Habitat be damned. For authentic French fashions look no further than Nice’s second-hand emporiums.
With €500 in hand we hit three second-hand megastores. Our mission? To add Gallic flair to our fictional pied-à-terre for the price of a Habitat chair.
Week 3: Caverne Laine Depot-Vente
In a line: Two floors of browseable tat
Design: Bankrupt aristocracy
Deal of the day: Intricately carved hardwood rocking chair (€39)
Dud of the day: Salt & pepper shakers in shape of Queen Nefertiti (€3)
Details: 23 rue Scaliero
Description: There are gems aplenty at this depot-vente. Better still, all stock has been pre-selected by the proprietors, the Laine family, so absolute junk rarely makes the shelves. Hardwood furniture, heavy objets d’arts and homewares predominate, making it a great spot to furnish an entire apartment. Bona fide antiques make it into the counter-side display cabinet. Items include a silver Christofle desk clock (€59), Mont Blanc fountain pen (€90), Omega pocket watch (€200) and gold Dupont lighter (€79).
Opportunities abound for ‘upcycling’ too. Vintage bottles with jam-jar stoppers (€1) make for great vases. Rickety wooden chairs (from €5) could serve as funky bedside tables with a lick of Provençal white paint. Heavy though it is, collections of pewter cookware (€40) and fine china dining sets (from €25) add a touch of class to any Ikea table. However, the vast collection of vinyl records, VHS cassettes and CDs cast a dustily forlorn figure on the top floor. iTunes has a lot to answer for.
1930s carved glass and copper chandelier €50
Vintage fold-out secretaire table with red leather writing platform and matching chair €99
Crushed velvet chaise-longue €100
32-piece white china dining set €45
Campari ice-bucket €4
1970s two-tiered marble-topped hardwood sideboard with bevelled glass display €140
Canvas safari-style magazine rack €5
1980s twin mirror-topped bedside tables €50
Panama hat €5
Grand total: €498