Shopping in London: A guide to buying mid-century modern. Part 1
It’s here, it’s finally here! The modernist’s guide to shopping for mid-century furniture and decor in London.
First stop is The Midcentury Show at Lords on Sunday, where 50 vintage dealers from around the UK will be showcasing their wares to modern enthusiasts. Sign up to their mailing list for news about their excellent events, which are held several times a year.
The Midcentury Show
Sunday 27th May 2012
10am – 4pm
Lord’s Cricket Ground
St John’s Wood
London NW8 8QN
Entrance £7 on the day
Early entry for trade 9am (£9)
Children under 14 free (note that baby buggies are not permitted inside)
Now, as many of you are aware, there are a great deal of vintage shops that stock mid 20th-century pieces, but I’ve tried to stick to places that deal almost exclusively with furniture and decor from this period. Here are my top picks, which I’ve also sorted by area.
Specialising in Scandinavian mid-century furniture, this relatively new shop also features exhibitions and collaborations with new artists.
115 Clerkenwell Rd
London EC1R 5BY
Chase & Sorensen
This café-shop in East London specialises exclusively in mid-century Danish modern furniture, with new deliveries arriving direct from Denmark every few weeks.
238-B Dalston Lane
London E8 1LQ
Tel. 8533 5523
With a special focus on reupholstered chairs and lounges, this East London shop offers a variety of mid-century modern furniture, lighting and objects.
32 Seal Street
London E8 2EE
Tel. 7881 953 708
Two Columbia Road
Featuring a well-considered collection of 20th century furniture, lighting, art and objects, Two Columbia Road stocks many original pieces by the likes of Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Arne Voder and Charles Eames.
2 Columbia Road
London E2 7NN
Tel. 7729 9933
A carefully-edited selection of modernist 20th century furniture, art and collectables, with a touch of playfulness thanks to the addition of quirky retro toys and accessories.
8 Cheshire Street
London E2 6EH
Tel. 020 7613 3355
Specialising in furniture, lighting and décor from the 1930s to the 1960s, this shop is just the tip of the mid-century iceberg. More treasures can be found at Bent Ply’s stand at Alfies Antiques Market, which is just around the corner.
95 Lisson Grove
London NW1 6UP
Mob. 07711 940 931
Tel. 0207 725 9515
Antik Modern at Albam Clothing
An unlikely source for mid-century furniture and décor is men’s fashion boutique Albam Clothing, which stocks select pieces from Antik Modern in their Soho, Spitalfields, Islington and Covent Garden stores.
Alfies Antique Market
Housed in a former Edwardian department store, Alfies is home to roughly 60 dealers with some really incredible stalls representing mid-century modern design. It’s one of my favourite London destinations for vintage, but the sheer size of the place can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s a bit of a bugger to get to in terms of public transport, but it’s worth the hike from Marylebone tube.
13-25 Church Street
London NW8 8DT
Tel. 020 7723 6066
The modern enthusiast should make a beeline for the Quad and Decoratum in the basement:
The Quad, Basement.
Stocks an impressive range of furniture by the likes of Alvar Aalto, Gerald Summers, Marcel Breuer, Ernest Race and Hans Wegner. There is also a stand-alone shop around the corner on Lisson Grove.
Tel: 7724 6969
Boasting over 5,000 square feet dedicated to vintage mid-century furniture, lighting and accessories, Decoratum is a modernist’s dream. Purchases can be shipped worldwide.
Here are my other picks for MCM at Alfies:
Stand G077-78 and 91-92
Tel. 07955 085 723
20th century glass, pottery, chrome and stainless steel.
Stand G001-G005 and G050
Tel. 07811 008 144
20th century furniture, lighting and collectables.
Mob. 07990 523891
20th century furniture, glass, ceramics lighting and jewellery.
20th century Italian furniture, ceramics and décor including pieces by Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa and Osvaldo Borsani.
Mob. 07981 374 909
Mid-century lighting and furniture mixed with industrial pieces.
Stand SO48-49, 59-60
Tel. 020 7723 6066
1930s to 1960s homewares, textiles, barware, furniture, ceramics, glassware, ephemera, collectables, kitsch, bakelite, record players, games and lighting.
Designs of Modernity
Located in the basement of Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern, Designs of Modernity offers a good range of Scandinavian, British and American 20th century furniture, lighting and décor.
London SE19 1SG
Tel. 07966 285 694
2 Cross Street
London N1 2BL
Tel. 07979 650805
With a line-up of 20th century furniture and décor, Fandango mixes classics by Arne Jacobsen with lesser-known pieces and objects.
133 Newington Green Road
London N1 4RA
Tel. 7226 5727
A warm and eclectic mix of classic ‘big names’ with an assortment of lesser known or anonymous ‘50s and ‘60s coffee tables, chairs and accessories.
Specialising exclusively in Danish solid rosewood furniture, Paere Dansk sells both original vintage pieces by the likes of JL Moller alongside new editions of the original designs.
13 Stratford Road
London W8 6RF
Tel. +44 7771 861939
Some of the best mid-century modern dealers in London have warehouses and showrooms which are only open by appointment. I’ll list my top picks in tomorrow’s post, so please do check back in.
Do you love mid-century modern furniture? Do you have a favourite shop in your area?