London in Grip of an Antiques Obsession
The UK has always had a certain love affair with the world of antiques illustrated by the long-running TV show The Antiques Roadshow, but Paris could be out-doing London when it comes to vintage-chic.
Flea markets and vintage chic have never been so in demand. With leading London markets like Portobello having a globally-hip appeal, the capital has long been home for antique fans and flea-chic fans. But Parisian vintage markets are reportedly giving London a run for its money inspiring lifestyle features and magazine articles on 'Le flea, c'est chic'.
One French family home has captured the imagination of designers and antique lovers for its effortlessly stylish interior. The Parisian apartment of James Greenfield, the chief executive of Kenzo, has featured in the pages of magazines thanks to its quirky furniture and authentic materials.
The apartment is part of a reclaimed thread factory - the city is full of disused lofts and industrial spaces that are being snapped up as part of a property renovation trend. And with the renovation of old buildings comes the renovation of old furniture to match. The apartment typifies what Paris has to offer with its reclaimed timber-clad walls, Eames chairs and antique desks. After an era of flat-pack fuelled furniture markets, homeowners are waking up to the joy of character-fuelled furniture that has a story to tell.
Antique furniture simply adds a charm that bland, mass-produced mainstream furniture can't touch. It seems the UK isn't the only nation in the grip of an antiques obsession as France is flocking to Paris for its vintage flea markets.
French chic furniture has never gone out of fashion, but as more old lofts are being reclaimed as homes, designers are opting to respect the history of the buildings by using original materials such as untreated steel and concrete for a versatile hard-wearing longevity. And it's the quirky vintage furniture finds from the streets of Paris's flea markets that really makes a home stand out from the crowd. Interior designers in London are picking up on the trend of rediscovering stylish home-ware and furniture that turn homes into treasure troves. Some of the furniture may be a little worn or used, but re-upholstering old sofas, chairs and furniture is a great way to maintain the authenticity of the classic furniture pieces while ensuring they're fit to impress.
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