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Blue Ticking: Modern Heritage for Kids

Hi, I’m Helen Shaw and one half of the kid’s interiors brand Blue Ticking! With my husband, John, we set up the company nearly five years ago following the birth of our second daughter, Maggie. We struggled to find individual pieces of furniture for our daughters that were not only fit for purpose, but we liked and wanted in our home. So with our joint love of interiors and a passion for both vintage and contemporary design we set about changing this. We are very lucky to have our studio, office and workshop in rural West Sussex, it’s where we do all of our restoring and making.

Photo: Cathy Pyle

My inspiration comes from both the old and new and I get terribly excited when I spot a real gem or transform one of our many finds.

John is wonderfully creative, quirky and very handy with a saw and paint brush. He loves transforming what many would overlook into amazing goods. He has a real passion for brilliant craftsmanship and loves nothing better than working away in the workshop!

Whilst we sell a range of goods, vintage school desks are what we are best known for. They're our real passion. We absolutely love them because they each tell a different story with their unique scribbles and markings. We source a lot from France and also here in the UK. You can’t beat the classic French school desks with metal legs or the brilliantly British wooden Esavian desks with lift up lids!

We also love desks because they’re often a great starting place for kids to explore their creative side. We are big believers in giving children and us adults the time to create and be themselves. With this in mind we launched a new hashtag at the beginning of March called #ourspacetocreate.

Our aim is to celebrate all the amazing creative spaces out there and really shine a light on their importance in letting kids be kids and grown ups to feel relaxed and inspired. No matter how big or small, we all need that nook, desk or corner to do our thing.

It’s really easy to get involved, you simply have to take a picture of your creative space, upload it to Instagram and tag it with the hashtag. We are also giving away a prize each month for our favourite picture. For more information just head to our website.

As mentioned above a desk is a great starting place for creativity and we thought it might be nice to highlight a few that we have available and waiting in the wings ready to head to a brilliant home.

Wooden single desk with lift up lid

You can’t beat the classic nature of these wooden desks with lift up lids. They are incredibly solid and provide a great space to work or get crafty. To add to their charm we have included a chalkboard lid on some of them.


Double French school desk with green legs and shelf

We love the metal frame on these French double desks and they have the added bonus of a shelf underneath for storage. It’s also a great height so perfect for both children and adults.

Single French school desk with light green metal legs

A lovely example of a metal French school desk. Again it’s a great height so suitable for both children and adults. Each end has a handy hook and a footrest that matches the wooden top.

Esavian Wooden School desk with half lift up lid

We salvaged a number of these desks from a prep school in Surbiton. They are nice and deep so provide plenty of workspace. They also have a half lift up lid for useful storage. Classic, solid and will last a lifetime!

Double French school desk with green legs

Another French beauty with a solid frame and classic lines. This desk provides a fantastic workspace and also has a hook on each end and footrest for comfort.

Shop the Blue Ticking collection, and keep your eyes peeled for fresh stock being added to Pedlars Vintage Marketplace every day!