type writer

January 27, 2012  in vintage finds

There are certain unlikely and unexpected gifts that you just love. This beautiful old portable typewriter is one of those. My parents-in-law gave it to me as a Christmas gift and I was touched at how perfect a choice it was. I love its graphic quality as an object, and the thoughts of its history; the unknown letters, manuscripts and even books it may have been used to write. It seemed natural to place it on the bookshelf in my living room, nestled amongst the typed words.

I placed an old sheet of paper from a vintage ledger in the roller and a postcard that I bought from Lutyens & Rubinstein bookshop in Notting Hill as a surprise detail for closer inspection.

The fabric ribbon sculpture is by textile artist/designer Jessica Preston. I used it in an editorial photo shoot back in 2006, loved it and bought it from her afterwards. It still sits amongst my pile of books, like the turret on top of a tower.

The typewriter doesn’t work at the moment and requires a little tinkering from my husband, but I am just imagining the little notes I will be able to write when it does.


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  1. allesistgut says:

    What a beautiful old typewriter. Lucky you! I learned typewriting on a mechanical typewrite. So I have a special relationship to it.
    Have a nice weekend. 😀

  2. Beautiful! Your parents-in-law know you very well! What a good choice! x

  3. Kinga says:

    Oh my! How great is that? I would love that thing…every day I would type little notes with it and it would brighten my life! GORGEOUS!

  4. elisa says:

    they know you so well, it’s a beauty. did you see the one my sweetheart found for our typing child? i’m not sure i’m going to let her grow up and leave with it. . x elisa

  5. Splendid! I always loved typewriters and the aesthetic quality of typed letters on paper. I kept my old orange typewriter from the 70’s when I used to write constantly as a child, and I bought another one in a flea market. Nothing so beautiful like yours though. Difficult to find people to repair them nowadays and mine both needs some love and care right now as I continue to use them. 🙂

  6. Franka says:

    Your type is my type. :-))

    Lovely pics – lovely idea!

    ♥ Franka

  7. annie says:

    What a lovely present Sania, I’ve never met you but know it’s so ‘you’!

    I love how you put so much thought into every inch of your home. And your photos are so calming and soothing.

    Really looking forward to meeting you tomorrow.

    Annie x

  8. Jane says:

    Ooh Sania, you lucky duck! That reminds me to ferret out my Mum’s old vintage one – thanks for the prompt ☺. Can you still buy typewriter ribbons? I am intrigued. J x

  9. bonitarose says:

    I have 3 antique typewriters in my home.. two are working wonderfully, the other needs some work.. I love old typewriters, yours is beautiful!!
    I have a Royal, an old Underwood and a Hermes…
    Love your photos! xo

  10. Chrystina says:

    This is beautiful! Also, it makes me pretty happy there’s a 3/4 on that keyboard.

  11. Toni says:

    What a treat for the eyes. Keep coming back to have a look!

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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