Christine Preisig goes shopping for fabulous vintage finds in Shoreditch
There’s a treasure trove for unique, vintage furniture and quirky toys, tools and ceramics, from the 50s, 60s and 70s on Shoreditch High Street.
And compared to the vintage shops elsewhere on the street, the items at Restoration Station are a real bargain.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, Restoration Station’s workshop transforms into a friendly little shop, selling mid-century and antique pieces of furniture that have been carefully restored by a small team of volunteers.
Restoration Station is part of the New Hanbury Project, a training and development centre for people in recovery from addictions. The volunteers are all recovering addicts. Most of them have previously been trained in woodwork and restoration at classes held by the project in the same place.
In the more than three years that the shop has been open, the volunteers and managers
have developed a sure feeling for what the design savvy local clientele is after. New stock comes in mainly through donations and turnover is fast as there isn’t much storage space on the premises. So it’s worth popping in regularly to browse the collection for new finds.
Most pieces have been repaired, hand-finished and sometimes up-cycled. If you see furniture in the shop that hasn’t been touched by the restorers, you can decide how exactly you’d like to have it done up.
Restoration Station also offers bespoke furniture restoration and commissions for shop fittings and furniture pieces made with reclaimed materials at low prices.
A social enterprise and not-for-profit business, the focus is on making a difference in the volunteers’ lives.
“It’s not the goal to turn people into professional woodworkers.” Paul, a volunteer, explains.
“The main thing is about building up confidence, social skills, and giving people structure. Most students come from rehab and the work here is like an after-care.”
“For me, it was about getting involved with people and moving forward. To work in a team and to be among people in the shop helped me.”
Inspired and motivated by what he has learned at the classes and through his work at Restoration Station, Paul went on to do a two-year plumbing course, which he has just successfully completed.
For free quotes on repairs and restoration email
The Restoration Station, 118 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JN.