The interiors stylist Charlie Porter has quickly built a cult following with Tat London, her online vintage and antiques shop (25k and counting on Instagram) so a collaborative exhibition with the equally well-loved interiors destination, 8 Holland Street, was something of a no-brainer.
Running from 30 April to 2 June, the installation sees Porter's discerning eye (she's Decoration Stylist at House & Garden) cast over the various chic set-ups in 8 Holland Street's west London shop, with her Tat London wares - an eclectic mix of vintage brass sconces, Murano glass, toleware candlesticks and slipware at pocket-friendly prices - displayed amongst the Modern British artworks, Scandinavian textiles and Italian Mid-Century furniture carefully chosen to comprise 8 Holland Street's uniquely refined but off-beat aesthetic. Here, she shares her interiors tips with Vogue.
Never underestimate a car boot sale
When it comes to sourcing things for Tat, I can find markets a little tricky. They are amazing if you are looking for furniture, but for my strain of collectibles, I don't have much luck at Kempton or Sunbury. (That being said, last time I went to Kempton, I got myself a pair of barley twist milking stools. It was £30 for the pair which I thought was a steal – and I ended up using one as a prop on a House & Garden shoot.) Instead, I spend a lot of time on The-Saleroom.com, Etsy, eBay and Catawiki. I also find I have to pop into every bric-a-brac shop I pass, as well as charity shops, and I still spend a lot of time in markets or car boots sales (car boot sales are almost my favourite, as everyone is keen to do deals). I always have fun when I go to Battersea car boot sale. I bought a lovely set of 1970s German Roemer wine glasses when I was last there.
Head to France for the best vintage fabrics
I have been told the place to go for fabrics is France. The brocantes there are filled with the stuff. I am going to make a trip this summer and see for myself. If you are not lucky enough to go abroad to search out your interiors needs, I have a couple of people I like to go to: Parna, Tinsmiths or some of the fantastic eBay accounts such as Mborguk.
Take inspiration for eclectic looks from two masters
I have seen two projects recently that nail the eclectic look (other than 8 Holland Street, of course!). Umberto Pasti's Tangier home, and an archive feature from House & Garden of Terence Conran's home. Pasti's home shows off his wonderful knack for layering pieces while Conran's shows the terrific interior you can achieve with a host of furniture from different ages. It’s all about the mix: at home, I have Ikea curtains with a 1920s trim, an Arlo & Jacob sofa draped in an antique Jajim rug and a pair of faux marble plaster columns next to a Victorian rug.
Take time to window shop
I love all that London’s Pimlico Road has to offer. I walk down there regularly – even if you can't afford a thing, it’s still a marvellous place for interiors nuts. Lillie Road in Fulham is also a must if you're looking to rouse your interiors instinct – Puckhaber and Quindry are two of my particular favourites.
Bookmark a good framing shop
Framing is a lot of fun. I have only just started framing Tat pieces and I go to Cotswold Art Supplies, near my parents’, which is a lot cheaper than many places in London. And one of my wonderful colleagues at H&G just put me on to Canford & Co Frames Ltd, in Fulham. They are marvellous and also sell vintage bits and bobs which makes the experience a real pleasure.
Don’t pay heed to interiors trends
I have recently become enchanted by furniture from the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. I am late to the party. But in regards to trends, they are quite tricky things in interiors and mistakes can be costly. The best course of action is to find pieces that you love – even if that is a marble-topped, brass side table (seen at every interiors press day imaginable). I have a few favourite online shops: Punch-The-Clock.com, Cart-House.com, and Retrouvius. All three have great products and have managed to keep a lot of them on the cheap side – no mean feat.