When we were looking for a partner to help furnish our pop-up stores, we didn’t need to go far. We’d fallen in love with the Design Vintage look even before founder Lisa Brass invited us into her beautiful West Sussex home...
Inside The Home of a Minimalist Interiors Expert
When interior designer Lisa Brass first took on a charming little shop space behind her then home in Brighton seven years ago, she had no idea it would go on to be the huge success that Design Vintage is now. Famed for their chic, Scandinavian aesthetic, mixed with eclectic vintage styles, the furniture and homewares company has gone from strength to strength. Here, Lisa tells us how she picks the perfect pieces and how the collection keeps growing and growing...
First off, tell us how Design Vintage began?
I came across our first store before I even had a plan of what to do with it! I’d just had my daughter, so I was looking for something lowkey to do workwise. I was doing a bit of interior design, so I decided to open it as a small design studio and put a few vintage pieces in there. I thought I’d renovate them and see how they sold – it took off very quickly! There was never a plan, and there still isn’t to this day. We’re always riding with it…
And where did you take inspiration from?
I’ve got a very definite style. I’m a trained interior designer and only ever buy things that I would have in my home. It seemed that people had the same taste as me, so that was a surprise really.
The business has been a huge success. How has the collection evolved over the years?
It’s had to grow A LOT in size and I’ve partnered with new brands over the years. We still do our own vintage furniture, but that’s less scalable, so we’ve bought in more products from brands we love. Initially, we renovated everything, but now we’ve got some great partnerships; I work with a family of carpenters in Hungary and they store all of our vintage pieces for us. They’ve got big workshops and restore pieces to the colours I like and know my clients will want. I’ve also been to Scandinavia and looked for new brands out there, as I’m drawn to that kind of style.
Tell us how you pick the pieces...
With all of our suppliers, I go through their collection and handpick the things that fit with my style. It’s still quite a personal thing, in that I’m still choosing every item we buy.
Describe your interiors aesthetic in three words…
Scandinavian, light and tactical. I’m often criticised for not doing enough colour, but that’s who we are!
What’s your favourite room in your own home?
The bathroom, as we have a girls-only bathroom. I share it with my daughter and it’s our little girly retreat, with a roll top bath and white painted floors. I also love the Georgian window frames at the front of our house too. We’ve just painted them black – a bit of a brave move, but we love it! We were trying to bring the house kicking and screaming into the right century without actually losing any of its character.
What’s your most treasured possession?
Bizarrely, a feather crown! It used to be a product we sold and it’s by one of my favourite Swedish brands, Love Warriors. It’s currently on my coffee table in my lounge – I love it, it’s so unique!
And what next?
We’re still renovating, but an extension would be nice. More space to create! And I’d like to expose more of our ceilings. We ripped down the ceiling in the lounge to expose the beams and whitewashed the lot – it completely changes how a room feels, so that’s what I’d like to ideally do more of in the house.
Home is… The place I most want to be.
The book everyone should read? The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Word you over-use? “I’ll do that in a minute…”
Guilty pleasure? Instagram.
Love of your life? My children.
Always in your bag… Scraps of paper. I’m hideously unorganised.
How do you take a moment for yourself (to relax and unwind)? A bath.
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I can fit entire kitchens and love power tools.
Life motto? Just do it!
Next adventure? New stores, we’re opening in Guildford next!
For more interiors inspiration, follow Design Vintage on Instagram @DesignVintageUK