A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. 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
    North Gate
    Wellington Place
    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.

    EAST LONDON

    Førest London
    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

    Osi Modern
    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

    Russell Roberts
    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

    CENTRAL LONDON

    Bent Ply
    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:

    Bent Ply
    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.

    Decoratum
    Basement
    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:

    Robinson Antiques
    Stand G077-78 and 91-92
    Tel. 07955 085 723
    20th century glass, pottery, chrome and stainless steel.

    Thirteen Interiors
    Stand G001-G005 and G050
    Tel. 07811 008 144
    20th century furniture, lighting and collectables.

    Francesca Martire
    Stand F131-F137
    Mob. 07990 523891
    20th century furniture, glass, ceramics lighting and jewellery.

    Modo Italia
    Stand F040-49
    Tel. 07796061901
    20th century Italian furniture, ceramics and décor including pieces by Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa and Osvaldo Borsani.

    Stephen Lazarus
    Stand F017
    Mob. 07981 374 909
    Mid-century lighting and furniture mixed with industrial pieces.

    Ian Broughton
    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.

    SOUTH LONDON

    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.
    Jasper Road
    London SE19 1SG
    Tel. 07966 285 694

    NORTH LONDON

    Fandango
    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.

    Peanut Vendor
    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.

    WEST LONDON

    Paere Dansk
    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? 

    It’s (a rather extended) Week of Modern on Wee Birdy! Click here for more mid-century goodness.

    Want more Wee Birdy? You can find me most days hanging out on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook – come over and talk to me!

    • http://www.afternoonteatotal.com/ Natalie

      Thanks Wee Birdy. Love that you are recommending shops in my home town from the other side of the world. Thanks especially for the Crystal Palace tip – just up the road from me and I never knew it was there!

    • Jenny Brent

      Great selection, wish I could go shopping now….

    • K8burton

      Thanks! Will definitely be visiting some of these we didnt know… And will be heading to Lords on Sunday!

    • Elliott

      What a great round up! Looks like a day (or three) of Scandi shopping is on the cards!

    • Fionnuala Barrett

      Thanks so much for these guides, Rebecca. I’ll be moving to London, for good, in a few months, so these posts will definitely be getting bookmarked!

    • Lucy

      Next Midcentury Show SUNDAY 14th October 2012 http://modernshows.com/the-shows/lords-oct-2012/