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All I want for Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and the perfect opportunity to choose a gift that’s a little out of the ordinary.

As climate change and the very real threat to our planet escalates, many of us are considering the impact of waste and single-use plastics as we do our Christmas shopping. We’ve rounded up some ideas for festive gift giving with a difference to help you do your bit to reduce waste and shop sustainably.

Give the gift of Hygge!

Hygge Bath

Over the last couple of years, the UK has embraced the Danish concept of Hygge, defined as ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’. Think thick socks, candles, blankets and hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.

Our salvage yard at Dorton is packed with original pieces guaranteed to dial up the Hygge – from Victorian radiators, to wood-burning stoves and decadent roll-top baths, the list is endless.

If your friend has a wish list, let us know and we can help you find exactly the right gift. Now all you need to do is figure out how to fit it under the tree!

Festive story-time


Create a little piece of festive magic for the little ones in your life. Transform reclaimed wooden boards into a cosy nook for bedtime reading and storage. We love these bookshelves, made using scaffolding boards and iron brackets. Take it a step further and add decals or stencils with your child’s name.

Vintage gems

Esso Sign

It’s always worth a visit to Dorton to peruse our one-off items as you never know when we’ll find some unusual treasures (sign up to our Pre-Claim service to be the first to hear about new arrivals).

Surprise your vintage-loving friend with a retro tin sign or plaque to hang in their home or garden. This recent find is from Volks Electric Railway at Brighton sea front:

Volks Railway

Shop our packed yard for antiques like these stunning original brass and copper fire extinguishers:

Vintage Extinguishers

We adore this PYE record player:

Record Player

A magical winter wonderland


Add a touch of sparkle to your friend’s Christmas decorations with a traditional lantern. Line the driveway, decorate the porch, or bring indoors to pop in the window. Imagine this gorgeous lantern adding to the festive charm of a cold winter’s evening – a truly unusual gift to give this season!



We’re open as usual up to the 20th December at 4pm and reopening at 7.30am on Thursday 2nd January 2020, so pay us a visit to choose a unique and sustainable gift!

Image references

Bathroom The MOA style

Book shelves Shabby Bear Cottage

Retro sign English Salvage

Lantern DIY Enthusiasts


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Quirky planters for springtime colour


It may be autumn, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of adding a little colour to our gardens – so this month we’re bringing you ideas for interesting and unique planters, for inside and outside.

Whether you’re looking to plant spring bulbs (be quick before it gets too cold!), you want to add some greenery to your indoor space, or you’re planning ahead for next year, we’d recommend creating your own planters (or repurposing vintage ones) to create a truly unique look for your home and garden.

Go potty for planters

Planting several pots

Let’s start simple with some ideas for existing pots, or repurposing garden structures such as urns. This is the easiest way to introduce some spring colour into your garden. Create drainage with small stones (or broken pieces of tile or ceramic) placed at the bottom of the pot, fill up with compost, and add your bulbs. Finish off with another layer of compost, and water well. For full instructions, check out this RHS tutorial.

To transform your urn into a planter, you’ll need to add drainage holes, then you can treat it in exactly the same way. Or, to make a giant statement, take a look at our stone troughs!

Cre-ate a mini garden

Stencilled crate

Change things up with different types of storage – try a wooden crate for a rustic, vintage look. We love how this crate has been personalised using stencils for a truly unique finish. You can either plant straight into the crate, or simply use it to house plants in their own pots – so you can swap and change with the seasons, or if you get bored!

Alternatively, salvage a solid box like this gorgeous wine crate to create a mini garden! (tutorial)


A most unusual tea party!


Create an adorable corner of your garden with a set of vintage teacup planters. In the garden, our advice is ‘more is more’ – we’re thinking clusters of teacups, and even teapots, grouped together to create impact.

Inside you can be more delicate as your planters will be safe from the elements. We absolutely love this vintage teacup collection. Try pairing with succulents for an on-trend look.

Let your imagination run wild!


With some creative thinking, virtually anything can be transformed into a planter. Vintage prams, bicycles, wellington boots, dressers, chest of drawers – add paint, pots, and flowers, and the world is your oyster!

Spice up your life


This super-cute herbs and spices planter is the perfect way to restore and reuse old pallets, as well as grow your own delicious produce. Add signage if you like, using stencils as in this example, or place labelled markers in the soil. Position in a sunny sheltered spot, or fix to a handy wall, then sit back and bask in the glory of your self-sufficiency!

Whatever you decide, here at Dorton we have a vast collection of products to help you get started. Not sure what you’re looking for? Sign up to our Pre-Claim service, for details of our most interesting pieces before they leave a demolition site.


Image References

Spring bulbs RHS

Stencilled planter Plantabox

Wine crate garden and tutorial Tidy Mom

Vintage tea cups Ryland Peters & Small

Chest of drawers Good Housekeeping

Herbs and spices pallet planter Garden Lovers Club