Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter interior design; one size no longer fits all. Today clients and customers alike are looking for individuality in their interiors; opting for vintage is one way to achieve this. Seen in offbeat bars, chain restaurants, and even mass-market retail, we appear to be in the grip of a retro-revolution.
Will Hanness of The Old Cinema – a destination vintage furniture store – thinks there are plenty of reasons for our current obsession. “This kind of furniture is usually well-made, and is built to last” he says. He explains customers associate vintage with quality, and being environmentally friendly. Hanness also points out that the current economic climate has meant tastes have changed. “Our appetite for glamour, and shiny things has waned. People like things that are distressed and understated.”
Nostalgia also plays a part; “if people relate a memory to a piece, that is very attractive,” adds Hanness, “it can be poignant.”
It is clear talking to Hanness, that he thinks it is uniqueness that is the drive behind vintage furniture’s popularity within commercial interiors. “If you have a venue where you invite clients or customers, you want to make the best impression you can,” he says. “You want to seem like a unique company, with your own style? Opting for vintage furniture is a good way to go about it,” he advises
You can take Hanness at his word, as The Old Cinema is a growing success. Occupying a former picture house in West London, the store has been trading since 1989. Their roster of clients includes streetwear retailer Superdry, and hospitality group Soho House. Their stock appears in television, advertising, and film, even cropping up in the new Bond Skyfall.
Over the past 20 years, Hanness has seen his vintage customer change, alongside the trends within the market. “The Old Cinema’s customer base now covers a wide age range; buyers are in their early 20s, and onwards,” he says. Mid-20th century British labels have become popular, and a few years ago he began to see industrial furniture appearing in bars and restaurants. As for current trends, stripped and polished metals resonate, but for a more domestic look combine metal with wood; “it makes metal softer and more homely. That is popular right now,” Hannes says.
3D visualisation company MX 3D Models has been working with The Old Cinema to create models of their vintage items, available to download for designers. Picking highlight pieces from Old Cinema’s collection, MX has produced finely detailed models, built to original dimensions. These models mean designers and clients can now envisage the uniqueness that vintage can provide to a space, even in the early stages of designing. Models can be used alongside the iconic and contemporary items already available in the MX library. Easy to download, and royalty free, these products ensure designers can create high spec, holistic interiors for their clients.