a small chat:
Kelly of High Street Market

 ::  just a few fab things to be found in the High Street Market shop  ::

I am happy to share the first A SMALL CHAT interview of 2010 with you guys and it's a good one so get ready! I had the pleasure of e-meeting the lovely Kelly, owner of High Street Market, an insanely gorgeous and popular vintage goods shop on Etsy and blog of the same name. A longtime interior designer, Kelly's taste is amazing and she really carries gems in her online shop, perfect for anyone's style.  She fearlessly moved into a brand new old home (a 117 year old historic foursquare pictured above) recently and took some time to answer a few questions. Enjoy Kelly's thoughts on design, small spaces and life. {Thanks, Kelly!!}

Your popular Etsy shop, High Street Market, is full of vintage gems and finds. You mention on your blog that vintage items can "bring a sense of personality and interest to your home unlike any other "new" accessory can." (I love that thought!) How do you go about buying for your shop?
I only buy what I like, and it's usually aesthetic that drives my purchases.  But generally, I search for items that have great detail, a classical theme, or some sort of interesting aspect to them.  Quality is extremely important to me.  I look for pressed or blown glass, beautiful porcelain, brass, silver, or marble.  And, I love finding vintage items that can be used in a modern way.  For example, a fancy brass napkin holder looks awesome in an office holding cards, photos, or mail.  Or, an ornately carved footstool can be reupholstered with a fresh modern fabric... For me, it's all about mixing the "old" into modern living.

Share some rewards that adding items - like the products featured in your shop - can bring to one's small space.
I think that people are craving character in their home accessories.  Like me, they want something that is unique and made of great quality-- not the same thing that their friend just bought at a retail store.  Everyone wants to have their own sense of style and, to me, vintage items help express that in a better way.   And, a tiny item can bring a BIG impact-- especially in a small space!  For example, some of my favorite things to collect for the shop are vintage brass animals.  They are quirky and unique, and really make a statement on a stack of books or sitting on a bedside table.

You are also an interior designer. What are your best tips for making over one's small space? It's a new year, new decade and many small space dwellers may want a new look in their existing space.
In a small space, limit the contrast in colors!  Concentrate color in select areas, while keeping a more consistent color palette throughout.  With a more monochromatic room, your eye travels around the space more freely and ultimately makes the room feel bigger.  I also love using furniture with high legs to trick your eye into believing you have a larger space.  A coffee table or side chair will appear elevated even if it's only a few inches higher than average...  it feels less blocky and more open, again, making the space feel bigger.

What are your suggestions on mixing vintage finds with more contemporary decor?
To me, it's all about mixing modern with vintage.  In my opinion, too much vintage can look a little creepy... like you've stepped back in time.  You want your space to feel fresh, unique, and comfortable for modern living.  I would stick to buying furniture with clean lines and simple shapes... and then mix in an antique chair, a collection of vintage brass elephants, or a marble lamp for interest.  It's all about editing and mixing the vintage items that you really love, with the modern objects you use everyday.

You have so many pieces I want!! What are your thoughts on having a lot of decor and accents in a small space without feeling cluttered? 
Edit!  Edit your tchotchkes and keep collections together to create the greatest impact!  If you collect ironstone, give it a shelf and display it.  Collections should be displayed together for the most cohesive, clean and modern look.   And, I hate to say this, but if you have a small space, limit your collections.  We don't have to have a collection displayed on every single surface of your apartment.  Pick a few things that you like and stick to them.  With only a few collections, the pieces really have room to shine.

Want to read more great interviews? Click here to see all of the A SMALL CHAT series. 


2 Responses to "a small chat:
Kelly of High Street Market


Catherine said... 2/05/2010

Great interivew and lots of helpful tips! Kelly is fabulous! Trina

Jenny | Aubrey Road said... 2/05/2010

she has great style. nice interview!

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