National trusting is one of those hobbies that I can’t tell if people consider niche or not. For the uninitiated, it basically involves gadding about pretty, old-time-y properties, that may or may not have been inhabited by historically significant people. Follow it with a picnic or a high tea somewhere and you have an extremely chill and low stakes afternoon. The hunt for some new-old furniture has recently opened me up to the joys of vintage furniture shops. Much like taking a peek around Victorian manors, there’s something really enjoyable about wandering around warehouses and boutiques stuffed with beautiful (and sometimes absurd) furniture and trinkets. Even better for the fact that you can, if you fancy, take some of the beautiful things you spot home with you to your own esteemed abode.
Seriously, we’re choosing exploring antiques—and pondering if we need a giant decorative elephant—over fluorescent shopping malls every time. Much like vintage, thrift and second-hand clothing shopping, sourcing not-new pieces for your space is an excellent way to add character and warmth to your aesthetic that you usually can’t get with mass-made furniture and clothes. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot better for the environment and, if you’re a savvy Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree user, better for your wallet too.
While the rise of the Instagram furniture shop has made it easier than ever to source some art-deco gems and mid-century modern bedroom upgrades, there’s so much joy in rolling up your sleeves and physically combing through a vintage furniture store. Below, a roundup of some of our favourite vintage furniture stores that we’ve visited or come highly recommended from friends.
The Design Ark
The Design Ark in Sydney boasts a carefully curated collection of vintage furiture, lighting, ornaments and art. If you’re into your mid-century designs, make sure to check out this two-level wonderland.
Lunatiques is a huge warehouse in Sydney that you’re gonna want to set aside a little time to stroll through. As well as furniture, there’s vintage clothing, old art, kitschy decorations perfect for a cottagecore themed room and, just in case you’re in the market for one, last time we checked there was a whole pool table.
Smith Street Bazaar
Attention Melbournians who love a statement chair. Smith Street Bazaar should absolutely be on your hitlist. This vintage furniture shop has a great range of European and Australian mid-century pieces, but the chairs are really where it’s at.
Lost and Found Market
If you’re after vibey vintage clothing and retro furniture and furnishings to add some colour into your space, look no further than Fitzroy’s Lost and Found Market in Melbourne. We’re particularly into the very cute selection of vintage Mambo and Keith Haring.
So Last Century
One of the recurring things we’re noticing in all the Pinterest decor inspiration picks we’re saving? Great stuff on the walls. As well as a wide range of vintage furniture, So Last Century in Mount Lawley, Western Australia offers up a beautiful selection of clocks, mirrors and art.
Lead image via Instagram @cathdelichtenberg.