Antique Owl

Beady eyed bird looking for collectables and design stuff

Owling abroad, Frida Fraenka, Reykjavik

Oh wow. Its rare that I get so enthusiastic about an antiques store; here in the UK they can sometimes seem like dusty cold and miserable places run by people who dont really want to talk or sell you anything. That’s obviously a complete generalisation and occasionally you’ll find a great store which really breaks the mould, (Dodo Antiques in Olney springs to mind) but often because they’re made up of cabinets held by absent dealers, they seem to have less personality than some of the upcoming vintage and retro shops run by people with a real passion and love for what they do.

What also begins to happen if you visit enough of these stores is that you start to notice just how trend-driven we all are, everything starts looking the same, and you go a bit “vintage blind”.

That’s why, whenever I’m abroad I love scrabbling around in vintage and antiques shops as there’s the very real chance that you’ll find something which you just dont see back here.

On a recent trip to Iceland though I found an amazing little antiques store which really reignited my passion…


Frida Fraenka, close to the harbour in Reykjavik, is such a gorgeous little shop packed with all manner of different treasures.

Look at this – doesn’t it inspire you? I find environments like this stupidly exciting and I could have spent hours here!

I’m a sucker for mid-century furniture. This sofa had gorgeous and hardwearing woven fabric which was still in perfect condition with a wooden frame which again was perfect. This was really lovely and I’ve seen similar in the UK but the colours of this piece were much better.

With prices in Iceland still being quite high (despite the recession) this sofa unfortunately had to stay behind – £1,300 plus shipping is a little too much for me!

I loved these red wooden vintage pendant lights with their frosted glass shades. they just scream 70s, now I just need some friends round for a fondue!

I’m a huge fan of sideboards and this mini one was an absolutely gorgeous example and would look lovely in a hallway or similar.

Also check out the heavy glass bowls on the top, they were in a range of colours and shapes and I love their weight and texture. This guy is also sat on top of an exquisite tiled coffee table, which is so retro it hurts!

I wish just once that I would find enough of the same wallpaper to be able to do a wall in my house, but alas there is only ever enough for a little patch, there were loads of different styles here though which would make a great statement in a hallway or landing – if you could get enough of it!


Reykjavik is such a gorgeous little city with a great personality and lots of cute independent shops. There are also a number of vintage clothes shops similar to Beyond Retro or similar which you would find in London with lots of kitsch pieces and oversized 80s cardies.

I fell in love with this awesome Sherlock Holmes jumper below…

…but in the end managed to pick up a vintage hand knitted Icelandic jumper which is so warm and toasty that when I came back to the UK in it I nearly overheated!

Happy vintage travels!



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All copy on this blog remains the property of Samantha Villis. Please ask permission copying or re-blogging. I dont bite. Images are my own unless otherwise stated. I try to give credit for images whenever possible.
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