“Even back then we always had a passion for mixing vintage with modern. Or old and new as we called it then,” said Alistair.
Falling in love with industrial furniture before the term was in general usage came after the couple made a working trip to New York and paid a visit to the city’s cool interiors store, ABC Carpet & Home, and its display of vintage steel furniture. They loved the furniture with its stripped-off paint that revealed the patina of the steel underneath.
The Burnsides knew what they had to do – it was a vintage-style filament lightbulb moment. “We got home, bought an old filing cabinet and some paint stripper and we were off.”
The Burnsides certainly were off: in 1999 they opened Attic, their first vintage interiors shop in Hampton Hill. Over the years the shop has doubled in size, extending into the shop next door.
The website currently offers an original 1960s steel five-drawer desktop filing cabinet, now handstripped and polished. The couple, who also love ephemera, buy across Europe and in New York and at as many fairs and markets as they can get to in the UK for stock for the shop, and the spillover into their West Sussex home.
Events they visit include IACF Ardingly, Sunbury Antiques Market,Lewes Fleamarket and Marché aux Puces in Paris. Attic is at 34-38 High Street, Hampton Hill, Middlesex.