January 31 2013
Home Barn’s story is as intriguing and unusual as the
products it sells. Owners Sally and James Wilkie had been fashion designers in
the US, working for brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch. There, they
developed a serious penchant for collecting American vintage
furniture and design. Returning to the UK, the duo decided to open a shop devoted to this field. They enlisted the help of their family and persuaded a
local farmer in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, to rent them his 17th-century tithe barn.
Nearly three years later, the Wilkies still source vintage furniture – but their offerings are increasingly of the bespoke or curious kind. The first of their solid-wood dining tables, made from timbers such as reclaimed English oak (£2,150), were self-made at the bottom of the garden. The focus is on upcycled goods with lots of personality, including a range of robot-shaped lights made from metal drinking canteens (second picture, £295), old letterpress stamp sets (£195) and coat racks made in the barn workshop from multicoloured yard sticks (£125).
Internet shopping may be largely impersonal, but Home Barn’s wares are comfortingly rustic in feel – with a taste of old-fashioned Americana as well. There are large storage units made from vintage fruit crates (first picture, £325), old school lockers on wheels (£1,100) and crumbly Coca-Cola stacking chairs (£400 for a set of four), as well as a great range of gifts, including glass and concrete hurricane lamps (£46) and picture frames made from reclaimed wood. But the dining tables are the standouts here: from the aforementioned solid oak to a chunky, lightly stained reclaimed pine number with trestle legs. Modern with a reassuringly vintage twist.