How to restore a vintage table is part of a series of step-by-step guides showing how we bring our furniture back to life without losing character and charm. We started buying these old... READ MORE
How to create and style a vintage kitchen. One of our biggest and most exciting projects has been to design and fit an entire retro-inspired vintage kitchen with free-standing cupboards and cabinets for... READ MORE
Make your home ready for spring this year by introducing a range of colourful and traditional vintage spring interiors. British spring time has officially begun and, as the nights begin to lighten and... READ MORE
As Scaramanga grows, more and more people have been asking us, “where are your bags made?” We find it incredibly encouraging that people are concerned about where their things come from. We thought... READ MORE
A highlight of a trip to India for Carl are the delights of Indian street food. India food is laden with wonderful smells, tastes and colours from history, geography and culture. Street food can be found on virtually every street corner, railway stations, markets, fairs and in towns and cities up and down the country. Strictly speaking, street food is ready to eat food and drinks sold by hawkers often from portable stalls, but street food is also sold in small canteens and restaurants. It will always vary from region to region and culture to culture. Food ranges from savoy dishes called ‘chaat’ to sweets / /deserts, lassi and of course Indian tea chai.
If you are looking to try Indian street food in the UK try highly recommend Tuk Tuk in Edinburgh and soon in Glasgow. For just a few pounds you can try the delights of Indian street food in a contemporary atmosphere, very different to traditional Indian restaurants and curry houses. Don’t miss Tuk Tuk’s Bolly booth!
We have also teamed up with Tuk Tuk to offer a selection of our chai glasses and home accessories in their Edinburgh restaurant. Here are some lovely photos from them by the talented Ross Fraser McLean:
If you want to experience Indian street food in Delhi a good place to start would be around the traditional markets at Chandani Chowk and Chawri Bazar. Several street food vendors have been there for 3 generations. Delhi’s street food is influenced by the neighbouring states Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab, as well as Mughalai cuisine.
If you’re worried of eating on the street, pick up some ready-made in Haldirams, a well known, Indian canteen-like eatery which has restaurants around Delhi. If you are visiting India and do try nothing else you should try Indian tea / chai.
Looking to create your own vintage inspired Indian street food or kitchen we also stock:
Our director and founder’s home was brilliantly featured in one of our favourite home decor magazines, Period Living. Join us as we take you along the tour of their gorgeous classic Georgian manse filled with eclectic style and treasures collected from around the globe. If you’ve ever wanted to see a home filled with Scaramanga furnishings, then you’ll really love this tour.
Carl and Emma bought their home that was originally built in 1872 with the surrounding land for sheep and horses in 2013, which is located in Fruechie, Fife. Emma had fantasised about it for sometime after driving by it frequently, but once she saw the inside, she wasn’t so thrilled, it hadn’t been updated since the 1960’s and major work needed to be done. As you can imagine, Carl saw the beauty that this old house had and wanted to take it on as a project immediately. Both now seeing the potential, they started their first home renovation and as you know, when they put their creative spirit into something, it’s pretty spectacular, hence Scaramanga.
As with most of our homes, the kitchen is the heart and soul of Carl and Emma’s home, where friends and family gather for meals and entertaining. Their colourful taste in decor makes this kitchen vibrant, cheerful and very welcoming. Their eclectic taste in industrial, vintage, exotic and classic furniture blends seamlessly in this space and adds a variety of textures and colours.
They restored the kitchen, but kept certain signature pieces found in 18th century built homes such as the concrete floors. For eclectic style like this you need to go to various sources for your unique pieces, so while most pieces come from Scaramanga, they’ve purchased from the flea markets in Paris to the Pine Lodge Auction house in Auctermochty and of coure, Ebay. Their biggest investment piece in the kitchen was the blue Rangemaster, it’s big and gorgeous, modern and charming.
You’ll see a vibrant selection of vintage cabinets in their kitchen, something we at Scaramanga have sold steadily for the past 10 years. You can select from our range of sizes and colours, you’re sure to find something that will blend with your current interior style.
Their farmhouse sink is brilliantly illuminated by the large kitchen window and Carl fashioned old cabinets to create a stunning under counter storage space. Not a bad place to the dishes!
Filling a large space can often times be tricky, but sourcing furniture from old estate homes in India bring the size and detail this kind of large space needs. You can find similar large kitchen storage cupboards here. This corner is particularly stylish with the printed wallpaper and retro refrigerator.
A big part of the renovation was taking down a wall to create a large open kitchen living space. They’ve kept the original hardwood floors in this area which brings warmth and contrast from the kitchen space. Again, this is where they spend most of the time, so they’ve included their modern seat and half chair and comfortable leather sofa. The space is kept warm in the winter with their wood burning stove and their cozy blankets.
Leaving their kitchen living space, you see their love for colour and style continues. The combination of the raw concrete floors, a classic eastern rug, Indian sideboard and art blends incredibly well with this antique crystal chandelier. Carl and Emma buy and collect home furnishings that they love and make work. When you style with colours, you aren’t limited by what you can buy, which makes decorating fun and exciting. But you have to know the space you’re working with, too. A tall sideboard like this won’t work in every room, but having it placed in this entry way with tall ceilings is great fit.
Their lounge space is open airy and bright, great for entertaining friends and family. Something this is under valued about vintage furniture is that it can actually make great storage. Using and old chest for a coffee table as they’ve done allows them to keep magazines, kids toys and extra blankets tucked away. This allows them to have these big statement vintage pieces in their rooms without the room looking cluttered, which is often times the case with vintage style.
This is a perfect little vignette of their globally sourced furniture met with a retro lighting fixture and telephone all on a classic foundation of hardwood floors and a colourful vintage rug. Again, a real mix of styles that make a perfect blend.
The winding staircase was finished with a bright running carpet which really transformed what was a rather cold looking entry space into one of the most welcoming places in their home.
Their study is great place for work and laying about with a book. Their walls that aren’t covered with their collection of books has one of Carl’s favourite collectors items, a vintage world map. As well as an old anatomy poster.
The next room on the tour is their bedroom with gorgeous floor to ceiling windows adorned with custom wool drapes. The vintage sleigh bed is the feature piece in the bedroom and it’s complemented by the clean lines of the vintage chests, side table and wardrobes and upcycled mirrors. They brightened up their bedroom and used their love for eclectic style by mixing woods, materials, textures and colours to create a unique warm inviting space.
Carl and Emma both traveled extensively throughout India and something they were always taken by was the doors. Particularly in Rajasthan, a region that prides itself on artistic architecture where you’ll see doors on ordinary homes that immense beauty and detail they could be in a museum. Carl replaced their ordinary bathroom door with one of these doors he got from a salvage yard in India. The detailed intricacies of the door work well with the fresh white walls, giving their room a blend of old world style and modern appeal.
Outside their room they used the space create a simple built-in bookshelf where you can see their treasures on display that they’ve collected from far and distance places, and the travel books that helped them get to said places. One of the features of this 19th century home that they loved was the amount of light they get, it seems to be a bit rare in some places here in Scotland, where you’ll get smaller windows on old stone homes.
As this was a real family restoration, Carl and Emma let their children Josh and Ella choose their own wallpaper for a bedroom feature wall, and it’s apparent that good taste runs in the family. As you can see Josh chose a western theme paper which works well with this teepee, of brings countless hours of fun for him and his friends.
Ella chose a lovely pink flamingo print that complements her pink bedding and drapes. A girl’s dream room, right? Again, you’ll see the use of ornate vintage pieces styled simply to create a modern and fresh look.
They spent a great deal of time restoring this bathroom on the upper floor. From the floor, tile work, walls and fixtures. Some that Carl and Emma do really well is composition styling, they understand their space and decorate accordingly. They wanted to keep the bathroom light and airy, so didn’t choose overbearing storage pieces. But rather, choose light fixtures that are contrasted by a medium size teak wood storage cabinet and mirror.
Hope you enjoyed seeing Carl and Emma’s labour of love. Many thanks to Period Living for running this gorgeous feature on their home. Do get in touch if you see something you like, we’ll most likely have a similar piece at Scaramanga.
Bring something unique to your industrial style space by adding vintage gym furniture. That’s right, you can bring the past to the present with these nostalgic gym benches, industrial lockers, climbing rope and even a gym horse. They aren’t only good for decor, but the vintage lockers make wonderful storage pieces and a vintage gym bench gives any entry way a tastefully retro appeal. We have carefully restored any faults the years gave to these vintage gym pieces so they are just like their old school days and you can enjoy them for many more years to come. There is no doubt that by adding something unconventional to your home such as a vintage gym vault you are also adding a great conversation to your next dinner party.
This vintage leather gym horse is something special. It would look stunning in a big open loft space where there is room for it to dominate. It’s large and heavy, which only adds to it being an unconventional decor choice. It would also sit nicely in an open entry way, perhaps a place to put shoes and boots under when the kids come in, with a mirror above it, acting like a tall sideboard. No vintage gym decor is complete without an old set of school lockers, so we’ve added an old post office cupboard that would make amazing storage and it’s simple look will suit any style in your home. Included in this look is our upcycled bench with a caged storage piece, gorgeous distressed red metal base and a lovely wooden top, for a complete old school vintage look.
The main elements in using vintage gym equipment as furniture is combining wood and metal. Our upcycled bench has also been restored in a yellow version and is the perfect combination of metal and wood, we’ve even got metal storage bins to complete the look. If you like action and colour, shop our range of vintage movie posters.
Our selection of mid century chairs are affordable and in good condition, sturdy and comfortable. They will bring style to any room no matter why your decor choice is.
The vintage gym climbing rope is one heavy duty piece, it has it’s original metal fixtures. There is no reason now to not stay in shape, bring some vintage gym pieces into your home today!
So much of our daily lives are centered around being ‘on’, right? Whether it’s work, travel, errands, parenting, socialising, we are always turned on. Most of us find ways to turn off by either watching tv or spending hours online, but what I have found is that by creating a sacred space in your home, you can turn off from the daily noise, but in a more thoughtful and stimulating way. So if you’ve ever caught yourself deep in a rabbit hole on the web, wanting those pointless hours of your life back, pay attention now (oh, and you’re not alone).
Creating a sacred space allows you to sit, reflect, write, think or just quiet your mind, maybe you can even meditate if you’re so inclined. It can be a place that you can renew yourself, so with that, it should be a pretty special place, filled with lovely things that you can’t plug in. A sacred space doesn’t have to be an entire room, it can be a corner or a small wall space, that you dedicate to self-nourishment.
The main focus of this sacred space is a wooden storage chest, on it we’ve created an alternative alter with our upcycled mirrors, wooden spice pots for a collection of crystals and an upcycled candle holder.
Your sacred space needs to be comfortable, so include your favourite pillows or blankets that you can sit on or wrap up in.
A tapestry or wall hanging like this one will set the mood of any space and act as the center focus. Our collection of vintage boxes vary in size, so if you prefer something smaller to conserve space, then consider stacking a couple to build up your ‘you’ corner.
Having soft colours in your sacred space will help quiet the mind and bring in any distractions. This pale blue shabby chic style box not only looks great, but blue is thought to bring peaceful thoughts to any space. It is also a good storage box for books, notes, crystals or any other accessories you want to keep organized.
Again think comfort. Our blankets are thick and comfortable, so you’ll be able to easily find the warmth and coziness when your sitting or lying down in your new space. We’ve even got a collection of authentic vintage kantha quilts originally from India, that will add soft colours and interesting designs.
You can even create a space for stretching or yoga with our selection of vintage furniture. This green storage chest will hold your blankets and yoga mat while not in use. If you like to use essential oils, you can nicely store them in one of our upcycled drawer shelves, along with crystals, rocks, jewellery and more.
Our old stone bowl and hindi statue make a perfect alter that is sacred, beautiful and exotic.
Hope you find inspiration to carve out a wee space in your home just for you. Thanks for reading.
Airport style, it’s important, right? Even if you’re not a celebrity getting your photos taken by paparazzi, you still want to look good while you’re traveling. That’s why we’ve designed a collection of travel bags/weekender bags that will give you the style you want, but more importantly, our travel bags are practical – because that matters, too. Why do we love to design weekender bags, duffle bags and canvas backpacks ideal for travel? Simple, because we love to travel. We at Scaramanga understand what turns an ordinary bag into a travel bag, we understand what details are important for a carry on or cabin luggage bag for a long haul holiday or a weekend getaway.
First up, our leather duffle bag. It’s big, it’s beautiful and might be our favourite bag, but shhhhhh, don’t tell the others. We made this duffle bag just the right size to fit most cabin luggage size restrictions, but as always, check with your specific airline. But don’t fret, even if you have to check it, our robust, thick Hunter leather can take luggage handlers and conveyor belts just fine, in fact this kind of wear is what makes the leather and gives it that worn in look.
You can see that our duffle bag has two top handles so you can grab your leather bag and go, but it also comes with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap. This is a great option so you can wear your duffle bag comfortably and keep your hands free.
The duffle bag has a large compartment that will fit all your travel necessities. However, unlike most duffle bags, ours has a padded laptop sleeve inside, so you can keep your laptop protected in the main compartment. Our functional duffle bag is well suited for your modern needs.
We also have a growing collection of travel accessories, one of which is our smart phone wallet. This tri-fold wallet will conveniently hold cards, coins, notes and there is secure spot for your phone, it’s a great all in one accessory.
Next up is our leather weekender bag. It’s a practical size for a weekend getaway, is light weight and has all the right pockets in the right places. You’ll be able to put your tablet or Ipad in the generous front pocket, which is secured with convenient magnetic closures. For your other bits, like wallet, keys or phone, you can use one of the two side pockets. Once in side, you’ll get a large main compartment that has a zipper closure. If you want to keep your hands free, go ahead, our weekender bag has a comfortable detachable shoulder strap that allows you to make this a cross body bag.
You’ll see that our leather weekender bag has a brass zipper, a zipper that is made to last, as well as looking pretty luxe. This weekender bag is made from our new Antique leather, which is caramel in colour, but still distressed like our other leather bags.
The Antique leather will give you the desired airport style you’re after, because it’s unique and original. While everyone is carrying around the tired old black back, you’ll have a modern, smart leather travel bag that is sure to turn some heads.
The Empire State of Mind fashion shoot at Balbirnie House Hotel in Saturday’s Herald – Scotland Magazine. The idea for the shoot was inspired by the appearance of six of our Scaramanga antique travel trunks that were in the new movie The Legend of Tarzan. We supplied the antique trunks, chests, vintage lanterns, leather journals and canvas rucksacks for the Herald shoot and love the way it turned out.
Below are the stunning images from the 4 page spread and some behind the scene photos at Balbirnie House Hotel. Thanks to owners Gaynor, Nicholas and their very helpful team!
Thanks to Eva Arrighi for shooting the Empire State of Mind fashion shoot in yesterday’s The Herald – Scotland Magazine at Balbirnie House Hotel. It was inspired by the appearance of six Scaramanga vintage trunks in the new Warner Brothers movie The Legend of Tarzan.
Julie Howden, Photography; Assistant, Simona Ciocarlan; Model, Mercedes Maloney-Drummond of Colours Agency; Make-up, Molly Sheridan MUA; Styling Eva Arrighi. Pages © Newsquest Herald and Times Group 2016
I love hearing and retelling the many stories and the history behind our unique vintage and antique furniture. Knowing their heritage and that they area are one-offs makes old furniture that much more special. Over the last 10 years I have been able to acquire a small number of pieces of antique furniture from Shekhawati a region of Rajasthan, north west India. Shekhawati is far less visited by tourists than other parts, but is famed for its old havalis covereed with amazing frescos: ornately decorated large residences, with numerous courtyards and myriads of windows and doors and always elaborately constructed. So when I had 2 days spare at the end of my latest buying trip to India I decided to visit the region to see the unique havalis and architecture for myself.
I started from Jodhpur (also in Rajasthan) early in the morning with a 6 hour train journey to Churu, followed by a 45 minute bus journey to Ramgarh. Then it was a further 20 minute trip auto-rickshaw trip along a dirt track to Mahansar a small village on the way to Bissau. I had booked a 2-night stay at the Narayan Niwas Castle. When we approached Mahansar the magnificent sandstone fort was clearly visible in the middle of the village.
The owners, Thakur Tejpal Singhji & his family, were very welcoming and we sat down over chai to discuss the history of the region, the village, his family and his fort. Mahansar Fort was founded by Thakur Nahar Singh in 1768 and has been passed down to the current Mr Singh. He arranged for a local guide to take me to see the havalis and their frecscos in Ramgarh, Fatepur and of course Mahansar. In the 2 days I was there I did not see another tourist in Ramgarh or Fatepur.
In Shekhawati, frescoes were initially introduced by Shekhawat Rajputs in their forts and palaces. The towns in Shekhawati are known for their painted havelis. This region is widely known as the “open art gallery of Rajasthan” with the largest concentration of frescos in the world. They depict images of gods, goddesses, animals, and the life of the lords Rama and Krishna.
Shekhawati started flourishing in the late 18th century with the development of overland caravan trade route linking Pali and Bhiwani to the Silk Road. Exorbitant taxes imposed by Jaipur and Bikaner, resulted in the merchant and trading community, aka Banias, moving to Shekhawati, where the taxes were low. Later, the British used the skills of local merchants to improve trade. While the traders ventured out to far outposts of the colonial empire, they built havelis for their families back home.
The havelis really are breathtaking. They are like nothing I have ever seen in India or anywhere else. They are mostly deserted and empty now, and their desolation, combined with their size and opulence, evokes a real feeling of wonder. Each is unique in design and construction and frescos and I did not tire wandering the streets seeing row after row of grand brightly coloured mansions.
I enjoyed seeing the differences between antique furniture from Shekhawati, other parts of Rajasthan and NW India. Shekhawati furniture shows many of the attributes of neighbouring regions and areas, but clearly has more decoration and embellishment. Chest panels that are usually left plain arecarved with simple motifs and finished with brass decorations in Shekhawati.
My top tips for Shekhawati are:
1. Don’t rush – allow at least 2 days in the region. There are up to 10 towns with grand havalis with frescos. Plan to see no more than 2-3 in a day.
2. Go local – consider using a guide. A good guide and their local insights will enhance a visit. Try one recommended by your hotel. Using public transport to get around is possible, but it’s much slower, consider hiring a car and driver for a couple of days.
3. Get lost – allow time to wander away from the main havelis, temples and attractions and take in the sights, sounds and smells in a typical Shekhawati town or village. You really will not see any other tourists.
4. Live like a Shekhawati King – stay in one of Narayan Niwas Castle’s suites. There are not many castle suites you can stay in for just £25 / night. Dinner fit for a Lord is just £3.50!
We’ve got another starring role that we are thrilled to announce: our vintage trunks will be seen in this summer’s Hollywood blockbuster hit Legend of Tarzan. We supplied our black vintage trunks to a regular props buyer we work with in 2014, so we were thrilled to finally find out they are featured in the film AND in such an exciting scene! If you look closely, you can see them in the ‘wildebeest stampede’ here:
We got a call on a Friday in June 2014 from a props buyer we know who also happened to buy one of our leather bags for Tom Cruise to use in 2014 action movie Edge of Tomorrow. He urgently needed 6 vintage trunks for this scene in which the mining camp of the Belgian villains is stampeded by wildebeest directed by Tarzan.
We were inspired to create our own Legend of Tarzan vintage furniture scene. After reading about this film, we wanted to recreate a Victorian London library, one similar to that which you’ll see in an introductory scene, where Tarzan ‘John Clayton’ (Alexander Skarsgard) sits after being away from the jungle for years.
We’ve got a large selection of vintage furniture and interiors, so we selected our dark wooden teak furniture that best represents the Victorian Era. This era was one of real prosperity, which afforded many to travel and explore, so you’ll find our look has old vintage maps, treasure chests, a vintage writing desk, vintage suitcases and vintage wooden boxes, all similar to what you would have seen in Victorian London and in John Clayton, 3rd Viscount Greystoke’s library.
Imagine if you will, it’s late 19th century and Tarzan has been out of the jungle for years, perhaps living an aristocratic life in Victorian London. He would be sitting at his vintage desk, planning a new excursion maybe?
From what we know from the film without having seen it (Legend of Tarzan UK release is July 8), we read that Tarzan is tricked into going back to Africa to do the English Parliament a favour, but it turns out he is a pawn in a plot of revenge. So he would need to pack his belongings in vintage suitcases, travel trunks and bring leather journal for capturing his new adventures.
No library in the last 1900’s would have been complete without wooden boxes and treasure chests and vintage trunks; a place to keep belongings, vintage maps and plans for their next adventure. Maybe even some adventures were need to kept secret in these vintage trunks, so of course they would need a old padlock, right?
So as if you needed another reason to see Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie recreate Tarzan and Jane, you can also see our vintage trunks in this summer’s Hollywood blockbuster film, ‘Legend of Tarzan’.
As some of you may know, this is now our fifth starring role in supplying Hollywood films with vintage props. You can see our antique padlocks in The Hobbit and Pan, as well as our travel trunks in Maleficent. We’ve been able to supply props to so many set designs because we always have new stock of original vintage furniture.
We pride ourselves on sourcing original and unique vintage furniture and home accessories. Home decor is something our customers have come to rely on us for and in a time of cheap reproductions, our original furniture is set apart from the rest. Fortunately we were able to acquire these vintage printer’s letterpress trays/drawers, which have long been requested by our customers. Original printer’s letterpress drawers are difficult to source as they are becoming popular decorating ideas with DIY’ers and upcyclers. But we came across a small quantity of trays from an old print factory in India.
You can find our affordable vintage printer’s trays here, each sold separately and each slightly different from one another and of course a chic home decor idea your friends will envy. We also have a gorgeous vintage printer’s cabinets, which is very similar to the type of cabinet our trays originally came from.
The printers drawers are very durable as they’ve been made from India hardwood. Since they are original and old, each vary slightly from one another, not the overall size, but the the compartments might be differently sized.
For those who love to get organized or seek unique and alternative storage options, these trays will make home decorating so much fun. We not only offer our customers original vintage furniture, but more, we can give them a piece of history. It’s no secret that as we become more and more digitized in the 21st century, we are becoming less reliant on print, so these printing trays are a symbol of the past and can tell a story…if you listen hard enough. And let’s be honest, wall decor can be super expensive, so this is not only a creative way to decorate your walls, but more, they are affordable wall decoration ideas.
We’ve seen so many creative ways to decorate with printing trays that we wanted share some of our favourites from across the web. It’s worth pointing out that no matter whether your interior style is modern, contemporary, rustic, shabby chic decor, vintage, minimalist or eclectic, you will find these printing drawers will work because they can be simply stated alone or used as a collection for a more adorned look.
This vintage printing tray has been used as a lovely jewellery storage organizer. This would be wonderful in a shop as a jewellery display:
If your kids are anything like ours, then you’ll have large collections of tiny toys or figurines (that might drive you mad?!). The benefit of putting the said collections in our vintage printers type trays is that your kids can see them at all time and maybe, just maybe won’t need to pull them out and spread them across the floors. Maybe.
This is a brilliant sewing room solution to keep bobbins organized and your room clear of clutter and it looks like wall decoration, right?!
See our full range of vintage furniture here.
We have thoughtfully designed new Leather & Canvas Aprons. They are styled after traditional craftsman aprons, but have modern functionality. They would make an ideal gift, right! We designed these canvas aprons for multiple purposes; they can be as a bbq apron, men’s apron, artists apron, barista apron and craft aprons, just to name a few.
The quality of these work aprons is stellar, we’ve handmade them from our waxed canvas and hunter leather. So they are durable, waterproof and made to last, so they’ll be good in any work environment. Each has generous sized pockets, placed in all the right spots and have vintage style fittings.