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Ditch the flat-pack furniture at London's best thrift shops

By
Kyra Hanson
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When it comes to furnishing your flat, old is the new new. London is full of secondhand shops, so chuck out the flat-pack furniture and spend your money on a one-off item instead. 

North

Mr All Sorts

Furniture and vintage accessories spill out on to the pavement from this overstuffed shop near Essex Road station. You really can pick up ‘all sorts’ here, from Moroccan lamps to a South Kensington traffic light. It might be a small place, but a quick rummage will reveal plenty to add style, character or clutter to your home. Though you’ll have to haggle to get a bargain: we overheard hat stands going for anywhere between £70 and £400. But if it’s good enough for Harry Styles – spotted here purchasing a flag, an old till, a retro clock and some animal horns – it’s good enough for us.

191 Northchurch Rd, N1 3NT. Essex Road rail. Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm.

East

Hackney Furniture

Hackney Furniture

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it, and it’s best to approach Hackney Furniture with that attitude since the owners have taken an organised-chaos approach to selling. Step inside to be greeted by two life-size jazz-singing waxworks. Behind them furniture is piled high, Jenga-style. Friendly staff will do their best to dig out what you seek. This family-run business has specialised in house and office clearance since 1982, amassing an interesting collection of coat stands and cabinets plus a tatty old rocking horse that gives the place a grandma vibe – all part of its charm.

Railway Arch 322, Andrews Rd, E8 4RP. Cambridge Heath Overground. Mon-Sun 9am-6pm.

South

Crystal Palace Antiques & Modern

Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern

If you’re after authentic antiques over car-boot tat, this is the place to go. Located in a former textile warehouse, it’s jam-packed with furniture over four floors, with dedicated areas for specific periods, from classic Victoriana to industrial design. Chairs dangle from ceiling beams and the light-filled space means that although there’s plenty to peruse, it doesn’t feel like you’ve walked into an episode of ‘Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder’. Prices range from pretty reasonable to properly wallet-bursting.

Imperial House, Jasper Rd, SE19 1SG. Crystal Palace Overground. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm.

West

The Furniture Gallery

The Furniture Gallery

The friendly husband-and-wife duo behind The Furniture Gallery have been in the area for three decades so know a fair bit about selling secondhand. Over the years they’ve amassed a brilliantly eclectic collection of retro items, solid-wood pine furniture, Tiffany lighting, knick-knacks and chandeliers so glitzy they could hang from Del Boy’s ceiling. Have a mooch around the spacious galleries and you’re sure to fall in love with more items than you can carry. But don’t fret because they also offer home deliveries.

102-104 Shepherds Bush Rd, W6 7PD. Goldhawk Rd. Mon 11am-6pm.

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