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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Old Swallow Brewery Antiques Warehouses

 Old Swallow Brewery Antiques Warehouses

The great thing about these warehouses,
 hidden down a side street in Arundel, is they are totally unexpected.

An antique & interiors emporium in the least likely place.
People just happen upon them.

Down a little alley in Arundel, and turning left,
 you will find three large warehouses. 

Once part of the 18th century Arundel Swallow Brewery, long since gone,
 they are now the perfect backdrop for antiques.

Three companies each with their own individual style.
Warehouses filled with collections of 
English and French decorative antique furniture and accessories.

As you come to the end of the alley, 
you could be forgiven for thinking you've come to the wrong place.
You might have to circumnavigate large lorries
 delivering either to the Co-op, or the fish and chip shop.

Maybe you think it looks a little down at heel.
It's not the most salubrious part of town.

Don't give up.
You've come this far.

Step into each of the warehouses and if you love
 decorative antiques, you will be delighted you made it.

Three warehouses.
Three companies.
Three styles.

One destination.

The first warehouse you come to is
French Loft

Rowland Leach worked in advertising in London for many years.

In 2000 he and his wife, Mary, bought West Stoke House in the Sussex countryside.
They transformed it from a private house into a Michelin star restaurant with rooms.
They later opened the Amelie and Friends restaurant in Chichester,
before turning to their passion for antiques.

French Loft is on two floors.
For many years it was the workshop of a local decorative ironworker.
Rowland, Mary and their right-hand man, Graham
had a massive job cleaning and renovating the building.

It paid off.

In the calm, beautiful showroom, you may find a
 French Art Deco butcher's block, chandeliers or an 
18th-century buffet deux corps alongside a Swedish larder cupboard 1816.

Harmony Antiques

In the next warehouse, you will find affable Steve Lawrence at 
Harmony Antiques.

Steve has an eclectic combination that includes garden pieces,
 1940's French tambour filing cabinets, perfect for home storage,
bleached oak mid-century French tables, and 19th-century French chairs ready for re-upholstery.

"At Harmony, our aim is to offer
 an interesting mix of Antiques,
 including furniture for interiors and
 gardens, lighting, paintings, ornaments for inside and out and quirky one-off objects."

You will find all his latest stock items on The Hoarde.

Arundel Eccentrics

Nass and Brenda are husband and wife and have lived in Arundel for over 30 years.
They are very much part of the Arundel community
 and live in a Victorian terraced cottage by the river with their spaniel puppy, Elsa.

Nass was once a PE teacher.
He later worked alongside Steve
 for a top English antique dealer.

Brenda nursed years ago, was Vegetarian Chef 
at West Dean College before setting up
 in the warehouses with two friends.
That was 24 years ago.

"The idea was to teach ourselves to 
paint and decorate furniture with
decoupage and sell on market stalls.

But we wound up selling from the warehouse.
Afterward, I worked for an antique dealer
 decorating with decoupage for several years.

For a while, I had a shop in Nineveh House

 a converted chapel in Tarrant Street,
 and a showroom/workshop in a barn on a farm in Binsted, 
a village just outside Arundel.

When the opportunity arose for Nass and Steve
 to set up we found the warehouse
 empty once again so all moved back.

Nass and I have a combination of
English and French decorative antiques.

It was the decoupage that brought us to the attention of Liberty in London.

In 2016 their buyer phoned to offer us space.
We were stunned.
Actually, when the call came we thought
 it was a friend from Arundel joking around.
I almost hung up.

 Arriving on set up day, we assumed it to be a small area. 
Our space turned out to be the entire room on the 4th floor.
We had to return with another van load.

The collection comprised English and French mid-century
 and antique decorative pieces.
English chests of drawers and Victorian bamboo tables,
 chests and bookcases with our trademark decoupage on black or gilt.
Vintage buckets, boxes and troughs upcycled
 with paint and decoupage were extremely successful.

We stayed until late 2018.

Last November we won the Arun Business Partnership Award
 for best small business.

We have quite a mix in our showroom.
Very popular are the mid-century
 French oak pieces that have been bleached. 

It gives a much lighter, more stylish look to the pieces. 
At the moment in the pale oak, we have cupboards,
 os de mouton chairs (or sheep's leg) and 1950's dining tables.

Our 1960's lights from the Rolls Royce Derby factory
 are very popular as are French 19th century chairs and marble top commodes."

You will find all details about us on

Have a great day