If I could attempt another career it would probably have to be interior design. I’ve always been fascinated with architecture and design, and would love to have enough money to redecorate my entire house. Until that day comes, I’m making do by relying on bargains, a lot of DIY and a little bit of creativity. One of the best places in Brussels that combines all of these is Troc International.
If you like a treasure hunt or are just looking for some inexpensive home furnishings, you have to check out one of the four locations in Brussels. Troc, which means barter in English, is a European-wide chain of stores that buy and sell used furniture of all types, and often at very low prices.
This kind of shopping requires frequent visits, a sense of imagination and patience. There is quite a bit of junk to weed through but I’ve hit the jackpot on a couple of recent trips, scoring an antique lamp for €1 and an upholstered bench for €30. Even if I come up empty-handed, the trip is always worth it just to get inspired and look at all the crazy stuff.
My €1 lamp repainted and with new lampshade
I regularly visit two of the Brussels locations – Chaussée de Louvain in Evere and Avenue Hansen-Soulié in Etterbeek. The Etterbeek store has a great selection of mid-century and retro pieces, like bright orange swivel chairs and funky light fixtures, as well as French bergère chairs and armoires. The Evere location is much larger, but parking is tricky. There doesn’t seem to be a best time of week/day to go, as they are constantly receiving new items. They don’t negotiate too much on prices but you can still find some great deals.
Troc has a good website, where you can review the current selection at each store and find details about selling furniture.
Chaussée de Louvain, 992
Tel: +32 2 726 63 36
Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6:30pm
Avenue Hansen-Soulié, 46-48
Tel: +32 2 732 34 56
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6:30pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm
Image via Le Soir.