Pushing back the tiny ceiling hatch, it was the expected pitch black Edwardian attic space, all suffocating heat, generations of spiders and a heavy crust of soot upon every surface. At first glance empty, then balancing with all my yoga skills atop a woodworm riddled set of step ladders, the unforgiving light of a phone torch revealed absolutely nothing of any worth. A mouldy cardboard suitcase, a bent wire clothes horse and suspiciously unhealthy antique thermal insulation. We weren't ready for doing the ubiquitous Bridgford loft conversion, but it certainly needed a much larger hatch, a sturdy ladder system and boarding out to store all the pending furniture restoration projects I'd amassed. 

The next week I returned home to find all the detritus from the loft (and cellars) loaded into a skip, including that bent wire clothes horse; that wasn't a clothes horse. Pulling them free, my eyes glinted as layers of gloopy white gloss had disguised a pair of string shelving ladders; then they weren't. They looked string-ish, but could also be something Frank the welder had knocked up in his lunch hour back in the sixties. 

Brianco, said my guide to mid century articles and accoutrements, with a grainy mono image of exactly what was leaning against my head as I scrutinised the pages. The shelves themselves had evaporated away long ago, so I needed to knock up some replacements out of timber from the to do pile. A water damaged Ercol dining table top had been getting in the way long enough to be sacrificial, now living on as frankenshelves.

Rachel Lovatt