Here at A Rum Fellow we love a story and we're always excited to hear how people came across the things in their home. So we're starting a new little feature to share these stories with you. We will chat to brilliant people about favourite pieces in their homes and the items that always start conversations when friends come over. This week we got a tour around the North London home of video journalist Gregg Morgan and TV documentary film maker Ruth Nicklin.
ARF: Is there something you particularly love in your home?
Ruth: We love our mobile! We got it in Berlin.
Gregg: From a store near the museum of modern Art I think, maybe a year ago.
Ruth: My granddad had one in his house as I was growing up. Its a modernist design classic.
Gregg: Its set a trend in the kitchen too, now we’re basing all the colours around the mobile. We have pans to match, a sieve, a garlic crusher…It wasn’t really planned at the beginning, but because its so white in here with the cupboards and then the nice wood, the bold colours really give it a lift. Its all about primary colours!
ARF: What thing do people always comment on?
Ruth: My retro dresser in my bedroom.
ARF: What do you use it for?
Ruth: I cover it with all my s**t! I put my makeup on it, do my hair. It’s a girly dream! I've never had a dresser before and I’ve always wanted one. Its totally self indulgent.
ARF: I like the way you’ve dominated the room with your dressing table!
Ruth: It’s so telling of how vein I am!
ARF: Where did you get it from?
Ruth: I got it from Ebay after becoming obsessive about wanting one, its cost a about £600 and its made by Uniflex. All the lines are completely flush across the front, clean and beautifully made. The legs join each other across the ground, and the draws have got these amazing compartments.
ARF: How long have you had it?
Ruth: 4 years. It came with a mirror but I changed it because the mirror was a bit ugly. But I like the round mirror. I fantasize about one day having an amazing house where this will sit under a huge window, with the rest of the room filled with minimal vintage furniture by the likes of G-Plan.
ARF: So you’re building everything around your favourite dresser?
Ruth: Yeah, its my aspirational piece that I’m planning my future home around.
Gregg: The butter dish has got an amazing story behind it. When I lived in Hackney (London), over the road they were clearing a house because an old lady had died. It was a four story massive Georgian house that the old lady had lived in for years and years, it was in a pretty shoddy state. A guy was letting people in to take away what they wanted, if you could carry it it was yours. So a friend and I went in. I saw this butter dish outside and I really like butter, so I thought 'I’ll have that'. But a girl’s voice from inside the house said ‘all that stuff is mine‘, then she came and threw a towel over ‘her’ pile.
ARF: She was another free-stuff hunter?
Gregg: Yeah, she was there with another girl, and they were probably more excited about it all than we were. I found this egg cup [holding a blue and white stripy egg cup] and we started making our own little pile.
The old lady must have been in the house for 40 or 50 years, every room was a treasure trove of different era’s. We went exploring around the floors and when we came back to our stash I found the egg cup had gone. It was only us and the other two girls there. So we asked if they had picked up any stuff from our stash, replicating what had happened when we’d first gone in. They dug out one of our things but no egg cup, so I asked again. They gave a quick look down into the boxes in their arms and gave a flat ‘no’. There was no one else there, it had to be them. (In my head) I was like ‘you f*****g liars!’ We decided this was war.
The girls were getting giddy with excitement as they explored more of the house, collecting more stuff and planning on ordering taxis. Basically they took their eyes off the prize. They left their pile unattended, so my mate went upstairs to keep guard while I pillaged their stash. I found my stolen egg cup they had flatly denied having, and took the butter dish I’d wanted to begin with, I also half inched a load of other stuff too. Every time I look at this butter dish I get a sense of smug satisfaction, it reminds me of my sweet sweet victory!
Ruth's latest documentary 'Wedding Shop' is due to be screened on ITV1 in December. You can follow Gregg on twitter at: @GreggCMorgan.