A New Mailing List (and a Little Mini-Break)

Previous are very pleased to announce the launch of our on-line mailing list. If you would like to be first to hear about our news, events, sales and special offers, sign up and we’ll be sure to let you know as a priority. We just need your name and email address (or a mobile number if you prefer) and we won’t give your details to anyone else – promise. Send us your details or fill in a card in store. We are planning a sale soon, so now’s a good time to do it.

After all the lovely weather over the last week, we set off for a cheeky mini-break to the South-East coast last weekend, courtesy of long-time lovely friends who have just finished their drop-dead gorgeous beach-house. With a garden that backs directly onto the dunes and miles of glorious sandy beach, the location is very hard to beat. Add to that a couple with a fabulous eye for style, comfort and hospitality and what’s not to like?

We couldn’t resist a quick stop at one of our fave haunts on the way though, – Hastings old town is great for a good rummage in the many antique shops and cool boutiques, such as ‘Butler’s Emporium, not to mention an ice lolly on the sunny seafront.

A freshly picked crab risotto and the odd glass of Champagne awaited us on our friends’ new deck overlooking the sea, as our terriers Bunty and Stanley chased about madly with Bunty’s daughter Betsy. Walks along the beach, loads of laughs, a cracking pub lunch at the Standard in beautiful Rye (and another good rummage), farmshops and lashings of local asparagus: idyllic. If this sounds like your sort of trip, this amazing house will soon be available for holiday rental, sleeps 10, beautifully presented and furnished with fantastic vintage pieces, let me know!

Lots and Lots of Exciting New Summer Stock

Hurrah, the Summer is finally here and to celebrate we have ordered lots of wonderful new ranges. Not only do we have super-comfy and super-flattering linen star T-shirts in amazing jewel colours, we also have super-useful linen shirts, dresses, skirts, shifts and soft coats, not to mention silk sequin tops and sparkly silver pumps. All at very good prices, as always.

Also new in is stylish Matthew Calvin silver and gold jewellery – presented in cork topped glass test-tubes, from £24. We are excitedly awaiting new jewellery pieces from Studio MHL (Amsterdam) and Little Nell, which have been so popular in the last few weeks.

Gorgeous silk kaftans at amazing prices are also on their way, perfect for wafting about by the pool….

In the vintage stakes, just in are great oil paintings, maps, perpetual calendars, champagne glasses, factory shades and a rare Chaty Vallauris mid-century sunburst mirror.

There’s something for everyone!

Illusions of Grandeur

We are delighted to announce that Previous is now a proud stockist of GRAND ILLUSIONS ‘VINTAGE PAINT’. Like Annie Sloane, it is a ‘chalk’ or ‘milk’ paint, with a high level of natural earth pigments, but it is more fluid and as such, easier to use. Moreover, the palette is wonderfully Nordic-French and probably more sophisticated and current.

Grand Illusions isn’t a new name. They developed some of the first ‘historic’ paints in the 1980s and were one of the country’s leading purveyors of painted furniture, long before anyone else was doing it, publishing several books on paint techniques, so they know all about quality of product and finish. The paints are designed to recreate the milk paints of the 18th and 19th centuries – they dry to a chalky, matt finish. Unlike vinyl emulsion, they aren’t packed with plastic, are VOC free and eco-friendly.

Not only are are stocking the whole range, including brushes, shellac and waxes, at very good prices, (as you might expect), we are offering very reasonable PAINT COURSES, starting on Saturday April 24th and and another in May. Courses last from 10-1 and will be taught by Nicola, in the lovely double-height workshop at ‘All the Pretty Things’ across the road from Previous Homewares. You will learn and practice all the basic techniques necessary to transform your own pieces of furniture. Contact us at the shop for further details. APRIL 24th NOW FULL.

Something For The Weekend, Sir?

It can be hard to find the perfect something for the men in your life, and with this in mind, here at Previous, we’ve got lots of new man-presents from £2. We have a great well-priced range of traditional Italian Barber’s products, not widely available in the UK; Proraso dates from the 1920s and has been a well-respected household name in Italy for many decades, selling pre and post shave foams, creams, balms, brushes, bowls and combs, not forgetting beard oil. There’s even a sensitive skin range – Come in and have a sniff!

Also new are our bike-themed toilet bags and notebooks, the ‘adventurer’s folding knife-fork-spoon’ set, fab ‘hello handsome’, Batman and ‘Sawdust is Man-Glitter’ mugs, and a delicious range of artisan chocolate by Creightons – how about choccy ‘hipster bikes’ or moustaches on sticks?

As you might expect, we always have some cracking ‘man-tiques’: brass multi-screwdriver, teeny boxed mouth-organ, chrome mid-century desk calendar, brass Spitfire, lots of old Dinky toys, Edwardian post-office scales, 50s golfing motif glasses and post-box money boxes, Anglepoise lamps and lots, lots more.

Easter Madness

God I love the Spring! Annoyingly, I start looking for signs a bit too early and anything from snowdrops onwards makes me smile. Of course, there’s a lot to lift the heart this week: baby rabbits, primroses, daffs, bluebells, light evenings ….and now that Corsham park is full of baby lambs and it’s warm enough to have the shop door open all day long, it feels as though we have well and truly made it through the Winter. What’s more, we’ve loved having a hidden golden egg in one of our windows as part of the Corsham Easter egg competition and have welcomed lots of little ones, (and a few big ones) in search of their gold star!

And so at Previous our thoughts have turned to the outdoors, with local hand-made zinc top tables (available in any size to order), vintage cafe chairs, galvanised tubs, obelisks and oyster baskets. We have also expanded our ranges to include new toys, cards, wrap, posters, star t-shirts, cashmere in new colours, batman mugs (so topical!) and sublime new silver and gold jewellery from Amsterdam, which you won’t find anywhere else in the country. You know that Spring is definitely here when the new linen smocks and sparkly silver plimsoles start flying out!

Shakespeare, But Not As We Know It.

So a lovely lady came into the shop a few weeks ago, looking for unusual teenagers for #Will, a new version of the early life of Shakespeare, filming in nearby Lacock in mid March. We got talking and before I knew it, my son and I were at a casting and he wasn’t the only one having his measurements taken. Fast forward to this week and yours truly (and son) were up before the crack of dawn in doublet and hose, or in my case many skirts and some tight lacing. Visiting the lav was a bit more complicated than usual. Add some very dirty make-up, rouged cheeks and greasy hair and you’ve probably got the picture.

Fascinated, we watched as scores of gay Elizabethans queued for props, breakfast and ‘the line-up’. The scale of operations was jaw-dropping, vast marquees, row after row of white lorries and lots of walkie-talkies.  The costumes were astounding; not what you’d call authentic, but that’s exactly the point. The shapes were right and the style of decoration too, for the most part, but the colours, tattoos, piercings, cowboy boots and the exaggerated theatrical make-up brought a powerful contemporary edginess – Shakespeare meets cyber-punk, in deepest Wiltshire. Not something you see everyday.

The sets were pretty amazing too. Church Street was transformed into a Tudor market-place, draped with wonderful fabrics and animal skins, selling roasted meat, dead rabbits, heritage carrots and a lot of apples. High rope-walkers and acrobats performed for grubby kids, camels and a monkey. The tithe barn was an extraordinary tavern with an open fire in the middle of the floor and as for the execution at the Abbey…let’s just say there was smoke, fire and a lot of hot fake blood in thermos flasks. Oh and a few ‘Catholic traitors’.

All in all, a fascinating experience from start to finish, I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to witness it all; thank you to all the lovely people who looked after us and the great actors we met. I can confirm that the young man playing Will is extremely handsome close-up!

And now, back to the day-job.

Cool Ceramics

It’s been another record week at Previous, thank you, with lots of vintage furniture going, as well as lovely things for lovely mums. Nonetheless, it feels as if mostly we have been unwrapping very cool ceramics:

Wonderful ‘Wonkiware’, hand-thrown and hand-decorated, each piece is subtly different, (not to mention dishwasher safe) – mugs and tapas dishes in plain washes or vertical stripes. Gorgeous ‘Quail’s Egg’ designs in sublime colours, jugs, vases, tapas dishes, bowls. ‘Bloomingville’ mugs, plates and lidded trinket pots in a great little spot design. Last but not least, we’ve re-stocked on the very popular ‘Jansen and Co’ two-tone mugs, teapots, cake-stands etc. All are very cheerful and stylish and make great gifts, especially good for Easter methinks.

We also have lots of unusual vintage items about to make their debut, so there’s never been a better time to pop in to see us.

Marrakech Madness

A spot of Winter sunshine and a dose of the exotic were on the menu this week, not to mention quite a lot of extraordinary food; our first expedition to Morocco has been a great success.

We were led down a maze of passageways to our Riad in the Medina – a haven of peace and tranquillity, with babbling fountains, iridescent tiles, soft sofas, a hammam and breakfast on the roof terraces. As is so often said, Marrakech is an assault on the senses, so many aromas (most of them wonderful), so many unusual sounds (donkeys braying, the call to prayer, unfamiliar birdsong…) and the inevitable getting lost in the Souk, even with map-head husband, navigating by glimpses of the sun through the roof. But before long you find yourself at a chichi rooftop restaurant, presented with amazing food and juices, in warm sunshine, with views of the snow-capped Atlas mountains. Night-time is even more diverting, with snake charmers, tribal drummers and exotic food stalls promising “no bloody diarrhoea”.

Naturally, we soon relaxed into the swim of things and unearthed lots of wonderful goodies – already in the Corsham shop: hand-loomed, unique scarves in cotton, linen, lurex or wool, in wonderful colours. The softest suede babouche slippers in almost edible jewel colours, for babies, kids and adults. Leather pencil cases and purses (again in fab colours), argan oil (for wrinkles, dry skin, burns, dry hair – anything really), kitschtastic dolls, simply stylish vintage Berber silver jewellery, not to mention the silver leather purses we had made to order. All at very fair prices, as usual. If you can’t make it to the shop, do call us, we are happy to send pics and post goodies.

Also new in are beautiful double layer star t-shirts, suede star shopping bags and Cubist jewellery, all of which go perfectly with our Moroccan scarves.

Lots of New Ranges and a Cheeky Mini-Break

It’s been another busy but exciting few days at Previous, with lots of new ranges coming in: great cards with googly eyes from Stripey Cats, hand-printed foiled ones from Ola and our own range made from vintage playing cards (a hot ticket for Valentine’s day), gorgeous wobbly china from Quail’s Egg in delicious colours like duck egg, lime and coral and sublime soft metallic leather purses, bags and slippers. We’ve also expanded our ranges of top selling items such as SeeConcept specs, Priddy Essentials hand-made smellies, cashmere, unusual toys, jewellery and our own candles and diffusers. Need a wonderful gift for Mother’s Day? Look no further.

We’ve also just brought in all sorts of interesting vintage pieces too, especially our fab ex-NATO 60s lamps (fully rewired), several antique multi-drawer table-top cupboards, wonderful mid-century china in great colours and patterns, and of course, a bit of quirk. Vintage gold juggling clubs? Victorian brass ladies boots? Tiny sailors? Balletic poodle? We’ve got it covered.

And last but not least, we’re just off to Marrakech, in search of exotic wonders to fill our shelves in the coming weeks, so come see us very soon.   I do love a mini-break.

Valentines Day – Looking For Something Out of the Ordinary?

It’s only a couple of weeks away now and at Previous, our thoughts are turning to red, hearts, love – and a bit of Barry White. We have a great range of Valentine’s cards, from the funny, the glamorous, the hand-made and the simply stylish, so if you’re looking for something different, you know where to come.

That also goes for our unusual gifts, from £4.95, both new and vintage – choose for example, from ‘Blush’ scanties in wonderful colours, red rose vintage china, beautiful vintage oil paintings, heart shaped carnival lights, lip gloss (salted caramel, gin and tonic, mohito…), new ranges of Priddy Essentials hand-made bath and beauty for men and women, Moroccan Rose essential oil candles and diffusers, super-stylish silver and gold jewellery – including hearts of course, not to mention quirky ideas such as a naked lady bottle opener, saucy 50s playing cards and vintage 3D letters.

So whether you want to say ‘You Sexy Thing’, ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Baby’, or ‘I Love You Just the Way You Are’, (thank you, Barry), we’ve got it covered.