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A Guide to Buying Antique Interiors by Kelly Vittengl

The Notting Hill local and founder of antique rug e-store Frances Loom shares the secret to hunting for homeware treasures

Interiors have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. My parents were always taking us to antique stores and flea markets, and it’s something that has just stuck with me.

The only rule I have when it comes to shopping for antiques is that you love it. It doesn’t matter who said what’s on trend or how special an item is due to its era, if it catches your eye, you should buy it.

It’s not much of a secret anymore, but the Sunbury Antiques Market in Kempton is one of my favourites. Alfies Antique Market in Lisson Grove deserves an honourable mention, as does Three Angels in Brighton – the owner has impeccable taste for French finds. 

I recently found the most beautiful hand-painted chest. I don’t even have a place for it, but I couldn’t resist. When you see something you love, you had better buy it or you’ll probably never see it again. 

I believe in balance when it comes to decorating. For the most part, my taste is quite neutral and textured, but it’s when you add those statement pieces that you can change the whole room. 

On more than one occasion, I have had one too many glasses of wine at an art show and purchased something I couldn’t afford. I have a small but mighty art collection. One of my paintings is by LA-based artist Cheryl Humphreys and another by the amazing Frédéric Forest.

Matilda Goad is currently my favourite designer

Matilda Goad is currently my favourite designer. Her beautiful vintage-inspired accessories have moved me out of my neutral comfort zone. Her Instagram will make you want to add pops of colour into your space. 

I love wandering up Portobello Road to Golborne Market to do a little shopping on Fridays and weekends. Phoenix on Golborne is one of my favourite shops on Golborne Road. They have beautiful antique furniture and lighting upstairs, and an amazing curation of vintage clothing downstairs.

When I was moving over from LA, I knew I wanted to be in Notting Hill because it represented quintessential London for me. My favourite thing about Notting Hill is that it feels like a small town in a big city.

My local pub is Cock and Bottle and it’s my very favourite. It always feels like a true locals spot, which I love. For weekend brunch, I go to Granger & Co. on Westbourne Grove and Electric Diner on Portobello Road. I’m also loving the new Juice Baby that opened a few doors down from Granger for a quick, healthy lunch and juice.

My favourite London memory is running into Hugh Grant in Notting Hill on the day of the Love Actually reunion last year. I mean, need I say more?

francesloom.com