Whether you’re in the market for Louis XV armoires, retro French signage or authentic, monogrammed linens – take your pick at these well stocked online ‘brocantes’…
Devon-based Violet Grey source the finest garden antiques from across France. Think verdigris patina stone urns, ornate ironwork benches and garden sculptures – all with beautiful aged character that you just can’t fake. Their immaculate edit of pots, planters and beautiful 60s designer cane furniture doesn’t stick around for long, catch them whilst you can.
Over 8,000 items are listed under the ‘French Antiques’ category on Vinterior - the online vintage interiors mecca. You can narrow the vast catalogue down and choose from household items big and small – there are vast armoires and chateau-worthy pieces, alongside retro vintage posters and rustic chic kitchenalia. The great thing about Vinterior is that you get the expert sourcing and impeccable taste of antique dealers, but the professionalism and customer services of an online retailer.
Forget poking around in dusty warehouses and sharpening your elbows at the crack of dawn at flea markets – Selency is a vintage and antiques platform, for both professional dealers and private sellers to sell their wares in a modern, streamline way. Co-founder, Maxime sites his aim to grow Selency to become the ‘Farfetch of decoration’. While partner Charlotte curates themed edits, with inimitable French taste. There is a ‘premium’ feel to the site and a vast array of categories to choose from – the art section is filled with ink sketches from the archives of French fashion houses, alongside crumbling plaster busts, while the kids’ section is a delight of wooden toys and timeless games.
Decorative Collective, based in Sussex focuses on the quirky and unusual – with a particular bent for mid-century decorative pieces – stocking 24,000 pieces on its online inventory. The ‘Curiosities’ section includes fascinating curios, from 19th century European industrial lasts (think French glove makers and Italian milliners) to Victorian shop signage and globally sourced artefacts. If you’re after a unique present, they’ve got great ideas in the ‘his and hers’ gift sections.
Sister site of Decorative Collective, The Hoarde offers more affordable antiques, 20th Century pieces and vintage objects such as reclaimed cinema seats, reconditioned lighting and retro French kitchenalia. Less ‘chateau chic’ more Parisian apartment cool.
The French Depot
Selling mainly new French furniture, The French Depot is worth a visit, as the antique bed category is to die for. Choose from on-trend original cane sleigh beds, plump upholstered chinoiserie day beds and beautifully carved cherry and rosewood children’s beds. Pay less than the ‘repro’ versions and get the real deal.
Established in 1999, Antiques Atlas, as the name may allude, sources antiques – globally. There are categories for locations as far-flung as Australia and Japan; closer to home the French section is 25,000 items strong – ranging from oversized ornate gilt mirrors, to impressive chandeliers and more small-scale items, too. Whether you’re in the market for jewellery, furniture or art from across the channel, ranging from the 17th century to retro mid-Century, you are sure to find what your heart desires.
Jack Harness, the man behind Arcadia Antiques has been scouring the continent for country antique furniture for nearly 30 years – filling his 10,000 sqft warehouse on his farm in Warwickshire with incredible untouched finds. Original-painted rustic dressers with incredible patina, scrubbed oak tables and distressed mirrors are all there for the picking. All restored, yet mindfully not to be stripped of their history. A great destination if you are looking for rustic French style without too much polish but a good dollop of charm.
The French House
The French House has showrooms in London and York but also operates online selling antique furniture, mirrors and reclaimed decorative items and lighting imported from France. There is a good stock of garden chairs, distressed metal and painted pine furniture.
The Old Cinema
The Old Cinema in Chiswick, West London has an equally bulging online store – filled to the brim with French finds. There are Art Deco rosewood cocktail cabinets that you can imagine served sundowners to starlets on the French Riviera, to 19th century French apothecary cabinets, filled with the original bottles… you can browse dealer by dealer, or simply disappear down a rabbithole of gorgeous vintage finds.
From Bedroom to Boudoir