Living in the Inner West – one of the most diverse and eclectic communities in Sydney – it’s no surprise families are abandoning the conventional Yuletide look in favour of a more authentic Christmas style. Whether that’s vintage, modern, retro or classic, thanks to our abundance of local homewares and decorating stores, many independently owned and family-run, this Christmas you can express your unique festive style whichever way you please. Best of all, according to Summer Hill vintage homewares retailer, The Yesterday Shop – specialising in “pre-loved, not unloved” homewares, furniture, decorative arts and glassware – you don’t have to ditch your existing decorations either.
You might say that a love of coffee is what brought owners Jenny and Julie of The Yesterday Shop to Summer Hill Village four years ago. Both women had always appreciated Summer Hill’s family atmosphere and at a visit to the first Flour Mill Markets, rather than braving the long coffee cart queue, they decided to wander into the Village to search for a café instead. On their walk they spied a ‘for lease’ sign on a shopfront that piqued their interest. The rest, as they say, is history.
On a recent visit to Summer Hill Village, the Inner West Mums caught up with Jenny from The Yesterday Shop to find out how to bring an authentic and personal style to this year’s Christmas celebrations.
Antique refers to goods that are at least 100 years old, which in present day means any item produced pre-1920s and can relate to everything from a Roman coin, a Baroque writing desk, or an Edwardian brooch dress. The ‘vintage’ timeframe starts when the antique period ends and refers to products that are no less than 20 years old – that means any item dating from the 1920s to 2000. Retro isn’t a specific period, instead it refers to outdated styles that are fashionable again. Currently that means from the 1970s to 1990s. Similarly, ‘classic’ is variable in timeframe and refers to items that have longstanding, timeless appeal. At The Yesterday Shop we specialise in antique, vintage and classic homewares and decorative items.
🔔 Focus on one statement piece – and that rule applies whether it’s a room or a table setting you’re styling
Forget buying lots of items that are ‘matchy-matchy’. A unique object that’s practical – but will command attention – will add style pizzaz to your table or room in spades. And when it comes to unique – antiques, pre-loved homewares and vintage furniture are your best friend. Think chic candle holders, an interesting gravy boat, eye-catching artwork or a striking light fitting. A particularly memorable piece that came through the store was a set of gorgeous carved timber giraffes – I’ve not seen anything similar since, which is the beauty of purchasing pre-loved and vintage items. You can feel quite confident you’re getting a unique object that you won’t find at your local mall.
🔔 Glass ornaments are back – but you don’t have to stick with baubles
The transparency of glass helps to balance out heavier or more ornate decorations and vintage glass, in particular, has a hand-made quality that adds texture and depth to any room or decorating scheme. You can be creative with how you integrate this trend into your festive setting so don’t feel confined to using glass ornaments. A handblown ‘70s coloured glass bowl filled with gourmet Christmas treats or a vintage Austrian lead-glass punch set to serve drinks will bring a touch of light and magic into your room. Equally, a bowl filled with vintage glass ornaments makes a stunning and distinctive centrepiece.
🔔 Highlight with brass and chrome accents – and not just for Christmas.
Metallics never go out of fashion! They’re the perfect foil for traditional or modern Christmas colours and, best of all, pre-loved metalware and furniture has a subtle patina that a shiny brand-new item can’t replicate (and can often be a fraction of the price too!). Imagine a set of vintage brass and smoked glass nesting tables as the sideboard for your Christmas dinner, or a gorgeous vintage brass mirror festooned with fairy lights and propped on your hallway table to create a welcoming entrance for your guests. When Christmas is over, these items will have staying power beyond the holiday season so they’re a great investment for your home too.
Gift giving is often a spontaneous purchase – we often say, you’ll know the piece you’re looking for when you see it! And we often describe the experience of shopping at The Yesterday Shop like stepping into a ‘surprise of memories’. When purchasing an antique or vintage piece, whether for themselves or as a gift, we often advise our customers to go around the store twice and to stay calm – as many people get excited and a bit overwhelmed by the unusual items, not to mention breadth of unique pieces, they discover in-store.
Whilst it can be hard to suggest a particular item, as this will vary depending on the person you’re shopping for, antique mantle clocks and vintage mirrors are always popular. In addition to being practical, they make great statement pieces as well. Also pots and unique outdoor furniture tend to generate a lot of interest amongst our regulars, especially in the Summer months when everyone is entertaining outdoors.
Next time you’re hosting a celebration, refreshing your interiors or gift shopping, pop by The Yesterday Shop at Summer Hill Village to get Jenny’s expert advice and the benefit of her distinctive style. With ample parking and easy access by train, light rail and bus, as well as great cafes, family friendly restaurants and chic wine bars, Summer Hill Village is made for celebrating this Summer’s
🎁 Looking for more local Christmas inspo? Check out our Christmas is a Breeze at Summer Hill Village article.