Violet Grey Blog

  1. The Adoration of the Peacock

    The Adoration of the Peacock

    What do Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Bolan and Julio Iglesias have in common?

    Answer: they’ve all been photographed lounging seductively in a peacock chair.

    We love peacock chairs too!  With their spectacularly flared backs and intricate details, they were the boho-glam chair of choice to be photographed in, during a huge surge in popularity in the swinging Sixties and early Seventies.  If you were there, you either owned one or lusted after a peacock chair.

    And guess what?   They’re making a welcome comeback right now.  There’s a major revival going on for these fabulous statement chairs.

    Read more »
  2. Knowing Your Onions

    Knowing Your Onions

    Many of our customers are intrigued about how we find their precious pieces so here’s an insight into one of the amazing markets we visit every year.

    It’s frantic, it’s frustrating and it’s stressful -  but we wouldn’t miss it for anything. We’re talking about the famous Déballage at Béziers in Languedoc Roussillon, one of the most exciting and busiest antiques markets in our calendar.

    Whilst most people head to Béziers to enjoy the sun-kissed sandy beaches, some wine tasting in the vineyards or perhaps a leisurely trip down the Canal du Midi, our satnav is taking us to the less romantic location of the convention centre on the edge of town.  In the shadow of Béziers’ magnificent 13th century cathedral, stand two huge exhibition halls surrounded by an enormous car park.

    Read more »
  3. Arras Vintage Furniture – discovering a French classic

    Arras Vintage Furniture – discovering a French classic

    The first piece of Arras furniture I found was at a trade market in Lyon. I have a passion for vintage garden furniture, so Arras immediately appealed to me, the lines, the colour and the patina were very eye-catching. Although you can find examples at sites like decorativecollective.com, it’s rare in the UK, you are more likely to see it in the flea markets of France than on sale in England. But Arras furniture is increasingly sought after here, and looks stunning in every location, as garden furniture in chic city courtyards or used as an interior centrepiece.”

    The Arras style is one of the most popular choices for many who are seeking something special to adorn their gardens and patios, with a very flexible ‘outside-in’ style meaning the furniture can work just as well inside the home as outside and

    Read more »
  4. Vintage and Antique Garden Benches & Furniture

    Vintage and Antique Garden Benches & Furniture

    Vintage and antique garden benches - something for every garden

    Summer's here at last, after a rather rainy spring, and it's lovely to be back outside in our outdoor rooms once more. The advantage of the recent wet weather is that our gardens are looking lovely, all lush and verdant. To be able to really sit back and admire it, you naturally need a seat.

    Whether it's a patio-based bench for that evening gin and tonic, or a romantic, hidden little seat in a shady nook somewhere, beautiful antique or vintage seating is a garden essential.

    A bench can work better than separate chairs - it becomes a feature as well as a practical item, and there are some really individual pieces out there.

    We've collected some gorgeous garden seating recently, and there's something to suit every sort of outdoor space. Here is a selection of our current favourites.

    Read more »