Over the weekend I visited somewhere I’ve longed to go for ages. I drive past the antique-filled windows every morning on my way to work. It’s a place called Insitu Manchester and Joe took me on Saturday for a wander around. He needed a break from DIY and we’d already done our obligatory trip to B&Q searching for more paint – an endless task!
Inside this beautiful building is a collection of hidden treasures. There are items that have been salvaged or reclaimed. Pieces that are considered vintage or retro. Or, items that must have simply been unwanted by someone else. There is a little bit of everything and you wouldn’t believe it was quite so big from looking at it outside.
Whilst I’m not a regular upcycler, and Joe and I are on an uphill struggle to make our house modern, from time to time I do miss those little elements that make a home a really special place to be. I think nostalgia has a big part to play in it. So often, I’ll see items in these lovely stores, (the understated independent stores, not large chains) that remind me of a grandparent’s house, or of a trendy bar in Manchester going for the ‘rough around the edges’ feel. The items in Insitu may be unwanted by someone but they’re in demand to many now, due to their familiarity.
I mean, where else can you pick up a stone fireplace, an old umpire’s chair, a 1920’s brooch and a first-edition Action Man all under one roof?
Anyway, what I’m trying to say, in a roundabout sort of way, is that I really liked Insitu and I can’t believe it took me so long to visit. I didn’t come away with anything on Saturday apart from one or two (that’s a lie – I took loads) of pictures. But it was a lovely wander, and if you’re after something unique for your house, or a piece of furniture to give a new lease of life to, it’s well worth a visit.
Items I particularly loved included:
- A brass fox door knocker
- A retro shark figurine
- Framed Manchester memorabilia
- A vintage typewriter
- Antler chandeliers
- A stone fireplace which looked like it came from a castle
- Robots made from scrap
- A vinyl record of Hall & Oates – which included our wedding first dance! I so wish I’d bought this, even though we don’t have a player. The hoarder in me was itching to come out and play!
- An animal made out of branches and buttons. We saw these on our honeymoon to Cuba and swore we would buy or create one when we get around to sorting the garden. Now at least we know where to get one!
Warning: camera phone images ensue…