I love walking around the Marolles area on weekends and exploring all of the furniture and antique shops. Sunday morning is my favorite time for a stroll on Rue Blaes and Rue Haute, where most shops are open, unlike the rest of Brussels. I usually skip Place du Jeu de Balle because a lot of what’s for sale is really just junk. There are some other good flea markets in Brussels, but that’s for another post.
One of the best shops in the Marolles is Stefantiek. This place is a true treasure trove – it is jam-packed with all sorts of wacky and wonderful antiques and unusual home furnishings. You’ll notice the diverse collection of items as soon as you walk in the door – everything from as old post office box to neon signs to leather chairs to old metal desk lamps. Last time I visited the owner told me that he has to stop buying things for the store as he literally can’t fit another thing inside.
Based out of a warehouse in Bonheiden, Stefantiek has two stores in Brussels – one on Rue Blaes and one across from the Notre Dame de la Chapelle church. I prefer the second of the two, and always make sure to pop in when I’m in the area. The shop on Place de la Chappelle is easy to spot, as items for sale often spill on to the sidewalk.
The store is actually much larger than it first appears. If you make it through the crowded entrance, keep going, as you’ll find a huge selection of antiques and “bric-a-brac” (French for somebody’s junk which now can be used to decorate your house) towards the back. There are several narrow rows of old architectural elements and metal bits. If you’re really brave, head upstairs where few people go to find loads of old chairs, tables and upholstered furniture. I’ve spotted some lovely antique pieces and some funky retro items up there.
All the crazy stuff aside, I’ve actually managed to find some practical items for my house, including a fireplace grate and accessories. Even if you’re not looking for anything in particular, I would highly recommend a wander around Stefantiek. The entertainment value alone makes it worth the visit.
If you haven’t already been, another great place in Brussels to look for used furniture is Troc International. I go at least once a month as you never know what bargins you might find!