understand that something has had a life before it came to you and it will have the odd chip or mark”.

The most popular eras are the 1950s and 60s, but others are enjoying a renaissance. “People will always be drawn to the timeless beauty of the classic Scandinavian Mid- century designs,” says Oliver. “But I’ve also found there seems to be an increase in interest in earlier 30s and 40s sofas and armchairs – in particular the lovely curved banana sofa designs.” At 1stdibs, Mid-century and Art Deco are hugely popular – but interest in the 70s and 80s, including The Memphis Group, is increasing. “Well-made things from every era survive and find a home,” notes Hills. “Some of the 80s pieces from Roche Bobois, Conran or Cassina were well designed and made and will perpetuate.” Others are looking beyond the famous names. “Mid-century modern is ubiquitous and too-much copied, but there are some designers where there is not quite the same volume of reproductions, such as Børge Mogensen,” Parr says. “I’m also a big fan of Gio Ponti, who has been a lot less copied because his pieces are quirky and a lot of people consider them ugly. I find that level of exploration of design from a free-thinking Italian designer in the 1940s and 50s really interesting. For me, Gio Ponti and Franco Albini were the pinnacle of design. The next wave to become popular will be the early Gothic revival furniture, which is tricky for people to understand as it has connotations of being dark and religious – but since the St Pancras station restoration it’s a lot more accessible than it used to be.” Everyone has their favourite sources – antique shops in Lillie Road, King’s Road, Pimlico Road and Portobello Road, Everything But the Dog in Walthamstow and Vine Street Vintage in Brighton are mentioned. Building a relationship with a good local dealer is also judged to be a far safer and more cost-effective way of buying than via auctions. Shows such as Midcentury Modern and Midcentury East by Modern Shows offer rich pickings, too. “It’s always worth getting up stupidly early in the morning for events like the Ardingly International Antiques & Collectors Fair or the Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton [Racecourse],” adds Fournet. “With vintage, if you don’t buy it when you see it then you will live to regret it.”


Top left: For this project in Crystal Palace, Emilie Fourget chose a vintage Ercol two-seater and dining chairs. The kitchen was made from reclaimed Canadian bar wood, the large vintage lamp is from Homeplace and the vintage kilim is from Everything But the Dog.

Top right: This Studio Indigo scheme features a 1970s Talisman coffee table, Lorfords table and 80s table lamps from Tarquin Bilgen.

Above: While furnishing this flat at the Barbican, Retrouvius focused on Mid-Century modern.

Photo: Julian Abrams

Photo: Tom Fallon

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