SOURCEBOOK | EIGHT great places to buy vintage and antique furniture online
Grab a blast from the past with Object Story’s guide to sourcing beautiful and affordable antiques.
Mixing old with new is a way to make your home unique and special to you. Sourcing objects that have had a previous life is not only good for the planet – it also allows you to have a piece of history in your home. From mid-century sideboards to a 1930s French enamel coffee pot, these are treasures that whisper to stories of the past, infusing your living space with vivid period detail.
Antiques don’t have to cost the earth, either. With online shopping opening up a whole new world of inspiration, there are gems out there to suit all kinds of tastes and budgets. Here are just a few of my favourite stomping grounds for vintage and antique furniture – notepads at the ready…
Ben is based in Bristol and sources objects with a rustic feel to them: think French linen tub chairs, elm stools, terracotta pots, vintage rugs and more. A small but finely honed collection, this is my number one place to source vintage pieces for the home.
The sheer range of pieces on offer at Mayfly Vintage makes it something of a playground for those who love antiques. There’s a subtle industrial vibe to this collection, from leather club chairs to Hungarian settle benches, clocks and vintage posters. I’ve got a soft spot for the retro wall maps, which are an adventure all of their own.
An elm stool from Cart House
If you're renovating and want to blend reclaimed materials into your design, pop this eclectic store on your radar. Its vivid mix of reclaimed objects and materials is like soup for the soul for your inner creator. Marble slabs, school windows, brass handles or Welsh blankets to reupholster your favourite furniture: whatever oddity floats your boat, this is the place to source it.
may & co
This Oxford-based interiors collection does a fine line in 20th Century retro furniture, including chairs, mirrors, lighting, pottery – and everything in-between. Unlike many reclaimed stores, may & co’s founders lovingly strip back and restore the pieces they find; meaning anything you discover here will be in prime condition to last a lifetime.
Owl and the Elephant
As the name suggests, Owl and the Elephant is brimming with curiosities to please your pre-loved collector. This edit of original vintage furniture extends to smaller homeware and accessories, including more affordable pieces. Whenever I browse here, I make a beeline for the Art Deco mirrors, vintage French school desks and Bulgarian enamel house numbers.
A glass and wooden cabinet from may & co (c) Jen Chillingsworth
Harry and Frank
Emily lives in a small town in the Peak District, and has turned her passion for flea markets into Harry and Frank – an online store selling a range of vintage French finds. Her curated collection of small homeware pieces includes lots of ceramic pots and jars (ideal for storing utensils), as well as little cheese moulds, which make the perfect candle holder. You’ll also find soap dishes, baskets for storing linens, and galvanised pots for displaying all your house plants.
This design-led furniture and lighting haven specialises in eye-catching machine age and industrial pieces. Aptly enough, one of its stores is located in a former Morris car garage built in the 1930s. Its online space is equally captivating, with industrial lockers, pendant factory lights, velvet armchairs and more offering up a chest of charms for your perusal.
Granted, this is not exactly a furniture store; but no roundup of the best places to buy vintage would be complete without a nod to Passé Prints. Run from Instagram, it sells vintage and original art prints from around £40 – a quick, brilliant way to affordably add colour, pattern and personality to your home.