You only have to look at the popularity of TV shows such as the BBC’s The Repair Shop to confirm the nation’s love of old objects, embracing their scars and scratches as part of the stories they tell.
Nostalgia aside, there are practical reasons for restoring, repairing or recycling furniture and materials too. It’s one of the most environmentally friendly choices you can make. It can be cheaper than buying new. It results in unique and characterful spaces. Plus, there’s the satisfaction of giving a beautiful old object a new lease of life.
Read on to discover our top vintage and salvaged furniture and homeware suppliers and the craftspeople with the knowledge you need.
This family-run furniture workshop situated beneath the homeware shop on Islington’s Upper Street was established in 1938. Its craftspeople are well versed in all manner of restoration techniques, from French polishing to cane and rush seating repair. afternoah.com
Maria Speake and Adam Hills’ London-based architectural reclamation and interior design company has almost single-handedly reinvented the way reclaimed materials and objects are used in contemporary settings. Sourcing from factories, schools and historic buildings, its stock spans the 1800s to the mid-century era and beyond. retrouvius.com
Victorian, Georgian, Arts & Crafts, mid-century… furniture from almost any era can be refurbished back to former glory at this south London firm. Services include scratch and water damage repair, french polishing, reupholstery and fixing dents, breaks or structural issues. 3restorers.com
A personal sourcing mission for their own home led the founders of Maitland & Poate to launch their tile business, which now offers new designs as well as antiques. Tiles are rescued from properties throughout Spain, France and Belgium, and range from plain terracotta to ornate encaustic. maitlandandpoate.com
Crafted from vintage fabrics sourced by founder Lucy Bathurst, Nest’s bespoke curtains, blinds and home textiles could be likened to modern works of art with their geometric compositions. nestdesign.co.uk
This one-stop-shop based in Midhurst, West Sussex offers a complete design service alongside its upholstery workshop. Bespoke curtains, cushions and lampshades can also be made to match your fabric choices. theupholsterer.com
With outposts in London and Oxfordshire, Lassco is an Aladdin’s cave of exquisite architectural antiques, salvage and curiosities. Expect to find everything from Regency and Art Deco mantelpieces to Victorian jelly moulds – although flooring, including stone, tiles, parquet and timber boards, is a speciality. lassco.co.uk
As a contestant on BBC Two’s Interior Design Masters With Alan Carr, Sharp’s eye for combining pattern and knack for upholstering lacklustre furniture into statement pieces took her to the semi-finals. Now she is available to sprinkle a little magic onto any tired seats or sofas in your home. micaelasharpdesign.com
Established in 1948 as a demolition company, this family-run firm in Oxfordshire has expanded its salvage offering over the last 20 years. Aside from the usual reclaimed antique doors, radiators and garden objects, it also supplies new oak worktops to order, custom cut hearths and flooring. burgessreclamation.com