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The Great Antiques Challenge - Caroline's Brief

Updated: Feb 28

Dawn's second challenge as part of the 'The Great Antiques Challenge' sees her going head to head with Jon @kestrel_antiques to find a unique pieces for a vintage bridal and clothes shop.

Caroline and her sister Kathy own a vintage bridal shop which was situated in Dublin but have recently moved it to a blank canvas space in Monaghan. Caroline takes alot of pride in making passers-by stop in their tracks with her window displays, often re-doing the window once a week to keep it fresh.

Caroline’s shop is a modern vintage haven full of interesting shabby chic furniture and objects. She was looking for an interesting curio or a piece of furniture to act as a building block in the window. Something unusual and spectacular for her to build her window displays around.

Dawn's initial thoughts were to find something tall and flexible. A piece with age, to mirror the ethos of the shop and flexible, so could be used with changing seasons and themes. The window is restricted by height. Dawn's initial mood board is below:

After meeting the fabulous Caroline, the feminine vibe really came through strongly. She has created a retail destination for women to find stunning outfits for special occasions, including proms.

The ability to use this piece as a 'backbone' throughout the year is vital as there is very little storage space .

Dawn was delighted to find the Victorian folding screen in an antiques emporium.

The gilt carved wooden frame gave the piece the feminine and elegant feel Dawn was looking for. These pieces were used by Victorian ladies to change and dress behind. The glass has bubbles and therefore original. Useful for not making the interior of the shop dark. The fabric to the base is a later addition and originally would have been silk or tapestry. This means Caroline did not have to be precious with the fabric and could change it with the different seasons and celebrations throughout the year.

It was Jon's vintage Chinoiserie style cabinet which won the challenge The pop of red is fantastic and it is a flexible piece.

In hindsight Dawn had overlooked that Caroline has a vibrant and fun personality and she was really looking for a piece to showcase this. The screen was quickly snapped up on the website so it already has a lovely new owner.

We love seeing Jon's cabinet in many of Caroline's window displays which she posts on her Instagram page, @dirtyfabulousvintage.

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