Once upon a time, anyone with a penchant for industrial chic needed intimate knowledge of the salvage-yard circuit (and a loft fashioned out of a disused factory in an edgy part of town). These days, all that’s required are four walls and access to the internet.
I’m sure there are people who mourn the passing of self-sourced salvage, but for those of us too lazy, too busy or too lacking in creative vision to spot the gem among the dross, the arrival of the virtual vintage store is a very good thing indeed.
My latest discovery is Skinflint Design, an e-store specialising in European industrial lighting from 1900 to 1960. Think 1960s reclaimed paint works lights (£864), theatre projectors and stands (£816) and polished aluminium factory shades (£312).
Other than refurbishing these lights (where possible) so that they accept the latest energy-efficient light sources, each piece is left in its original glory. This is, of course, salvage speak for chipped, scuffed and dented but, as every vintage aficionado knows, it’s the marks of age that make the difference.
Precise stock depends on what the pair behind Skinflint (who are based in Cornwall) unearth on their travels. The day I logged on, for example, they had just bought a stash of 1930s pendant lights rescued from a Liverpool department store, £144 each. But if you have a taste for hard-edged, functional simplicity then you’re guaranteed to find something you like.
Pictured: table light, c1950s, £312.