Roll up, roll up and welcome to the Smithers Carnival!! Well, not exactly, but we have got a few fairground treats in store for you lovely lot. March is finally upon us and much to Mr Smither’s delight, the chilly northwesterly winds will carry the weird sights and wonderful sounds of the Mid Lent Fair to Stamford once again.
The street fair arrives as usual on Mothering Sunday (March 6th people – best not forget if you want to live to see another day) and our lovely old town is brought to life with traditional games, candy floss galore and white knuckle rides that threaten to reacquaint you with your half digested hotdog. Nice.
The Mid Lent Fairs a bit of a marmite scenario with Stamfordians. People either love it or hate it. For me, its all just a bit of fun, reminders of my misspent youth round every corner and fuel to the fire for my deep rooted interest in fairground artwork, tattoo skills and even a bearded lady or two.
My love of vintage fairs and the freakish wonders of travelling circuses remains firmly in tact and as passionate as ever. So much so, that when I stumbled across some amazing homeware designs that bore a strong carnival style, it was an absolute no brainer for Smithers to create a collection that would see the fun of the fair brought indoors. Therefore this month’s blog highlights my favourite pieces and how you can transform your own living space into something that encapsulates the Big Top without being over the top.
STATEMENT TATTOO WALLPAPER
Having carefully built up our collection of statement wallpapers and murals, nothing gives me more pleasure (this is the clean version folks) than to kickstart this feature with our uber cool Tattoo Wallpaper.
Opting for a feature wall can prove tricky and easily look a little contrived but can be the icing on the cake when done right.
You’re going to be drawing attention to this space, so its vital you choose the right wall. Best to avoid walls cluttered with doors and windows but don’t be afraid to make the most of architectural features like chimney breasts or alcoves.
For the colourphobes amongst you who just can’t face a fully painted or papered room, this is the perfect antidote to being a complete dullard when it comes to interior design. Harsh but true.
Our Tattoo Wallpaper is a vintage masterpiece designed by Cookie Bros for NLXL and is bedecked with painted ladies, fork tongued dragons, poisoned daggers and voodoo artifacts. Now tell me that isn’t the perfect backdrop to any carnival themed room!
Be brave people – you won’t regret it.
Whenever you look into the history of the circus or traditional street fairs, you’ll find they are both steeped in tradition so it’s only fitting that the classic and traditional lines of a Chesterfield should take pride of place in your carnival living space.
We never do things by halves at Smithers though so our Chesterfield Sofa is clothed in contemporary denim and guarantees to inject bags of character into your room, like the many adventurous souls you find at the fair.
The brass studwork even offers a nod towards the highly intricate industrial side of carnival life. It’s also bloody comfy, which is vital in my book!
Every room needs storage (kids crap, DVD’s, wife when she’s giving you grief…) and in true Big Top style, our storage offering comes in the shape of our perfectly quirky Travel Trunk. Sadly the dark eyed Romany beauty doesn’t come with it, but our bespoke British made trunk does give you bags of vintage styling at its very best. The striped leather casing looks every inch the part and boasts of stamps and stickers from far away travels, whilst the copper studs and leather handles complete the piece superbly.’
To be honest, its almost too good to dull up with TV mags and cold cups of tea – craftsmanship like this demands bottles of apothecary potions, Ringmaster whips and a tot of rum!
Subtle lighting is everything when it comes to achieving a relaxing space but that doesn’t mean you need to scrimp on style. Fortunately for you, Smither’s Gramophone Lamp provides equal quantities of both by the shed load.
Our Gramophone Table Lamp oozes vintage charm and harps back to a bygone era of wind up gramophones that proudly provided Carnival goers with pomp and ceremony. I have a dangerous penchant for quirky lighting, but I bloody love this lamp, possibly because it reminds me of myself?! Pure class with just the right amount of eccentricity. Go with it. Please.
PHRENOLOGY TATTOO HEAD
Phrenology is a study of the structure of the skull to determine a person’s character and mental capacity, and it’s quite clear to see our tattooed man is of strong mind and has only the best advice to offer in life.
Decorated in vintage tattoo artwork and complete with awe inspiring strap lines like “I am the Captain of my Soul”, Smithers Phrenology Tattoo Bust adds just the right amount of 19th century science and carnival styling to any space.
I’ve got this fella in my mancave and found he works well perched upon a desk or bookshelf in a dark and moody corner, adding light and shade to the room.
“Freaks of Nature and Human Cannonballs this way Ladies and Gents!” Point your paying guests (well, your mates) in the right direction (to the wine and beer fridge possibly?) with the Smither’s Hand Light.
Strings of carnival lights and lamps are always a prominent feature with street fairs and the circus, so be sure to add plenty of eccentric illumination to your room.
This is not an area to scrimp on for carnival styling so to make the most of The Hand, place this vintage style wall decor on a prominent wall and if that doesn’t grab their attention, this beauty has the option of flashing bulbs!
Comfort is paramount (I’m too old and have got too many kids for it not to be) and no room would be complete without soft furnishings and you’ll find our Tattoo Cushion is the icing on the carnival cake. [huge_it_share]
This quirky cushion is embroidered with old tattoo art of the rose and swallow that’s more likely to be found on the arm of a handsome sailor strolling through the fair with his sweetheart.
Emblazoned on the front is the instruction “Time to Relax” which is exactly what you’ll be doing when this stylish piece completes your carnival inspired room.
And there you have it my friends – seven steps to ensuring the perfect Smithers Carnival space. Spring is almost upon us so there’s no better time to make over a room that’s in need of a facelift and breathe new life into your home.
The classic styles embraced by carnival home-wares have been paraded for centuries and you can guarantee they’ll be around for many more, so bite the carnival bullet people.
Until next time ladies and gentlemen,