Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I was a very lucky girl last week to receive a beautiful thank you bunch of flowers from Lyn who runs Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre where I am a stallholder. Emma and I volunteered ourselves to help with Grand Designs Live in Sydney. There were many others though supporting us behind the scenes to get this up and possible to do. A huge thank you guys-we could not have done this without you!!

We all have immense faith in the philosophy, setup and appeal of the Centre and feel invigorated by the new ownership of over 4 months ago. So it was natural for us to want to spread the word with enthusiasm and pride. We hope now many more people can be lucky enough to find us and see what we're about--namely the respectful and creative use of past treasures both large and small.

Thank you Lyn for my colourful bunch of gerberas. I found the tidiest spot in the house for them (believe me it was hard!) and they have cheered me up for many days now!

I took photos with flash and without and I actually like the without flash ones better. They have been lightened but I think they still evoke a slightly mysterious feel.

I am a collector of all things green and this area is part of my Australiana collection. I love the Depression green painted chest--it's heavy duty and very practical in the lounge room. There is also a green Barsony Flamenco dancer lamp which you may recognise from a previous post. The vase the flowers are in is 1930s Melrose pottery with wonderful moulded gumnuts decoration. Melrose is one of my favourite Australian pottery makers and gumleaves and nuts are one of my favourite Australian motifs on things.

Monday, October 31, 2011


The last weekend of October just gone 28th/29th/30th October 2011 was the biannual Canberra Way We Wear Fair vintage fashion weekend--Fri night--Sat & Sun. I always enjoy the positive feel of the Canberra crowd--they are fun, relaxed, courteous and really adore their vintage! There are not as many outlets in Canberra for either buying and wearing vintage so many feel they can come to this fair and soak it up. The wonderful displays that Fiona and Keith do are also a major attraction. This time it focussed on the Titanic era and clothing/accessories worn at that time.

I have to say though in great admiration again, the young crowd don't fear the wrath of conformity and wear vintage in the bold exuberance that comes with this "can-do/will-do" time in your life--I hope they continue on this path through their years.

Below are photos of a young girl in year 10 who came with her friends all dressed creatively in vintage. Mixing eras and styles is their trick that brings their look into an ethereal timeless space. This outfit shows a 50s straight skirt, a 70s paisley oversize blouse, 70s tie, black socks with 90s Docs. The bright red headband and lipstick focus her pretty face and the look has pizazz as well as an element of country prep. I can't get enough of this girl's look!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GRAND DESIGNS LIVE AUST. Another successful event.

This past weekend Mitchell Road Antique & Design Centre were fortunate enough to secure a display space at the very first Grand Designs Live Australia expo. Emma and I were kept busy talking to people all day and night Friday, and all day Saturday & Sunday.  We were both not only impressed and pleased with the immense and positive response from the public to Grand Designs, but particularly excited by the same positive public response to our display and to the Antique and Design Centre.

Mitchell Road is a massive warehouse space that sells iconic and useful items that fit into the theme of Grand Designs--ie making YOUR personal space grand and unique whilst remaining mindful of excessive use of new resources.
Below is a handsome 60s era Chiswell brand sideboard with glass shelf display full of art glass, cats and bulls, and pottery.

Thousands of people were able to see what the Antique and Design Centre stands for, namely prolonging the life of the myriad of amazing items from the past and giving them a new, stylish and respectful future.
They were also able to pick up an information leaflet with vouchers for 15% off their next purchase and a free coffee and cake at the weekend coffee shop.
Below is one of the ever popular Barsony red flamenco dancer lady lamp with original 50s shade. I am always proud to say these stylish world renowned lamps were made by an Australian (George Barsony). The Tretchikoff print is another iconic and stylish 60s decor item in great demand.

Maps and map items are increasing in popularity. These look fabulous both in an industrial theme or a general retro one.

We also used the opportunity to meet some lovely new people in similar areas. Jason Mowen sources incredibly stylish, unique and beautiful vintage and art items to give you a choice for your decor that you know will not be replicated. Old School Industries completely revamps old unloved discarded pieces of furniture into sensational decor.


Emma and I were lucky enough at the end to get a photo taken with the main man himself--Kevin  McCloud! ---which I won't share with you due to it not turning out as great as I was hoping!

However our prize taxidermy rooster sure turned out great as he watched over the packing up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

LOVE VINTAGE Clothing Show Sydney great weekend

Well, the Love Vintage Clothing Show and Sale Sydney was another successful weekend just this weekend gone. It has been enthusiastically taken over by another organiser and the results of their prolific advertising was seen in the greater numbers of people at the fair.

 As usual it was exciting and inspirational seeing the lengths people will go to to dress in vintage--by this I don't necessarily mean perfect era replication although these are amazing as well, but there are so many others who are creative on another level--whether it is quirky and over the top or simply mixing it up with modern clothing.

Here is a picture of Dee. She is famous throughout all the Sydney vintage markets and fairs and her creativity and boldness is second to none. She is a fabric dye specialist and uses this knowledge to work magic with the many things she buys. Her eye for the different never to be used as is, is mind blowing!

I am also always especially amazed at the youngest generation and their boldness and good taste they have with vintage.
I was fortunate enough to have a representative of this enthusiastic younger generation as a helper for Friday night and Saturday. At 16 years of age this young girl impressed me with her keenness about vintage and her excellent taste in dress. She managed to wear 1980s with great style and individuality for herself. She was fantastic with customers--ever helpful and courteous. I felt very lucky.
Here is a picture of Sofia.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Mitchell Road Antique & Design Centre is embarking on many new ventures--one of them is advertising. It took some thinking and organising but we eventually got a brilliant photographer, model, stylist and hair/makeup person to come over a Saturday not so long ago for some incredibly creative shots. 

I was overwhelmed watching this bunch work away and develop the dream that Lyn, I and some others had about the way we wanted to represent the place. I just knew that someone would be able to transpose this item prolific and very cool place into enticing creative dressing, decor and photography which has now become captivating advertising.

Thank you Carine, Jodee, Dannie, Vanessa and Anton.
Watch out for our first ad in the Love Vintage Fashion Show and Sale program this weekend! It's already downloadable from the front web page as pdf!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"SET YOUR OWN TRENDS"--Graffiti Wall.

at Mitchell Road Antique & Design Centre.

Well, I never thought that graffiti was ever a great thing but I have to say when Lyn Richardson, the owner of Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre, put it to us that that was what she wanted to do for the famous yellow walls of the place, I thought, why not! It's eye catching, colourful, bold and certainly reflects the philosophy of the place that we are not your usual antique centre, nor if you shop here will you be the same old person when you walk out!


We were fortunate to hire Dean who took a painstaking 5 days on the job and had to deal with rain and wind to get it finished--yes, Sydney has been wet and cold for the middle of spring!

The result I think looks fabulous, although the pinup girl's mouth area can look distorted as you drive towards it along Mitchell Road as it's painted on a small backward ledge. What do you all think?

Anyway, here's hoping this will attract more people to the place that is Sydney's best kept secret...... .....thus far!!
 Mitchell Road Antique And Design Centre
Upper Level
76 Mitchell Road,
Alexandria. (in case you didn't see it on the wall!)
Phone: 02 96980907

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Rex, Greenie, Bill, Shane and Bec--these are the names of the friendly, efficient people running the new Mitchell Road Auctions. You might already be familiar with them as they were part of the team prior to the place closing about 2 months ago. 

Just reopened 2 weekends ago, they are eager for your business whether you are a hobby or serious vendor or buyer. They are on the corner of Mitchell Road and Fountain Street in the big yellow brick building, downstairs in the same building as the much loved Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre. Both spaces complement one another with the Auctions selling items mostly as is and the Centre selling mostly refurbished items.

The auction house sells anything that works for your home, office, outdoors, leisure and hobbies. Items are sold with a price tag off the floor and are to be taken away that day. There is a delivery service if you need. Auctions are also planned as a weekly event starting up very soon! The ever popular bikes are back for sale as well. Sydney is having a boom in bike sales as many take to this environmentally friendly mode of transport. Second hand is even better eco wise.

When you first get there you need to register at the office first where Bec will give you a vendor or buyer number. All payment types are taken.

Hopefully you will notice how much more organised, cleaner and neater the place is. The crew are also keen to keep items of a better quality only for sale, so anything they deem beyond repair and use will be politely rejected.

The other exciting development is that there is an art gallery planned for downstairs. Walls are already up for hanging space and with Rex Turnbull being the artist in residence we know there will be some interesting pieces available for your wall decor very soon!

Phone: 02-96997007

No website as yet.

Take the time to come visit as you just never know what you might find!  
And don't forget to grab a coffee upstairs if you come in on the weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



Yes, I do love bags--if only I could use every one I loved. Then again collecting them for a display is also great. Bags can do so much--there are so many styles--the sky really is the limit with bags. 

I think travel /overnight bags are underutilised. How often do you just grab a crappy uninviting plastic supermarket bag to put your things in? You're all dressed up but you have a grey supermarket bag to accessorise with. That's just yuk--but everyone does it. Well, having a range of smaller to medium size travel bags makes them useful for every day. Casual, dressed up, or just for the office--you can have a different one for each style of outfit to put those bananas and lunch pack in or pack the gym gear into, that doesn't look too rough-nut sporty.

These are the latest travel/overnight bags I have taken in for sale to Mitchell Road Antiques and Design Centre in Alexandria in Sydney's inner west. They're useful, look good feel good bags that add attention grabbing wow factor to your presence. And all my bags are in excellent to very good condition and have been thoroughly cleaned and conditioned so you can grab and use them straight away!

From left to right, top to bottom row:
1. An English vintage 60s sports bag in burgundy vinyl focusing on the soccer thing. Soccer is forever growing in popularity here so grab into that trend and go with it but not in the overtly modern merchandising way. 

2. A super large tan raw leather travel bag. Has all the right vintage boho characteristics going for it--amazing patina, buckles, pockets and lining in great condition. Hard to find these days in the thick quality yet relaxed leather that this bag is made of.

3. A timeless looking black strong hide leather backpack bag. From the 90s, this style was used frequently and frankly I'm not sure why they ever faded in popularity. They are coming back in now and this one you can't go wrong with. It has a brilliant side zip entry and a great rounded stable base. But the most brilliant thing is the backstraps zip up and undo. This is so you can easily carry the backpack as a shoulder bag--from market practicality to Nan and Pops anniversary party.

4. The iconic Qantas burgundy vinyl cabin travel bag from the 60s. Hand made in Australia, they were really well made to last through all your rough travel needs. I once met the daughter and granddaughter of the gentleman who owned the company that made the bags. It was really sweet to talk to them. They were collecting for him all the different types he made. These bags were given away free with your ticket, when travelling with Qantas was really appreciated by the company. These are as much collectors items as they are useful retro Indie look accessories. Qantas is changing as we speak/write and these are all the more collectible now.

5. Soft yet strong black leather travel/overnight bag. Just the right size, easy to carry, looks smart and has many handy zip up pockets. This sort of quality leather is expensive to buy new. It is so tactile and will never go out of style.

6. A fabric floral tapestry doctors style bag from the 80s. It has a hard frame and sturdy base but the softness of the fabric makes it slouch slightly in that appealing Bohemian way. The colours are still vibrant and it will work dressed up or down. Tapestry has an eternal appeal--it worked in Victorian times as well as now that the fashion world trends for it.

 Below is a sample of the many bags you will find at Mitchell Road in Alexandria Sydney. These are vinyl bucket bags that were popular in the 60s and a cute red suitcase that can be used for sooo many things. Very mod, very practical and you simply cannot get vinyl and compressed cardboard in the quality it was back then. Come and check them out for yourself--I bet you will fall in love with them!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


These 3 rooms have been hidden from public view in the past--they were "storage" rooms--well actually lotsajunk rooms! So just recently upon new ownership it was decided that some clearing out was needed to make more room for more great offerings to the public. So Colin, Ben, Emma, Nick, Lyn, Brett and myself spent a few late nights working towards this. Besides days of clearing out good and bad junk, walls, doors and lino floors were taken out, ceilings repaired and the change room moved. Result is a large very rustic space for a new seller. Nick (another one!--we have 3) sells varied retro and rustic pieces at very good prices. 
The stairwell is also in the process of getting a new paint job--black, red and white to match the foyer. Lots of cutting in and only volunteer labour after the hours of 5pm makes it a little slow but the end result is starting to show. The stair risers still need red paint and the higher parts need the famous Fil to complete those out of reach places.
Hope you all like the result.



Sunday, July 31, 2011


MITCHELL ROAD ANTIQUE AND DESIGN CENTRE reopened Saturday 23rd July as posted previously, but sporting a new name. However! it's still the same great space it always was, although one could say it's much better now with new things happening every day. We are all very excited by the freedom we have now to do what's best for the Centre and its customers.

Apart from another generous feature of our items on Channel Nine "Top Design" show last Wed night, we have been moving furniture around, cleaning the kitchen area, toilets, scrubbing foyers, removing mountains of rubbish, paper and glass, and painting. Walls have also been taken out to create more stallholder space.

Our freshly painted building now sports a new red sign signalling to all the regulars that upstairs is open despite what previous wall graffiti may have said.

Filip is our master of art lighting. They're his steampunk style lamps in the previous post. He's also a painter by trade and here he is painting the outside a more subtle yellow. A job well done and very much appreciated Fil!

We have great things for sale at Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre--something for everyone....
wine glass chandeliers even!

Quirky art deco lighting.

Fun and funny toys. The things they thought of!

Cheerful art glass.

Vintage leather clothing.

Hawaiian standard lamps, of all things!

Beautiful jewellery.

Antique plates and Oriental wares.

So come on in and have a look to see what we've done and take a good look at things you may not have seen before....we're open 7 days 10am-5pm--sometimes longer. Another issue the manager is toying with is opening a little longer for the after work and after beach customers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


MITCHELL ROAD ANTIQUE AND DESIGN GALLERY in Alexandria, Sydney is closed for a short time currently and will be reopening on Saturday 23rd July, 2011. That's just over a week away!! So not long to wait really.

It will reopen with a name change to "MITCHELL ROAD ANTIQUE AND DESIGN CENTRE". It will still be the great old edgy warehouse space brimming full of amazing inspiring things but will be bigger and better as time goes on. Plans are for extra stallholder spaces, greater ease of service, new paint jobs and reinvigorating some areas. Oh, and maybe even a coffee space soon---crossing fingers here!

Our service as always will stay down to earth and helpful.
We have:-
* payment via cash, EFT, Credit Card including American Express
* 4 week lay by
* 24 hour hold
* gift vouchers
* a stylist's hire service that is very popular.

Don't hesitate to ask for help though--it's easy to be overwhelmed in such a huge space of amazing items. Stallholders are often there topping up and reorganising so you can have a chat to them too.

At present some of our items are featured on Australia's new TV reality show, TOP DESIGN, running on Channel Nine at present Wednesday nights at 8pm, with the fabulous Jamie Durie as host. The link to the website states the place is closing--this is the Auction Centre being referred to, NOT the upstairs Antique and Design Gallery. Top Design last night featured some of our dealers' retro 50s/60s woven plastic cone chairs--also some relaxed style painted shabby chairs and tables.
Top Design...

So have a look at the photos for a tiny hint of what's there. Tell your friends and make a great day of coming in the weekend of our re-opening on 23rd/24th July for some rather different decor and fashion inspiration. We will be welcoming you.