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Curated By... Vinterior's Sandrine Zhang Ferron

Vinterior CEO and Founder, Sandrine Zhang Ferron joins us for the latest instalment of Curated By…

Following a career in finance, Sandrine Zhang Ferron founded Vinterior, a vintage marketplace ‘championing the unique, the interesting, and the timeless’.

We sat down with Ferron to discover the best vintage sellers, characterful purchases, and learn why eclectic style will always be in vogue.

How did you get into design?

I launched Vinterior after having my own struggle in finding quality pre-owned furniture with ease. I had just moved and wanted our new home to feel special so was immediately attracted to vintage as a way to create a characterful space. The difficulty was finding what I wanted – a Danish Poul Volther yellow armchair. I actually spent months searching fairs, shops, and online. Though I was eventually successful, it was this experience that made me want to create a platform that made shopping quality pre-owned furniture easier for others.

What is your design philosophy?

To inspire millions to choose vintage as a good alternative to buying new, by making it as easy as possible to shop. For us, it’s all about good quality, good looking, good for the planet pieces.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Eclectic, I like combining styles and eras, for example a mid-century chair in a living room with an antique mirror or a farmhouse kitchen table with Brutalist chairs, it’s about playing around with what works with my space.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I am of course on the Vinterior website a lot – and always have my eye on our new arrivals which is updated with thousands of pieces every week. My wish list is filled to the brim and our Stories section is also great for inspiration.

I always get excited by new restaurants and hotel openings in London. More and more are using vintage in their designs like the new Koko Club in Camden, the London Standard, and Maison Estelle.

Tell us about some of your favourite pieces you’ve come across to date…

The yellow Poul Volther chair I mentioned will always be a favourite along with my Togo sofa which is so comfortable for reading, watching TV, and having a nap.

Tell us about some of your favourite makers…

I love classic design. Michel Ducaroy’s Togo sofa is iconic. I also like Børge Mogensen, particularly the Spanish chair. When thinking of makers, some brilliant chefs also spring to mind – Santiago Lastra from KOL and Andy Beynon from Behind Restaurant because their food is delicious and they champion seasonal, local, and sustainable sourcing.

Some of your favourite places to shop for/source interiors…

Tekla fabrics have beautiful towels and sheets which are simple in design yet still feel indulgent. I also really like Edward Bulmer for eco-friendly paints. Kempton Market for the thrill of the hunt, although you need to wake up early to get the best deals. I also always try to visit antique markets when I travel as you can find great local gems (eg. bargain vintage demijohn bottles at the Sunday Consell market in Mallorca).

How does travelling influence your designs and tastes?

It is a great source of inspiration for me. My parents grew up in Communist China and experienced the Cultural Revolution and I was born there. We moved to France when I was young but as first-generation immigrants in the 90s the concept of design still felt alien and ‘bourgeoisie’ to them. Any purchase for the home was purely functional and focused on durability (for example protecting the dining table with a glass sheet). I discovered design and the value of marrying function with an aesthetic viewpoint later in life as I travelled and was exposed to designs from different cultures and eras.

I am inspired by restaurants, museums, hotels, cafés, and shops from around the world as each culture will use textures, materials, colours and shapes differently to create a specific mood, be it relaxing and peaceful or warm and joyful.

What are some tips you have on how our readers can bring a touch of Vinterior into their homes?

Follow your instincts, if you love something, buy it. There’s nothing worse than falling for something and finding out someone else got there first. With vintage, if you delay you may miss your chance to own the only one.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles. Mix designers, eras, and materials to add character rather than having everything, in say, mid-century teak.

Look for quality, named designers can be great for initial purchases if you don’t feel as familiar with the product and want to ensure the piece will be reliable. As an example, Robin Day is a great place to start for British mid-century modern design.

Investing and collecting items over time means you can find those special pieces that show off your character and will age well.


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