On a very rainy morning last week, we headed up to Camden to take refuge from the rain in the fabulous pop-up furniture shop held by Marden and Diagonal Furniture and hosted by the Camden Collective. In a nondescript shopfront opposite Lidl on Camden High Street, the space felt like an idyll of light, calm and absolutely beautiful furniture, lighting and decorative pieces.
We were hosted by Mario, the founder and owner of Diagonal Furniture, and we chatted to him about his background, his favourite pieces and the success of the pop-up.
Life in Berlin after the Fall
Living in post-Wall Berlin, Mario worked at vintage furniture shop Faster, Pussycat! in Kreuzberg just as furniture began to pass through from the former GDR. As the borders opened, Mario and his team were able to drive out to the German countryside and empty barn after barn of furniture to sell in Berlin. It was during this time that Mario discovered a real love for European post-war design.
Making the move to London
Sometime after this, London beckoned and Mario made the move over here. With a career spent working in retail and interiors at Pitfield London, Mario continued to nurture his love for beautiful, functional design furniture by collecting and dealing in the Ladderax shelving system. If you hadn’t already, we’d recommend checking out Ladderax pieces – a modular shelving and storage system invented by Robert Heal in 1964 for Staples of Cricklewood, London. With wooden elements, it’s a functional and warm system that we’re totally converted to.
It was in early 2014 that Mario took the leap to indulge his passion full-time and founded Diagonal Furniture.
A refreshing take on mid-century furniture
Mario stocks bright and and colourful pieces with a particular love for post-war Industrial Dutch furniture. When asked about his absolute favourite furniture piece, Mario is unequivocal – it’s the Revolt chair designed by Friso Kramer. These beautiful chairs were designed in the 1950s and became a staple chair in public spaces in Holland. Having fallen out of fashion for a few decades, they are now a veritable collector’s item – particularly the rarer, more colourful ones stocked by Mario. According to Mario, they are quite simply ‘the best chairs in the world’. Recommendations don’t come much higher than that!
Whilst the pop-up shop in Camden Collective closed on Sunday (boo!), both Marden and Diagonal Furniture have excellent, well-stocked websites and we’d highly recommend taking a trip over to each of them. There are tentative plans in the pipeline to host another pop-up or even a permanent showroom and we’ll keep you posted once we know about either!
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