January 12 2011
I first discovered White Living the year it opened, in 2007, on Broad Street in Bath. The shop, which was then called Vintage Living, is an offshoot from the mother-shop in Totnes, and it stocks, on a tiny two floors, the most covetable mixture of antique and specially sourced contemporary furniture, decorative furnishings, kitchen and dining room accessories, garden tools, mirrors, baskets, ceramic flower pots and adorable knick-knacks.
Each year at Christmas (when its location in Quiet Street can strike as something of a misnomer), and sometimes in between for birthdays, I descend on the shop with gratitude for proprietor Diana Warszawski’s unerring eye. This Christmas, within a short space of time, a robust bread knife, a beautiful lampshade from faded fabric (Kate Foreman, £60), a restored distressed white corner cabinet (£110), a moss-green flower pot, a white ceramic creamer in the shape of a dog and a vintage white toothbrush mug had sorted a slew of relatives and fitted out our new bathroom.
Under its new name, the shop’s brief has shifted merely to a tighter focus on taupes, whites and creams, a palette in keeping with Bath’s glorious stone architecture. There is a decided French influence – especially evident in the prettiest of bedroom and dining-room linens, cutlery and restored antique furniture, some of it sourced from the French company Comptoir de Famille. Everything is unostentatiously practical and effortlessly beautiful. While the prices are not cheap, the mark-up is not outrageous and you are so grateful for all the footwork in sourcing the individual pieces that you do not begrudge it. A website is in the offing (customers can register their interest on www.vintageliving.co.uk), but the real pleasure is in browsing in person through all these beautiful things.