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?
It’s (a rather extended) Week of Modern on Wee Birdy! Click here for more mid-century goodness.
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Chintz has never looked so chic since London shoe designer Tracey Neuls got her hands on Sanderson's reissued vintage textiles.
This somewhat surprising collaboration between the British heritage wallpaper company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and one of London's more avant-garde shoe designers will coincide with London Fashion Week next month.
Neuls' gallery-like Marylebone Lane shop (read my shop tour here) will be transformed into an eccentric English tea party, complete with a large-scale installation by sculptor Nina Saunders. And apparently birds will be involved – I await with baited breath!
Admittedly, I've got a soft spot for Neuls' rubber-soled shoes, as her mid-height heels are about as high as I can go with my rotten old arthritic toes. It hasn't been easy finding anything attractive I can actually wear, with season after season of increasingly vertiginous heels. So I can't wait to see what she's done with Sanderson's prints – her signature sculptural silhouettes combined with her penchant for dramatic contrast piping will give the chintzy florals a quirky edge.
Footwear from Tracey Neuls
Sculptural installation from Nina Saunders
To celebrate Sanderson's 150th Anniversary
From 17 February 2010 to 30 June 2010
29 Marylebone Lane
London W1U 2NQ
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Click here for more Wee Birdy shop reviews on Marylebone Lane.
As promised, here's part two of my Christmas shopping round-up, which actually includes quite a few fairs and fetes, so it's not strictly nights. Part three coming tomorrow…
1 December: Supermarket Sarah
Get stuck into the spoils of Portobello market courtesy of Supermarket Sarah, when she’ll be setting up shop in the Poke foyer of the Biscuit building on Redchurch Street. You’ll be able to shop online as well. Email email@example.com to get on the guest list. Click here for more details.
2, 9, 16, 23 December: Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
With the promise of mulled wine, mistletoe and mince pies, Columbia Road’s Christmas Wednesdays is one of the more romantic ways to shop for Christmas. Check out my write-up on last year’s event. Don’t miss some of my favourite independent boutiques, like Cerise, Ryantown and Lapin & Me. From 5-9pm.
3 December: Content Beauty Shoppping Night
Head over to London’s gorgeous organic beauty boutique for free makeovers, drinks and a hefty 20 per cent discount. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited. Click here for more details.
3-6 December: East London Design Show
Boasting an impressive line-up of UK and International designer-makers, the ELDS is one of the biggest independent shopping events in London. I went along last year and picked up quite a few good Christmas presents – and took full advantage of many of the special deals and discounts on offer. Adm £4. Click here for more information.
3 and 11 December: Cheshire Street Late Night Shopping
As many of you will know, I have quite a soft spot for Cheshire Street and its lovely line-up of independent boutiques, including The Shop, Shelf and Labour and Wait. Head over to the East End and enjoy drink or two whilst you shop, and don’t miss Mimi and Dragana Perisic for special discounts on all purchases. From 6-10pm.
4-6 December: V&A Christmas shopping weekend
Stock up on arty Christmas gifts and enjoy 15 per cent off all purchases at the V&A shop this weekend. If you can’t make it over to the South Kensington museum in person, you can redeem the discount online by entering in ‘VAXMAS091’ into the offer code section when you come to the payment details screen.
5 December: We Make London Christmas Fair
Lots of local crafty goodness on offer here, from the likes of Fabric Nation, Beeb Design and London Clay Birds (love!). Pop along to Chelsea Town Hall for all the fun. Click here for more details.
5 December: Tea and Make (a great British Christmas fete)
Well worth the trip to Forest Hill in South-East London for this lovely little fete, offering an excellent variety of wares by the likes of Selvedge Magazine, Hannah Waldron and Polly George. There are also free craft workshops and fun stuff for kids. Click here for more details.
I went for a stroll around central London and Marylebone last night, and found that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. My vote for the most charming Christmas window? The vintage decoration display in the window at Content Beauty/Wellbeing (above). I don't know how store owner, Imelda Burke, managed to colour-co-ordinate so many beautiful vintage glass decorations, but she did a mighy fine job. So pretty.
I also really liked the sculptural magazine "tree" in the window at KJ's Laundry…
In terms of sheer scale and magnificence, Selfridges have surpassed themselves with a rather anti-credit crunch theme of "the more the merrier", featuring Santa in 19 different window installations.
Santa at the cinema…
Santa gets a beard trim…
Santa takes the Tube…
Santa does his laundry…
Santa goes to the disco…
Santa has a bubblebath…
Santa takes tea…
Santa goes shopping…
Santa eats sushi…
while Oxford Street goes twinkle, twinkle…
and St Christopher's Place goes sparkle, sparkle…
I LOVE this time of the year.
This traditional café-deli is one of my favourite places to relax with a good cuppa and a sandwich after hitting the shops on Marylebone Lane. The shop itself dates back to 1900, and it still retains that old-fashioned charm of the village grocer.
I really dig the old-school caff set-up inside, complete with ‘60s laminate tables and folding leatherette chairs. The place gets packed during lunch hours with local workers flocking for the daily fresh soup and line-up of delicious sandwiches (my pick is egg on rye, but the Austrian liptauer and kummelkase are legendary).
A good cuppa, egg sandwich and Time Out … happy, happy.
The walls are stacked with jams, chutneys and relishes, but I’m here precisely because it’s the antithesis of your Prets, Starbucks, Café Neros, et al. You’ll always find Paul Rothe and son donning their traditional white deli coats behind the counter, and the tea is a straight-forward, no-frills, honest-to-goodness brew. I will never grow tired of this place, it’s an absolute London gem.
Paul Rothe & Son
35 Marylebone Lane
London, W1U 2NN
Tel. 020 7935 6783
Nearest tube: Bond Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 11:30am – 5:30pm Sat
Click here for more shops in Marylebone