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Timeless Style With Virginia's Vintage Hire

Give your event a timeless look with styling and prop hire from Virginia's Vintage Hire

Vintage styling and décor has timeless appeal – Toast.Life chats to Ginny Banks, co-founder of Virginias Vintage Hire - one of the UK’s first dedicated vintage hire companies who even recently furnished the marquee for HRH Duchess of Sussex in her fundraiser 'Together', in aid of Grenfell Tower. Ginny shares her story about building their stylish and authentic collection, and gets her thoughts on what’s hot when it comes to vintage style.



When it comes to styling any event, there are of course endless possibilities; this year we’re seeing a host of tropical colours, abundant greenery and plenty of metallics, but one theme that seems to have timeless appeal and elegance (when done right…) is of course vintage. It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s charming and it’s romantic, and it is of course wonderfully reminiscent of times gone by.

“When something is authentic vintage, I think there is something reassuring about the feeling that surrounds that. It stirs a sense of nostalgia that is comforting in some way, a link to the past maybe, of a history surrounding that object” explains Ginny Banks, co-founder of Virginias Vintage Hire.

“And as consumers we are becoming much more conscious of the benefits of re-using and recycling, instead of making or buying new. It’s a trend that will continue to grow”

Virginias Vintage Hire Profile

With bases in Devon, London and Scotland, Virginias Vintage Hire was one of the first dedicated vintage hire companies to set up in the UK, existing first and foremost to meet the needs of those looking to create individual and unforgettable weddings, parties and events with stylish, imaginative, one-of a kind furniture items and accessories. Husband and wife team Greg and Ginny founded the company in 2012.  

“It began when we bought a run-down cottage - the renovation that followed and the delight of rummaging for objects and furniture that made us feel good. Then a wedding that needed to celebrate our love for the outdoors, and a desire to create a family party that was much more personal than simply following what’s in fashion. We started Virginias Vintage Hire through a love of simple, effortless, stylish living and so we have a great emotional connection to the business, and to our fantastic team” Ginny explains. 

Virginias Vintage Hire Ginny

Since 2012, Ginny and Greg’s team and collection have grown to supply to an ever-expanding client and event list, including film and TV sets, luxury brand events and some truly stunning weddings and parties, yet they remain firmly grounded and true to their homespun values of mindful living and simplicity, and continue to work from their small cottage nestled in the Devonshire countryside. They have a staggering collection of truly stylish and authentic furniture, objects and accessories that they’ve painstakingly sourced from across the UK and beyond.

“We wouldn’t put anything in our collection that we wouldn’t want in our own home, and everything we buy has to pass this test! We shop and source products as if we were furnishing our own event and are personally involved in all the buying decisions and ensure that each new piece continues to exude the simple, understated style that we love and identify with” Ginny explains.

“Our style is modern rustic – it’s an understated, timeworn look. We cherish hand-crafted and distressed items, pre-loved and reclaimed. Embracing natural materials and textiles, a pared back palette of neutral or earthy tones. We get excited about an eclectic mix of new and old” 

Virginias Hire Setting

With so much to choose from – from vintage leather sofas and beautiful rustic wooden furniture to charming old cider crates and even seriously cool vintage Vespas, I wonder what Virginias most popular items are…

“Our Gigantes trestle tables and Paris Crossback or vintage folding chairs are extremely popular and usually form the basis of an order. Then a client will then normally start to add a little bit of luxury and comfort with a vintage chesterfield, a leather chair, an eclectic coffee table, and maybe a rustic bar - Alphonse is always a hot favourite. Finally, they might like to personalise their event with some unique pieces such as the Marmaduke Cart for a quirky cake table or flower display, and the decorative items are always really popular; shutters, blackboards, coat racks, urns, rugs and so much more.

“Also, the Allegra table is so hot right now! A recent addition in our collection which took over a year of design and discussion to bring to fruition. Now it’s landed it’s in pretty constant demand, offering an alternative style to our traditional trestle table.”

Dorney Court Wedding

Virginias Vintage Hire Tables

Vintage Hire Floral

But for Ginny, it is the Ludlow chairs that win her heart – originally bought from eBay for her very own wedding no less, they formed the very start of the business (unbeknownst to Ginny and Greg at the time…) and are now part of their vast, vintage hire collection. Their selection of well-crafted furniture has been designed to grow old gracefully, quality reproductions, accentuated by classic heritage pieces that are easy to style and combine. All items have been selected with real events in mind; practical and functional but well-chosen to add a natural elegance and personality to any event, and they compliment a variety of settings, whether your event is taking place in a warehouse, marquee, chic hotel, country estate, woodland, farmhouse or castle!

“We’ve worked on some amazing events – the Unicef Halloween Ball, Friends Of The Earth  Charity Banquet and Guy Ritchie’s wedding all spring to mind! Visiting Guy Ritchie’s home, at beautiful Ashcombe House, and styling the VIP tents for his high-profile festival-style wedding was pretty exciting for us.”

VESPA BBC Strictly Virginias Vintage File

Hairy Bikers VVH Admiral And Daniel Chair

In fact, just last week Virginia's Vintage Hire  were asked to furnish the marquee for HRH Duchess of Sussex in her fundraiser for Together, in aid of Grenfell Tower.

“Our first big enquiry from a major brand - Selfridges - was a pretty big moment in the office. Richard Branson sitting on one of our chairs, Burberry taking our furniture to Japan for an event at their Tokyo store, working with David Beckham’s brand Kent & Curwen, our vintage Vespa appearing on Strictly Come Dancing…there have been many, many highlights!”

Ludlow Chairs Virginias Vintage Hire

Vintage style may never seem to go out of fashion, but that doesn’t mean that Ginny and Greg can rest on their laurels, oh no. Like all events industry pros, they keep a keen eye on blogs, interiors magazines and other evets in order to ensure that they remain one step ahead of the curve when it comes to client demand.

“We also look overseas for what’s going on and changing, and we also listen and talk to our clients. We get asked for products specifically by event planners and private clients and listen out for what’s changing in décor and style tastes. Having said that - we don’t try specifically to be ‘on trend’ but tend to go more with our gut instinct on what feels and looks good, and usually always stick to classic style” Ginny explains. 

“Chair and table styles keep us on our toes though! Trestle tables have been popular for a while with a banquet style dining set up always looking great. We’ve noticed more of a white washed look recently, rattan furniture, and a more glamourous feel filtering in with luxurious textures and fabrics to soften.” 

Virginias Vintage Hire  (1)

Table Setting Virginias Vintage Hire

As well as their fantastic hire selection, Virginias Vintage Hire also offers a styling service, to help ensure that your vintage styling is on point. After dozens of client enquiries over the last few years, in-house stylist Katie has joined the team; having studied at Central St Martins University in London Katie has a strong background in design, and after an initial enquiry she will work closely with the client to create the overall look and feel of an event, ensuring that everything blends together beautifully by creating mood boards and a style plan.

“Mid-century style is everywhere right now” adds Ginny. “Retro glamour is definitely filtering into event décor with lots of velvet and plush furnishings. Leather and wood are forever popular, and our collection can be used to create a stripped back look or looks just as good heavily dressed to create an opulent and luxurious styled finish!”

Virginiasvintage Hire Styling

Virginias Vintage Hire HQ (and Ginny and Greg’s home) is in Devon, in the beautiful Blackdown Hills. From there, they work on events throughout the South West including Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Wales, Birmingham, the Midlands, London and the home counties. They also have a branch in Perthshire, Scotland which caters for events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perthshire, Highlands and the Scottish Borders, but they’ve also worked on events on the Isle Of Wight, in Ibiza, Japan and more, so it seems that their unique and aspirational sense of vintage style knows no bounds, and will no doubt continue to be a hugely popular and much loved look throughout the summer, and beyond…


 

If you’d like to work with Virginias Vintage Hire you can find their contact details and more information on their page in Toast.Life’s Little Black Book .

 
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