Nina Hertig, founder of Ælfred

Co-founder of Sigmar, an interior design company and gallery, last autumn Nina Hertig opened Ælfred, London's biggest showroom of Scandinavian midcentury furniture. The 300 metre industrial space in Hackney Wick features designers such as Louis Poulsen, Royal Copenhagen, Artek and Alvar Aalto with an emphasis on affordability and sustainability.

A Little Bird Nina Hertig Aelfred

What is it about midcentury modern Scandinavian furniture that you think people find so appealing? 

The quality is generally better than most other things made in the 20th century and it is so simple, it is easy blend it into many different styles . The intention was to do things better and to reflect the world around us – that still shows many decades later.  Plus it’s a great way to shop ecologically: second-hand furniture is a sustainable way of shopping.  These products are so well made they have lasted for decades and they have decades more left in them.

What prompted you to open Ælfred?

We knew all these piece were available and wanted to be able to share them with London. The only way to do it was to scale up which is what we have done with Ælfred. We also wanted to making it attractive to buyers to come out to see it in person as it is much more likely that you will find something to buy.

The warehouse is next to a forthcoming Moro restaurant.  Where do you like to eat in London?

I love Morito in Hackney Road. Another favourite is Brunswick House in Vauxhall .

Which other interior designers do you admire?

There are so many great designers out there – India Mahdavi (below is her collaboration with Svenskt Tenn), P Joseph, Maddux Creative to name a few.

A Little Bird India Mahdavi Svenskt Tenn

If you could only own three pieces of furniture, what would they be?

Carl Auboeck Treetrunk Table, our old Finn Juhl sofa which gets battered on a daily basis and a 1930s Kaare Klint sofa – or any one of them .

Which auctions and markets do you like to buy at?

I’m slightly ashamed to say I really don’t like markets, I find them overwhelming and not always in a good way.
A Little Bird Nina Hertig Marie Louise Hoestbo
What are your favourite IG accounts to follow?

Which is your favourite hotel?

We did have a magical stay at The Viceroy in Los Angeles recently.

A Little Bird Viceroy Hotel

What does integrity in design mean to you?

When it all works together: intention, expression and quality of execution.

What is your top tip for home renovations?

Do something you love and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Please tell us your top 3 items from the warehouse at the moment?

The vintage copper cooking pots, Modular solid pine bookcases and the Aalto table and chairs.

A Little Bird Aelfred

Ælfred, Unit 2B, Autumn Yard, 39 Autumn Street, Bow,E3 2TT.

For more details, visit

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