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At home with...
The Peanut Vendors

Becky Nolan is one half of the couple behind one of my favourite shops, The Peanut Vendor. It is based in north London but the online version is just as exciting. And you can imagine that running such a stylish shop would equal a pretty special home.

So I asked Becky to share some snaps, which you can see below. It is a testament to how much you can do on a shoestring, and in a rented flat. Very inspiring indeed. Over to you, Becky…

Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop… I set up the vintage furniture shop The Peanut Vendor in 2008, with my partner Barnaby Read and we live together in Stoke Newington. We started the shop because we wanted to do something creative together and we've always loved finding old gems, whether it be furniture, records or clothes.  The whole idea about The Peanut Vendor is that we don't focus on a particular period of design, so our tastes are constantly changing. We love seeing how items from the past can become so interesting looking really set the scene for a room. 

Where do you live? We rented this flat back in 2009. We'd only been trading for about six months, so money was tight and we had to be "creative" with finding a place we could live in for a while. It's a second floor flat above an old Victorian shop, at the end of the road, on a nice street with a window in every room. It's always lovely and light. But the flat was pretty disgusting when we viewed it: stained brown carpet, fitted 80s cupboards and brown walls. We negotiated the rent down in exchange for ripping everything out ourselves, re-painting and laying down flooring throughout. We also knocked down the stud wall in between the very small living room and the useless spare room, giving us a normal sized living room.

Describe your decorating style... We are constantly bringing interesting things home, some stay permanently and some go back to the shop. I definitely want our flat to feel lived in and cosy. We want there to be a mid-century sort of feel, which I think is reflected in the chairs we've chosen and our sofa (we're still searching for the perfect arm chair). But we don't want to live in a house that is entirely dedicated to one period.

Show us some of your favourite things... 

We adore these chairs that this very cool elderly couple came in to the shop and sold us. When we told them that we were going to keep them for ourselves, they were over the moon.  The leather on the seat is very worn now, but when it finally goes, it'll be fun to restore them again.

The little blue lamp! It is tiny but so perfect in every way. The base is polished marble and the enamel, turquoise blue, champagne-style shade is so dainty. I haven't seen anything like it since we got it.

It's hard to see, but we replaced every single brass door handle with 1930s Bakelite door knobs and all the ceiling lights with traditional fabric covered cable. It's the little things that matter.

Where do you like shopping to find all this lovely stuff – and what else inspires you? Love the Historic Lighting company. We got large bulbs from here and brass fittings for our living room. When we went to Paris, we were so excited to visit Deyrolle, an amazing Taxidermy shop. The entomology room is incredible. You can choose a box and spend hours deciding what to put in it. The Geffreye Museum is down the road from us in Dalston. Every room has a different set up, going through the periods. It's fantastic inspiration and we like to copy their Christmas decorations too. 


Buy filament light bulbs, £13 and fabric electrical cable, in various colours, £3.75 per metre from Historic Lighting 

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