I’m quite arty, I enjoy creating things and I love design and style too. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of restoring old houses. It was lots of fun, and much cheaper, to scour the auctions and junk shops to find furniture to go in them, rather than going out and buying new.
It helps that I love painting and transforming things too. And living in an old farmhouse in France, and trudging round French flea markets, carried on the obsession.
I love the way vintage lets you have something unique, that no one else has, but at the same time gives you amazing quality and timeless style. Although having said that, a lot of my things have so much patina they’re actually falling to pieces. I remember one rather portly friend came round and squished three rescue garden chairs in succession. I think you could say he exceeded the weight limit.
Now your latest book is set around an old cinema. Is it somewhere you know, or entirely from your imagination?
I used to go to furniture auctions in what used to be The Palace Cinema, and that seemed a perfect space to choose for the shop in the book. It doesn’t actually look much like a cinema from the front, but you can still see the high window that looks onto the street from the old projection room, and the auditorium space inside is vast.
Matlock has become the unexpected vintage capital of the area lately, with loads of retro shops opening, and Derwent Street in the book is based on a real street called Dale Road. The cinema building is actually on that street in real life, although strangely enough it’s the only vacant building on the road at the moment. Waiting for The Vintage Cinema Club perhaps?
Our lovely old cinema in my home town was a grand place with white pillars outside. See? They converted it into a MacDonalds. - Not happy!
So tell me, if you could live in any building in the world, would it be fancy and new, or vintage?
The cottage I live in has tiny windows, low ceilings and lots of beams, so I’d love the chance to live anywhere with lots of sun flooding in. I love Georgian houses, because I love the proportions of the sash windows, and the light rooms. I actually like seventies style too, again because of the huge windows.
A good compromise would be to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
Easy, I’d definitely like a vintage shop, because I love vintage stuff so much. I could probably stock it three times over, with the contents of my garage.
Bet your other half would be grateful if you did. LOL
So tell us about your new book, Jane. It sounds right up my street.
Single mum Luce’s vintage bridal dresses are exquisite, but there’s no way she’s ever going to wear one or walk down the aisle for that matter. She’s a strictly no romance, one night kind of woman – or so she thinks…
Dida seems to have it all – a chocolate and banana cake recipe to die for, lovely kids (most of the time!) and a great lifestyle. But what good is a fabulous home, when your marriage has more cracks than a pavlova and your husband is having it off with half of Lithuania?
Three retro fabulous friends, in love with all things vintage, run their dream business from the faded grandeur of a rescued cinema. When that dream comes under threat, they’ll do whatever it takes to save it.
This vintage delight is out now and you can download the little gem for all readers here: