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Sam's guide to Buying Vintage French Decor

Where to go to in France to  find time-worn treasures to inject a little French chic chez vous

Here we take a look at some of the venues where you can procure those vintage pieces to give your home that French feel.

Vide Greniers - These are street sales held in villages throughout France. Generally, each village has a sale like this once a year where locals can put up a table outside of their house, and sell the things they no longer want. Vide grenier loosely translates to empty attic, and here you will find the same range of things that are available at Car boot sales or garage sales. Everything from second-hand baby clothes and equipment, to antiques, although you may have to rummage! There are small calendars available in Tabac shops and supermarkets, which list all the Vide greniers in a given area, by date, throughout the year. There are also some good websites which give the same information, such as:

Brocantes - A term used for both Antique Fairs and antique shops. Usually the items are older and more expensive than the other venues, but you still may find a bargain if you search well enough. Do not be surprised if you find the items in the shops thick in dust, many French antique dealers do not clean and polish their goods, preferring to leave that to the new owner. But if you are willing to put in the work you will be rewarded with some lovely finds.

Depot Vente - This is a kind of second hand shop, where members of the public can drop off their items and the shop keeper sells them on their behalf for a commission of around 30%. Here, there is no limit to how old or new something can be, so you might find tv’s and white goods alongside antique furniture, mid-century lighting and vintage table linens and sheets. Depot ventes can usually be found in most large towns and you take pot-luck as to what you may find within.

Marché au puces - Flea markets, can be held in the street or in a hall, and are usually on at regular intervals such as fortnightly, or monthly. Mainly dealers are to be found selling vintage and antique items at reasonable prices and most will negotiate a good deal, particularly if you buy a group of items. 

Le Bon Coin - An online marketplace where individuals advertise things they have for sale, you can find most things here, cars, houses, jobs, second hand, vintage, antiques etc. You can search by area, as many items are to be collected, but some vendors will post smaller pieces.

Etsy - If of course you are not able to shop in France in person, then Etsy is a great place to find vintage French items, most shops ship worldwide. Type “vintage French” in search to begin discovering. Check out our shops here:,,

I hope you found this guide interesting and useful, and if you are looking to find some vintage French treasures for yourself - Bonne chance!


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I'm going to hold onto this for reference. I wasn't familiar with the various terms. Thank you Sam.


Helpful content. Thanks.

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