“Kitchenalia” by Vinny Lee and Jacqui Small Publishing

Any book on kitchenalia is warranted to garner interest from us – we sell so much of it in the shop and are, frankly obsessed with all things vintage.

Vinny Lee is the Interiors Editor of The Times Magazine and is a prolific writer – there are 25 books to her name and many more glossy magazine articles as well. She has an exquisite eye for detail, patina, texture and light.

Her new book, “Kitchenalia – Furnishing and Equipping your Kitchen with Flea Market Finds and Period Pieces” published by Jacqui Small Publishing, now part of the Quarto Publishing Group, with cover photography by James Balston, is a tour de force of all thing salvaged, reclaimed, reused, reloved and repurposed. In other words, it hits the recessionary zeitgeist like a dart in a bullseye.

The photography is beautiful – every page layered with details of how creative people have furnished and accessorised their kitchens, larders and pantries – in sustainable, frugal, organic ways. Full of quirkiness and humanity, this book provides a window looking into diurnal domesticity.

As a firm rebuttal of industrial, shop-bought, expensive, off-the-shelf modern kitchens, Kitchenalia celebrates the ingenious, industrious, imaginative use of furnishings, accessories, lighting, equipment, utensils, gadgets and containers that can be bought for very little in charity shops, junk chops and car boot fairs.

Kitchens have been styled by Mini Moderns, Summerhill and Bishop and House of Hackney to great effect – against a white backdrop a rich injection of joyful colour is so effective.

The book is divided into practical, didactic chapters that can be used to educate, inform and inspire: the retro kitchen; the reclaimed kitchen, the white kitchen, the painted kitchen and so on. The “Kitchenalia Elements” chapter further breaks down how you can make your kitchen come alive with the teeniest, tiniest of budgets. There is also a suppliers list – happy hunting!

If you want to learn how to source and display your kitchenalia this is the new bible. By the time you have turned the last page you will feel enlightened and empowered to create, edit and enjoy your very own kitchenalia collection and setting.

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