Hotelier Kurt Bredenbeck's guide to vintage and antique furniture shops
Insider guide by Kurt Bredenbeck, chairman of Green Rooms hotel and founder of The Hoxton in Shoreditch
Guests at the stylish North London hotel Green Rooms may not realise it, but every single piece of furniture - from the chairs in the lounge to the storage in the bedrooms - was personally sourced by the hotel’s notable chairman, Kurt Bredenbeck. Each item in Green Rooms was chosen with an eye to British design and materials and contribute to the hotel’s uniquely stylish but laid-back, bohemian vibe. Before Green Rooms, Bredenbeck founded The Hoxton hotel on Great Eastern Street, which was sold to Ennismore in 2012.
In this insider guide, Brendebeck shares his go-to shops in London for finding the best quality stock of vintage and design furniture and decorative items, in particularly mid-century pieces, but also items from other periods.
This North London gem specialises in mid-century furniture and lighting from Denmark and the continent, as well as unusual decorative antiques, and is loved by both private collectors and interior designers. Gonnermann restores and upholsters items in-house and have a range of fabric options available for customers to choose from. The shop also offers worldwide shipping - which is handy for those visiting London.
Kurt says: A gorgeous shop with a mix of high quality Danish and British 20th century furniture. I’ve not (yet) bought anything from here but have chatted with Julian, the owner, and am seriously tempted by a rare Hille desk designed by Robin Day.
Another North London shop specialising in mid-century Scandinavian furniture, 20thc Quarters is a treasure-trove of pieces by design icons such s Hans J Wegner, Finn Juhl, Alvar Aalto, Arne Vodder, Kai Kristiansen, Verner Panton, Niels O Moller, Johannes Andersen, Hans Olsen, Illum Wikkelso and Børge Mogensen.
Kurt says: Stuffed full of mid-century Danish furniture and with an assortment of other things. I bought two extremely rare Hans Olsen wing chairs from here. The owner is usually in his shop.
This vintage interiors shop and restoration workshop has been around since 1997 and offers a thoughtful and well-curated collection of post-war pieces. They are also agents for the East London arts collective Chips & Fish, which create unique neon lighting pieces.
Kurt says: A tiny shop, but the owner Jonathan has loads of other things stored away. I have bought (and sold and traded) a number of things with him over the years. I currently have a Florence Knoll black marble-topped cabinet in my bedroom that I love and that came from Jonathan many years ago.
A neighbourhood vintage shop with a fascinating collection of bric-a-brac, clothing and other items, including furniture, from the mid-century and later. Past Caring is popular with an eclectic mix of local bohemians and arty types and always inspiring.
Kurt says: A secret find that most people in-the-know try to keep to themselves. It specialises in vintage bric-a-brac (glass, pottery, crockery) and decorative items, along with vintage clothing. You’ll also find furniture in the downstairs. Again, like nearby Fandango, I’ve bought (and sold) numerous items here, mostly vintage coloured glass.
Flashback Records is a fantastic little shop in Crouch Hill selling a remarkable collection of vintage and new vinyl at bargain prices (including a crate of £1 records). Flashback also has an outlet on Essex Road in Islington and on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch.
This auction house has showrooms in both Islington and Wandsworth and holds an antiques and interiors auction every Monday - offering a broad and exciting range of furniture and other items including art and jewellery for the design and antiques enthusiast.
Kurt says: Again this is a ‘go to’ of mine over many years. You could easily furnish your whole house from one of their weekly auctions. I’ve both bought and sold vintage furniture and other items here.