Manager Florian von Holstein and co-owner Sandra Tietje deal in high-quality vintage design furniture. While much of their business, as elsewhere in the sector, is conducted over the Internet, they insist on operating a traditional store. Direct contact with their customers is important to them. And they know that his furniture, lighting and other design objects at times present a more convincing case “in the flesh” than pictured on their website. Leasing typical shop premises in 2008, therefore, von Holstein opened “Firma London” in Berlin – the name reminiscent of the city in which he had previously lived for years. In an old building on Bleibtreustraße, right in the historic centre of Berlin-West, he found what he was looking for: one and a half rooms of around 70 square metres, with ceilings as high as four metres, and a shop window large enough to allow a full view of the store. This space serves von Holstein and Tietje both as a showroom and an office, in which they present a selection of carefully arranged items from their collection in a constantly changing display. Focus is given to mid-century design. But you will also find classics from the Bauhaus era here, next to outstanding postmodern pieces that have enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years. A prominent part at Firma London is played by magnificent, often room-filling chandeliers made of glass in the style especially of Italian designers in the 1950s and 1960s.
Brilliant in every respect, these objects though soon revealed a particular problem to von Holstein and Tietje, requiring them to spend much time looking, in vain, for a convincing solution: suitable lighting for the salesrooms, where they present a variety of different luminaires, furniture and other home décor objects in a small space.