My first purchase on eBay made me the laughing stock of my family. It is now – thankfully – quite some years back but I made a beginners mistake in only looking at the picture and not at the actual measurements. This left me bidding for what I thought was a regular size vase but ended up being a miniature vase fit for a dolls house! Because of my oversight (read: stupidity) I also ended up paying a ridiculous price. So no bargain and no vase to hold my flowers…. I made that mistake once but never again. I believe buying online is great and nowadays, with a lot of buyers protection, it is a pretty safe place and gives you access to interesting items worldwide you would normally never ever get to consider. There are still risks attached but if you want an interesting, non standard, and exciting interior you will have to go further afield, I’m afraid! I source my items from a mixture of different shops and styles, vintage, design, High street etc. Some day I will share with you some of my favourite online second hand and vintage shops/dealers etc. Buying online is exciting and a lot safer than it used to be, in particular if you are looking at purchasing from well known sites such as Ebay, Etsy and 1stdibs, but there are still a few pitfalls. From my personal experience here are some buyer’s tips:
- Check out the measurements of the item you are looking to purchase. If not indicated; ask the dealer
- Ask the dealer/seller about damages – perhaps not visible on the photographs
- Ask the dealer/seller about the age of the object – sometimes an item might say ‘art deco style’. This will probably mean something is made to look like an art deco item but is actually not from that exact period. This is fine if you just love the item and are not interested in the exact period but make sure then not to overpay. If you are like me, you want something that looks like a particular style period to actually be from that period!
- Just keep your wits about you; if something doesn’t feel right or feels too good to be true – it probably is!
Size did matter then and it does still today. In interiors I believe a room should always have a big style statement and the statement is even more effective if you scale up and make an over-sized statement. In my ideal world we would all be using over-sized chandeliers, art work and quirky style statements but I realize that is not always possible. A large (and I mean really large) plant pot can equally be that over-sized statement a room is in need of. As is a ridiculously large photograph. The size gives that sense of drama that makes a room sophisticated and intriguing all at the same time.
Below some great examples of where size matters;
The large wall decoration has that great wow factor!
Below the vintage lamp but particularly that very long art work creates that scale statement.
Photography: Tori Golub design
A ridiculously large photograph against that dark wall truly provides a sense of drama!
The colour combination of the blue and green coupled with that chair with disproportionate high back provides that quirky style statement.
Vintage furniture; great in itself and even more striking if up-scaled!
One of my all time favourites; a Jonathan Adler room with over-sized chandelier. Everything just works!