Soon after investment banker Sandrine Zhang Ferron bought her London townhouse, a wild goose chase of sorts ensued. Her idée fixe? A yellow easy chair by Danish designer Poul Volther. The search lasted three months before she finally found it in a Hackney antiques store, prompting Zhang Ferron to conceive a better solution for disgruntled rummagers like herself.
Three years, a coding course and over 1,700 trusted dealers later, Zhang Ferron has established Vinterior as a major online marketplace for vintage furniture. “I wanted to move away from mass-produced flatpacks and source some pieces that would add character to my new home,” she recalls, adding that her personal collection now includes two Marcel Breuer Bauhaus-era Wassily chairs and a reupholstered example of Ligne Roset’s iconic Togo sofa – all of which have graced her website at one point or another.
The overarching e-store hosts some 100,000 pieces at any one time. They are loosely divided into 25 “styles”, including art deco, modern Scandinavian and midcentury. The latter is a strongpoint, currently offering a Hans J Wegner lounge chair (£4,574) in wonderfully patterned cowhide; a bold French-brass and opaline chandelier (£1,540) by Arlus; a chrome and glass étagère (£1,750) by Design Institute of America; and a pair of Type 300 177 “Bunny” armchairs (£700), the enduring 1960s design of Józef Chierowski. Art deco finds include rare and sought-after armchairs by renowned Czech designer Jindrich Halabala (£5,308 a pair), while curiosities and objets d’art also abound, from a 1990s chrome centrepiece by Ettore Sottsass (£1,350) to a Verner Panton Moon pendant (£650).
And if browsing proves fruitless, the site offers direct communication with dealers and dedicated support staff who can help source specific items. They also ensure that each piece – be it a statement Pierre Chapo dining table (£13,102) or a 1970s Beni Ouarain Oberon rug (£4,000) – is reflective of the craftsmanship, style and provenance that inspired Zhang Ferron to begin her hunt in the first place.