Just Be Retro was started by designer and restoration expert John Barlow in 2014. At Just Be Retro we have a passion for buying, selling and restoring vintage furniture. Though we can restore anything, we focus predominantly on Mid-Century pieces, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s furniture and favour British and Scandinavian design.
If you're browsing our site, the chances are you're looking to buy vintage furniture. Hopefully you love the retro style as much as we do and recognise the opportunity to own something unique rather than modern mass-produced furniture. We buy and bring back to life retro classics from well-known manufactures like G-Plan, Ercol and McIntosh. However, we're also expert in restoring the work of forgotten companies such as Elliots of Newberry, Jentique and Alfred Cox.
Having made furniture for over 30 years we have the skills necessary to return a piece back to its former glory. Based in Birmingham we have a well equipped workshop that can restore or tailor any piece of furniture to suit a client’s requirements.
We don't believe that retro and vintage furniture improves with age. It's normal for furniture to get worn and tired from everyday use. We don't just say this is commensurate with age. Furniture that's seen better days can be given a new lease on life with due care and attention, and good furniture can last a lifetime with careful restoration. At Just Be Retro, we honour the designers that came before us by carefully restoring our furniture down to the finest details.
After completing my BA in design in 1984, I set up my first workshop in Shropshire developing uses for fresh-cut Green Timber and producing one-off pieces of furniture on commission.
I began working with local dealers to restore their furniture, predominantly Victorian and Georgian pieces and developing a love for the art and craft furniture restoration. I continued making furniture for both the commercial and domestic market and, after moving my workshop to Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, I returned to furniture restoration - this time focusing on my true passion by rekindling my love of Mid-Century design.
Every day I get to do a job I love and I'm thrilled to be able to share my passion and expertise with others, selling throughout the UK and Europe.
Buying or restoring vintage furniture helps the environment. While a new piece of furniture uses raw materials to produce, recycling the treasures from our past not only saves landfill space, but trees too. Much of the finest old growth hardwood was used to make furniture decades ago. Salvaging these irreplaceable pieces of furniture is a sustainable, eco-friendly means of owning high-quality, unique and fully functioning furniture.
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