLtd, @papa_paella and @BiancaMorastall amongst others for helping me have a lovely Mothers Day.

Unfortunately when we got back to the car we soon realised that one four-legged person named Doris was absolutely filthy after walking through the wet fields so Mr DV gallantly offered to take her to the doggy shampoo shed for a good wash, rinse and blow dry!

As always if you want to see some of the curtains we have for sale follow this link to our main website. As well as this if you have any questions about us selling curtains for you use the Contact Us page of our website.

New beginnings, old Vicarages & Bottle Lodges

Stocking our new show area at Three Wise Monkeys and battling with the A1 to find new pre-loved curtains to sell

Tuesday 6th March – The weather improved today and the snow has gone at last so we finally got round to hanging curtains at our new mini show area at the Three Wise Monkeys Vintage Emporium just outside Sandridge near St Albans. We are keen to give it a go as the emporium has a very good ‘feel’ to it and the soup we had for lunch in the Wildflower Cafe was lovely. Our wall of curtains is on the first floor and everyone who comes upstairs and turns to see down the long room towards the Nelson Mandela room will see the curtains straight in front of them. We picked a wide range of curtain styles to hang ranging from vintage to high designer curtains and the result looked good. Now we’ve just got to hope they start selling.

As part of the rules for having a ‘pitch’ at the emporium I have to work there two days a month and I’ll be there on Wednesday the 14th March and Wednesday 28th March so hopefully I’ll see you there!

Wednesday 7th March – We get a lot of potential clients who use the Contact Us Form on the website which is great, mainly people with curtains to sell but also people looking for curtains. Today I sent Mr DV off in the car to travel up the A1 past Stamford to visit the village of Long Bennington which lies between Grantham and Newark and is exactly a 100 miles from our showroom in St Albans. He was responding to a client who had a large number of curtains to sell and from the pictures she sent us we thought it was a good idea to go and get them.

Vicarage

The client lives in a lovely Old Vicarage built in about 1809 and she had a wide range of very good curtains for us with fabrics from Laura Ashley, Warners, Romo and Colefax & Fowler and included two identical pairs of long Designers Guild ivory silk curtains. All in all Mr DV packed 17 pairs of curtains into the car and just about managed to get back behind the wheel (!) and set off back down the A1.

On the way back he had to stop off at our showroom at St Martins Antiques in Stamford to pick up some curtains and voiles that had sold online and replace them with others taken from our main showroom in St Albans.

After this all he had to do was come home!!! On the way out of Stamford going towards the A1 junction you pass the main entrance to Burleigh House and Mr DV is very enamoured by the design of the ‘Bottle Gates‘ as they are known so couldn’t resist a quick picture!

Bottle Lodges

As always if you want to see some of the curtains we have for sale follow this link to our main website. As well as this if you have any questions about us selling curtains for you use the Contact Us page of our website.

Snowy country lanes en-route to the Scullery!

Today was far too cold to open the Barn Showroom so we agreed to venture out into the Hertfordshire Countryside with a bunch of curtains which an existing client of ours was more than interested in buying to complete the restoration of part of her country house which is being converted into a lovely one bedroom apartment.

Today was far too cold to open the Barn Showroom so we agreed to venture out into the Hertfordshire Countryside with a bunch of curtains which an existing client of ours was more than interested in buying to complete the restoration of part of her country house which is being converted into a lovely one bedroom apartment.

The lovely sprawling country house we eventually arrived at after negotiating a number of fairly hazardous country lanes is just outside Bedmond in Hertfordshire and includes  a really lovely walled garden, not that you could see much of it with all the snow! Anyway the living/eating area of the renovated apartment used to be the old Scullery back in the day when the owners of the house employed sundry servants and the massive bedroom and en-suite bathroom used to be the Servants Dining Room.

We took Doris the dog with us and this is always an issue as she naturally assumes that any expedition with her involved is for the sole purpose of giving her somewhere to go for a good walk, snow or no snow.  The concept of us leaving her in the boot whilst we went into a very nice warm house is not one which filled her with happiness, cue some pathetic barking when we went inside with the curtains!

The big windows suited the two pairs of Laura Ashley curtains she bought which together with the Nina Campbell pair for the lounge area made Mr DV very happy indeed. This is because he not long ago equipped us with a brilliant little card reader which is attached to an App on his phone so we can accept card payments when we’re out and about, providing we can get a signal on the phone. Job done!

You’ll be pleased to know that we did find time to take Doris for a walk on our way back as she loves the snow so all were satisfied by the time we got back home to some soup to warm us up again!!!

Dont forget that if you want to see some of the curtains we have for sale follow this link to our main website. As well as this if you have any questions about us selling curtains for you please get in touch using the Contact Us page of our website.

From local Italians to three Wise Monkeys

From working at our showroom on Saturday morning to a great local Italian Restaurant in the evening followed by a visit to a new showroom for our curtains on Sunday.

We’ve had a really busy and rewarding weekend to tell you about and it all started with a busy morning at our showroom at Coursers Farm where we were visited by clients buying curtains and other bringing curtains in to us.

We’re currently living in a converted Bake House hidden away in a side street just outside St Albans but enough about that! Just round the corner from us is a very nice Italian Cafe called Carmelos Kitchen which has now opened in the evening as a fully fledged Italian Restaurant which serves amazing and really authentic Italian food and we went there on Saturday evening.

We started off with two friends of ours at our place for some serious G&T’s and then strode confidently in fairly straight lines round to the restaurant where the evening seemed to slide by in a combination of great tasting food and two bottles of lush wine! That over we walked back slightly less confidently to ours for a brandy then shoving our friends gently out the door we retired to bed while our friends were last seen meandering down the lane to find their own way home!! We love @carmeloskitchen and suggest you find it and pay them a visit.

What is that expression about Saturday nights and Sunday mornings I can’t remember but anyway eventually on Sunday we finally got our act together and went off to visit an

 

Antique Emporium called The Three Wise Monkeys where we are going to start displaying some of our curtains from March onwards. This is a really lovely outlet attached to the barns which houses the Osprey of London Outlet store and is situated near the village of Sandridge just outside St Albans. It has a great feel about it and includes a lovely Cafe called the Wildflower Cafe. We will have a wall upstairs which you can see when you come upstairs as its on the way to the Nelson Mandela room with its amazing picture of the man himself. I’ll even be working there for two days a month and I’ll let you know when I’m there.

Meanwhile if you want to see some of the curtains we have for sale follow this link to our main website. As well as this if you have any questions about us selling curtains for you use the Contact Us page of our website.

Hampstead mansions, an avant garde council housing estate and stocking up our Stamford showroom.

Tuesday 20th February – Another day, another trip out to look at Curtains. This time Mr DV and I ventured down to Hampstead in North West London to visit a house on Rosecroft Avenue, a house so big that all the houses or flats we’ve lived in so far could fit into this house and still have plenty of room to spare!  As is often the case some of the curtains were not suitable where others were eminently sellable so we filled up the car with new stock and said our goodbyes.

As we were in the area we popped in to see one of my best friends who lives just round the corner in the iconic Spedan Close, what used to be known as the Branch Hill Estate probably the most expensive council estate in the land! Built in the late 1970’s by Architects Benson and Forsyth in conjunction with Camden Council, it was and remains a very avant garde estate in its day and still now trainee architects are often brought to the estate to view its angular and clever designs.spedan closeJPG
Mr DV doesn’t drink tea or coffee or milk so has his own fruit tea bags which he keeps in the car for such an occasion! So weird!!

Wednesday the 21st saw us pointing the car up the A1 to Stamford where one of our showrooms is located inside St Martins Antiques. We love Stamford, a lovely old town well worth a visit if you haven’t been! Once we had tidied up the show area and changed over some of the stock we decided to photograph and hang one of the pairs of curtains we had picked up from Hampstead the day before.
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Remember those adverts some years ago for IKEA when they had the slogan ‘chuck out the chintz’, well these curtains are chintz and revel in it. They’re a Colefax & Fowler interlined and glazed cotton print called ‘Saltrum’ and are in great pretty much unblemished condition. They would fit a window roughly 102″ wide by 105 ” drop or if you prefer metric, unlike us, 260 by 268 cms and you’ll find them on our website Here.

Monday 19th February – Getting started and an unexpected encounter with a peacock!

This blog is all about giving you a flavour of the exciting and varied life of a business that lives because of our love for second hand or pre-loved/pre-owned curtains

“Doctor, Doctor! I feel like a pair of curtains!”
“Pull yourself together and sit down!”

Actually that very old silly school children’s joke is the only one I know that mentions curtains, new or otherwise and it probably gives my age away as well!  Anyway it’ll do as an introduction to this blog which we are starting to give you a flavour of the exciting and varied life of a business that lives because of our love for second hand or pre-loved/pre-owned curtains.

It amazes us the journeys that curtains sometimes make in their life time and none more than the five pairs of very long dark green silk damask curtains that we took from the magnificent Ballywalter Park in Northern Ireland back in November last year and that eventually made their way to an imposing large Manor House in Maesycrugiau in a very beautiful area of South-West Wales. The curtains are over 100 years old and had come originally from another great Northern Ireland country house called Portaferry House in the 1970’s and so well looked after you wouldn’t know their age at all. The link above shows the curtains in their original situation in the Paladian style drawing room at Ballywalter Park .

We often travel into London to large town houses to pick up curtains and just as often find ourselves getting lost deep in the countryside looking for a large farmhouse as Mr DV did last week. When he eventually found it (and what a lovely old Victorian house it was dating to 1875) he dropped off some curtains, picked up some others and drove further into the farmyard to turn round and lo and behold was met by the most beautiful peacock sitting on the farm gate! Its not every day that happens!. On the way back he stopped to give Doris the dog (half border collie and half Japanese Samoyed) a quick walk and then home to think about this blog!