Thursday, 5 December 2013

Vintage by - Among Vintage & Friends book review

Back in April I reviewed Nina Hartmann's first book, Vintage by Nina which you can read here.  Her next book was much anticipated and when it finally arrived I was excited!  This time it was in English so not only could I look at the photos but I could also read about and understand Nina's philosophy.
Once I got my mitts on the book I gently put it away to be read another day.  Already I could feel that this was different to the last book.  It feels more luxurious, expensive and the quality of the binding and paper in my mind feels better.  I have to be in completely the right frame of mind to look at a book like this because I feel it deserves time and attention lavished on it.  I want to savour all the images and completely absorb myself in Nina's world, not missing a thing.  So I did! I found an afternoon free and sat with the book enjoying every page then I took photos of the book and enjoyed the images all over again.

 In this book Nina has taken her readers on tour through Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Belgium to the homes of seven of her friends and colleagues.  She took photographer Peter Erlandsson along for the ride and I have to say that I think he captured and bought to life all the homes and finds extremely well.  As Nina said this book is more of a picture book about vintage and antiques rather than a traditional interiors book and I completely feel that.  I am motivated and inspired by the photos and the visions Nina and her friends have for their homes.

One of the things I love about this book is seeing some of the risks taken by decorating with certain objects and not sticking to convention.  Taxidermy lamb anyone? Or how about a flamingo in amongst the soft, faded fabric boxes?  These quirks are just wonderful and a pleasure to see because it feels like they are doing exactly what they love rather than being dictated to by fashion or what the magazines say.  All of the friends and Nina really have a style all of their own and that is very refreshing.

A huge bonus with this book is that you know Nina and her friends live with these objects day in and day out.  They haven't just come along and styled a room to tell us how it should look.  It is within their soul to look and hunt for these objects and in the book Nina says that everything is chosen with her heart.  I can completely relate to that and the fact that everything is old and copies and new objects are banned is like music to my ears.

I am obsessed with old Pierrots, old dolls and just about anything old and whimsical to be honest which is why these are some of my favourite photographs.  These photos make me want to go out and find my own beautiful and unusual objects and display them in a display case so I can look at them everyday and imagine who owned them before and the life they led.

Its all in the detail and those details matter.

How I aspire my whole house to look like above!

The book wouldn't be complete without a cat!

Among Vintage and Friends is a triumph and I don't say that lightly.  If you thought her first book was amazing then be prepared to be blown away by this one.  Everything about it screams quality and the fact that Nina and her friends have all taken a huge leap to follow their dreams and do what they are passionate about is hugely inspirational.  Nina doesn't come across as someone who thinks she's god's gift to interiors.  She comes across as someone who just absolutely loves what she does and that its in her soul to live like this.  That is rare in this day and age when its all about, look at me, look what I've got, aren't I great and that's what makes this book such a pleasure and inspiration to read.  The fact that I want EVERYTHING in the photos helps too!

Copies are limited and once they've gone that is it so make sure you get your copy soon especially with Christmas coming up.  You can order your copy from Betty & Violet who also stocks the beautiful Jeanne d'Arc magazine and from various other retailers. 

Put it at the TOP of your Christmas list!


  1. Ah Fi, you have found some kindred spirits - fantastic.

    Jean xx

  2. That is a stunning book, like you..I love all of it & would love to own lots of it! Lizzie x