House Tour: Ali’s Retro Pop Home
Ali’s home is a happy mix of cool retro with a healthy dose of rainbow pop culture thrown in …
You haven’t been in ‘The Hamilton House’ all that long, so my first question has got to be how on earth have you got it looking so good so quickly?
Thanks so much! We moved here six months ago. I had 3 months in between the offer being accepted and getting the keys, so I had heaps of time to plot the decor, although I think all of the initial ideas were abandoned. The house is the kind of place I’ve always dreamed of living, so I’m so grateful we got her. All we’ve really done is paint a few rooms, but her natural charm shines through. I can’t really take all the credit. She’s in brilliant shape for being such an old dame.
How would you describe your own vintage style?
I would love to say that I was faithful to the 50s, but realistically, I’m not. If it’s got a cool shape, colour, pattern or texture then I’m into it. I’m a vintage philanderer. I do love a bit of kitsch, a spindly leg and retro music memorabilia.
How long have you been collecting vintage and where does your love of vintage come from?
My Nana had the most incredible home when I was growing up. She used the 50s style that was all the rage when she was younger and clashed it against the wild colours of the 80s and 90s. I remember she painted a G Plan Astro table in lipstick red gloss. It looked phenomenal, but would be considered sacrilegious now! Her flat was like an art installation. She used to drag the postie in to look at stuff on a weekly basis. I remember once there was a car crash outside the house and she took the driver in to show him the decor. Her and my mum were vintage magpies. They explored 2nd hand shops and car boot sales constantly for treasure. My mum also has a brilliant eye for retro bits and pieces. She’s really into pop art and old signage, so her house is eclectic and interesting to be in. She gave me my first rocket lamp when I was about 14 and that was that. When I moved from the North East of Scotland to Glasgow when I was 18, I left with my rocket lamp (which I’ve still got) and my Tretchikoff ladies (wish I hadn’t because they escaped a few years back.)
Do you have any specific criteria for your home décor based on style/era/colour … or maybe you have a list of things or a style that would never entertain in a million years?
I think as long as it’s colourful, fun and comfortable, then I’d never say never!
Saying that, I don’t know if I’ll ever be wild about the woodchip wallpaper that covers our hallway and top floor. It’s mad to think that generations of people used it. We don’t have the energy to scrape it off, so I’m going to keep covering it in pictures. Not all vintage is desirable.
Do you have a favourite piece in your home?
I’m pretty sentimental so the things I really love are things that have been with me for a long time. If I had to grab something in an emergency (other than kids and cats) it would be Gorgeous George. He’s an ebony Eritrean fertility statue. He’s been with me forever. I used to dress him up in my baby doll clothes, but his head was always too bumpy for a bonnet. Other than that, I recently got 3 Kartell Fly lampshades really cheaply. They make my heart thump and have improved the hallway no end. All the heart eyes for them.
Where do you source your items / furniture from?
Pretty much everything we have is 2nd hand. Even if I see something in a shop that I’d like, it goes on eBay alerts and I’ll play the waiting game. If it’s meant to be, then it’ll come. I’m crazy lucky that my mum generously lets me cherry pick stuff from her place. Gumtree has been good recently, especially for knackered old bits to upcycle for my kid’s rooms.
What plans do you have for your home in the future?
We’ve only really just begun. Watch this space!
Follow Ali’s fabulous home on Instagram @the_hamilton_house
Photo credits: All photos kindly provided by Ali
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