Vintage clothing shop owner turned celebrated Millers Antiques furniture maker Carmit Bamberger shares the joy of investing in classic design.

If you take great comfort in furniture passed down through generations, the stories in vintage pieces and how family businesses are reinvented to stay relevant – then you want to keep reading because Carmit Bamberger’s life and her reproduction furniture business encompass it all.

Carmit conveys her prize in being the third generation at the helm of Millers Antiques – the ninety years old landmark furniture store that is still located in its original premises and very much part of the vibrant commercial landscape of Maboneng.

Their style is very much influenced by its vintage furniture heritage with Carmen’s own take on the French Provincial look and clean modern finishes.

She’s ably assisted in creating her many pieces by a team of expert crafts people who pride themselves on creating furniture to last many lifetimes and that can be passed on within families. Like carpenter Agrippa Nxumalo who restores antiques and creates new reproduction pieces, and polisher Samson Mashiloane who treats the wood with the love and care it deserves. 

“Everything that we do here is as it was done over 100 years ago – so handcarved, hand finished, with a very authentic element to everything that’s done,” explains Carmen.  

Current orders include pieces for a tailoring business in Pretoria, a formal lounge in KZN, a restaurant in the DRC and a home in Joburg.

In producing furniture or collecting it, Carmit’s idea is to buy once, be conscious of sustainability and that classic style endures [and suits contemporary settings].

With new ideas and bold use of social media, business is through the roof.

“When I took it over, of course I had to think of a way to bring it into the current genre that we find ourselves in, in terms of decorating. It was an exciting challenge led by my husband Saul who introduced the element of painting the furniture.”

“The painting brought in the french style, and what has been most exciting I think for us recently is bringing in the natural wood finishes, more contemporary designs in fabric to update and reset the classic vintage look into a more modern context,” shares Saul.

Much as they love the vintage, these two find a sense of sanctuary in change. They refuse to be caught in just one frame of this movie called life.

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