You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that everything old is new again. Vintage furniture is definitely in the midst of a renaissance. No longer the domain of your Nanna and Grandad, today’s savvy homewares shoppers are constantly seeking out the next new (but old) big thing.
Inner-city hubs have long been the barometer of furniture chic, and the vintage trend has well and truly taken off at style mavens Matt Blatt and Replica Furniture, which both have substantial showrooms in Newstead. Companies like these offer plenty of vintage style by recreating modern replicas for a generally affordable price. However, half the fun of vintage is the thrill of the chase and finding a truly unique piece, which you’ll definitely achieve if you dig a little deeper for a well-loved original.
Brisbane has plenty of antique warehouses, but two notable centres are on Wellington Road in Woolloongabba and Latrobe Terrace in Paddington. These are truly heaven for the eagle-eyed vintage shopper. Dozens of sellers curate the wild, wacky, rare and resplendent: from tea cups to typewriters and vinyls to vintage Vegemite signs. Bigger ticket items like tables, couches and bookshelves can also be picked up in these centres. Some look a little worse for wear, but are well worth a mini-makeover to bring back to their former glory. It’s easy to lose a day in here, so bring your tape measure and start planning your 70s overhaul or deco glam renovation.
For more of a grassroots vintage experience, consider heading out to the Mt Gravatt Markets held at the showgrounds on Logan Road. Run every Sunday, this market is handy for a little scavenging in the flea market, or picking up some fresh veggies on the farmer’s side of the market. Private sellers open up their car boots, offering up treasures old and new.
Of course, for vintage homewares with a charitable conscience, local charity stores are a great place to start. Lifeline, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army all source and sell second-hand furniture and homewares. Some of it might be a little bit daggy at first glance, but you’d be hard pressed to walk out of a charity shop without a new piece of crockery with a retro fantastic vibe.
One of vintage furniture’s biggest selling points is its commitment to environmental sustainability. Reverse Garbage recycles key pieces from the past by collecting high quality industrial discards and diverting them from landfill. They also hold regular workshops on eco-art for pre-schoolers right through to adults, spreading the vintage love across the generations.
With a great range of vintage stores in Brisbane, we’re really spoilt for choice. Whether you’re re-modelling a mid-century classic, decorating a deco apartment or collecting curiosities for a colonial, there are plenty of options to help you get into the vintage swing of things.