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Tuesday 24 April 2012

Typewriters & Teacups: East London's Best Vintage Home Shopping

East London, especially the Brick Lane area, is littered with the most amazing vintage furniture shops around. There is a real appetite and passion for vintage, shabby chic decor right now and there are no signs of this trend fading any time soon. It's not to everyone's liking but I personally love the quirks of the imperfections that come with each piece ... scratches, peeling paint, that rough round the edge look and feel. So much more appealing than opting for clinical IKEA clones. Treat your house as you treat your wardrobe - you wouldn't be seen dead wearing the same dress as another girl to a wedding so why invest in furniture that every other Tom, Dick and Harry has!

On that note, let me share with you my winning selection of vintage stores that deserve a visit...

1. Grenier is a gorgeous little vintage shop I am drawn to each time I walk along Bethnal Green Road. The window display is always so inviting and charming with a mish mash of chairs, apple crate storage boxes and retro suitcases.  Plus if you're after a quick buck, they also buy-in vintage trinkets (provided they're in good nick) and give you cash in hand - easier than eBay!

146 Bethnal Green Road
E2 6DG
020 7790 7379 / 07720 890393

Opening hours: 
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 - 19:00
Wednesday closed
Sunday: 10:00 - 19:00

2. If you're into quirky interior finds, Type is the shop for you! Selling a whole host of unusual items such as retro cameras up-cycled into quirky lamps, vintage typewriters with a story to tell and hand-painted crockery so beautiful that it should only be admired from a distance and NOT touched! Browsers can also enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee whilst they peruse the eclectic stock - my idea of the perfect Sunday! I've also read that there is a back room that at present is being transformed into a secret bookshop for friends, family and people in the know ... how very Shoreditch of them!

138 Bethnal Green Road
E2 6DG
020 3489 7644

3. The next on the list is Blitz, known as East London's vintage department store! It's pretty massive spanning across five rooms and like Type, it also serves great Italian coffee and provides plenty of room to kick back and rest those shopping tired tootsies! Selling everything from vintage fashion, old-school cooler than cool Swatch watches, to to-die-for homeware interior goodies! When I visited last weekend the lighting selection was really rather impressive, take a peek at my images below and see for yourself...! I actually later learnt that Le Grenier (above) also supplies Blitz with items. Winner winner chicken dinner!

55-59 Handbury Street
E1 5JP
020 7377 0730

4. 2nd Time Around is just a hop, skip and a jump from Mile End tube station. Shabby inside and out, but full to the brim with vintage treasures ... granny lamps complete with retro fringing, gorgeous chunky wall mirrors, ornate dressing tables and china trinkets that would have your Auntie Pearl squealing with glee! Reasonably priced items that will transform your house in a jiffy...

2nd Time Around
218 Bow Common Lane,
Mile End, 
E3 4AU
020 8980 2842

Take your pick you won't be disappointed, however if I were you I would block out an afternoon and fill it with a mosey around all four!  Happy shopping!

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