If you’ve ever wondered what happens to unwanted furniture in Lisbon, look no further than the bars, restaurants and art shops in the cool parts of town.
Not one of the establishments I visited during a recent visit to Lisbon had matching chairs, which is fine by me, except when they retain an odd whiff of cat pee. The funky lounge of our hotel combined sofas to sink into with retro metal chairs. I’m not convinced by the rusty metal stool they put on our balcony but overall, the effect was eclectic and stylish.
Mismatched wooden chairs added to the character of Café Buenos Aires with its burgundy walls, aged wooden shutters and candlelight. Wrought iron bedsteads have been re-purposed and transformed into comfy, romantic seats with canopies and cushions at Lost In in Principe Real, perfect for lounging and admiring the view across Lisbon’s city centre to the castle on the opposite hill.
The creative potential of rejected furniture inspires Gezo Marques, a Brazilian man who transforms ugly, old-fashioned furniture into functional works of art, like this set of drawers.
He also uses old picture frames, wooden toys and other nick-knacks to create wooden collages and chandeliers.
Of course, Gezo is not the only artist in Lisbon who does amazing things with old furniture. João Mouro does a fine job, too.
Where to buy second-hand furniture in Lisbon
Take a walk up Rua do São Bento, away from the grandiose parliament building. As well as countless antique shops, you’ll see rocking chairs and other second hand furniture on the pavement. Many of these will have been previously abandoned to the city streets, only to be nabbed by someone with an entrepreneurial or artistic eye.
Alternatively, you could head to the Feira da Ladra (Flea Market) in Graça on a Tuesday or Saturday where you’ll find all manner of oddities for sale.
You might even find something that’s been left in the street as rubbish. If you want it for yourself, take it immediately. Someone else will probably grab it if you don’t!
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