design, interiors, Lifestyle, New York, Style

Other people’s houses: Brooklyn

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When you’re staying in the coolest flat in Williamsburg and no one is at home, is it okay to take creepy pictures of it and post them on the internet? I thought so.

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Auriol and I had an amazing week in New York last month, made even better by our fantastic and incredibly generous host Toni, and her two brilliant flatmates. They just so happen to live in the flat of our dreams so we thought it would be a good idea to document it.

This small three-bedroom apartment makes the best use of limited space and demonstrates that a lack of square footage should never put you off of large furniture and artwork – they really do often make homes look bigger. This shelving unit, handmade by one of Toni’s flatmates, is my favourite piece. It’s built almost to the ceiling and makes a great-looking feature and a huge amount of storage. My favourite thing about it is the little bar he’s created from filling one of the boxes with his favourite drinks and an old sign. I’m definitely doing this.

What’s even cooler is that they don’t have a TV – they have a projector with a projection screen fixed to the top of the shelving unit. Tug on the string and it’s home cinema time. So much cheaper and more exciting than a widescreen television.

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 I love the shelves with pieces of art leaning at the back.

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The kitchen has one of the best pieces – a high-level breakfast bar and worktop made from an old dining room table. With a bottle opener screwed to one of the legs. Obviously. The simplicity and high-end feel of these cheap materials have dissuaded me from buying furniture from Ikea ever again.

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fashion, Fashion, Instagram, interiors, Lifestyle, style, Style, vintage

Snaps this week

This week’s Instagram (http://instagram.com/jennyvintage66)

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What’s £1,200 for a stunning art deco sofa? From Home & Colonial, Berkhamsted

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And I helped my friend Auriol set up for her sister’s 30th birthday party. Isn’t it pretty?

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culture, entertainment, fashion, film, lifestyle, Lifestyle, style

An afternoon at The Rex


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The Rex in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, is a real treat and has spoilt me for other cinemas forever. This restored single-screen art deco cinema is an absolute gem. It was built in 1938, closed in 1988 following the rise of video, and reopened in 2004 as a thing of beauty.

Yesterday my friend Auriol and I popped down for a matinee of Rush, Ron Howard’s 1970s Formula 1 pic. It’s excellent, by the way. But a trip to The Rex is much more about the cinema itself – candle-lit tables in the lower circle, a gold curtain over the screen and gorgeous art deco details everywhere. There’s even a licensed bar inside the auditorium and with a cheese platter that the bar staff will deliver to your table five minutes before the start of the film, who needs popcorn and sticky nachos? You certainly can’t get them here. And the best surprise is that it’s significantly cheaper than going to an Odeon or a Cineworld.

And obviously you should vintage up your outfit on a day out to such a special place. It was the first outing for my gorgeous vintage fur coat – a 1960s piece in perfect condition from Stella Dallas in Soho, New York. It was my one big New York purchase, was fairly pricy but I’m so glad I took it home with me.

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Who put that can there?

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I’m wearing:

1960s fur coat – Stella Dallas, New York

Reindeer jumper – Topshop (via a surprise parcel sent to me by my beautiful friend Maryam)

Skirt – Primark

Bag – Beyond Retro

Lace gloves – vintage, present

Mary Janes – Dr Martens, £30 from the factory shop (the Doc Shop, High Street, Wollaston, near Wellingborough)

Umbrella – Lulu Guinness

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food, Instagram, Lifestyle, New York

Snaps this week

This week’s Instagram (instagram.com/jennyvintage66)

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It’s autumn! Which means…

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  brand new Dr Martens Meg boots for just £30 from the Doc Shop in Wollaston…

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and butter biscuits – trying to recreate the super tasty snacks we had at the Brooklyn Star on our trip to New York. They’re delicious – like salty scones that are softer on the inside and crunchier on the outside. I used this recipe from the New York Times, which is a pretty good imitation.

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fashion, Fashion, lifestyle, Lifestyle, style, Style

The Whitepepper winter lookbook

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The Whitepepper, which I discovered in the spring through the beautiful Rhiannon at Vintage Style Me, has just released its winter 2013 lookbook. Here are few snippets, including my favourite – this great little velvet smock dress.

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design, Fashion, jewellery, Lifestyle, New York, Style

Verameat

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 VeraMeat, a little boutique I strolled into on a Sunday in Williamsburg, offers some of the most distinctive and beautiful jewellery I have ever seen. Its designer, Ukraine-born Vera Balyura, has created a range apparently inspired by (among other things) travel, maritime sagas and anatomical structures. I think it’s the latter I love the most – the brain and pelvis stand out as particularly great pendants, and I like things that are supposed to be ugly.

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 VeraMeat sprung out of the East Village and now has shops across the US but the pieces, crafted from silver and gold, are still made in New York.

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The prices are pretty reasonable, although while admiring everything in the shop I struggled to part with my cash (probably because the dollars just made it sound like loads of money). They range from $48 for some rings and $68 for some necklaces to hundreds – in some cases thousands – for the top pieces. I think I’ll have to get something online soon.

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Lifestyle, Photography, Style, travel, vintage

New York: part two

Me at the High Line picmonkey

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I took lots of spending money to New York but, of course, there is so much to do that’s completely free. The High Line is definitely one of the coolest freebies in Manhattan – this elevated former freight railway line, which runs over the streets of Chelsea, has been turned into a sort of mid-air park, complete with loungers, meadows and lawns. And of course there is more striking street art. Go at sunset for great views of the river.

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Art from the High Line

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    They say the Staten Island Ferry is probably the only thing in New York that’s cheaper than it was almost 200 years ago – it’s free now, down from a whopping 25 cents. This takes commuters to and from Manhattan but really, it’s full of tourists. It won’t give you a close-up of the Statue of Liberty but it will give you a pretty good view of it, and of downtown. Stand at the bow for the best views on the way back to the city.

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Grand Central sign picmonkey

Grand Central Station is one of those New York cliches – it’s been done to death in film and television, and in black and white prints from John Lewis (which I’ve been guilty of buying in the past 10 years). But it’s still spectacular and it’s a lovely reminder that there was once a time when train stations were architectural triumphs, not just obnoxious piles of concrete and dark, stuffy platforms.

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From completely free to a bit of a rip-off: the Guggenheim. I was really excited about going to the Guggenheim because I am a fan of the building’s architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. But the admission was $22 and we didn’t get to see much for our money because an artist called James Turrell apparently requested that all of the art that usually hangs in the atrium (the gallery that spirals up, giving the building its distinctive shape) be removed for the benefit of his installation in the main entrance. Fair enough – it was a light installation and it did look fantastic. However, the majority of the gallery beyond the atrium was also pretty bare and the queue to get into Turrell’s exhibition on the top floor was too long for us to get in by closing time. What a rip.

Still, I was most excited about seeing the building itself, which was beautiful.

Onto some general bumming around…

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New Yorked-up – Auriol in her new Brooklyn sunglasses and vintage t-shirt from the East Village.

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