Regular visitors to Shoreditch will no doubt have walked past this little studio hundreds of times without realising what treasures lay behind its unassuming entrance.
Restoration Station is a furniture workshop making a big different to the lives of London’s most vulnerable residents. On Thursdays and Fridays, they swing open their distressed wooden doors to sell a range of vintage wares – from antique furniture to quirky collectables – stunningly hand restored by people who are recovering from addictions.
The raw materials are sourced from donations and carefully selected for quality – they’ll even send over a van if you’ve got something that fits the bill. And unlike most of the other stores in the area, they manage to keep the prices pretty reasonable without compromising on style and quality. For customers who want an extra personal touch, there’s also a bespoke service; bring in your old furniture and have it transformed it into something special.
Restoration Station is owned and operated by the brilliant Spitalfields Crypt Trust – a local addiction-recovery charity, offering everything from supported housing to work experience. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because they’re also the guys behind the delectable Paper and Cup cafe just around the corner.
The workshop staff are all part of the charity’s life-changing training and personal development programme, The New Hanbury Project. Many students are welcomed into the Project straight from rehab and besides the vocational training, they can also receive regular counselling to support their recovery. Above all, many participants talk about the huge confidence boost they’ve received from working in the shop and interacting with customers. If you’re interested in reading more about the incredible recovery stories behind the charity’s work, the website is well worth a gander.
Restoration Station is located at 116-118 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JN. The workshop is open on Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
We’ll be featuring more of London’s amazing upcycling hubs over the coming week – come back for more unique and antique vintage treats.