Ten Reasons to Love Jan Deubel of Coroto Vintage


Quick Insight

When asked what first attracted him to vintage midcentury furniture, photographer-turned-dealer Jan Deubel says simply, “that perfect combination of beauty and functionality.” Jan joined forces with interior designer David d’Aubeterre in 2015 to open Coroto, one of the chicest vintage shops in Berlin, outfitted in a hip and stylish showroom on Karl-Marx-Allee.

This year, Jan and David discovered a new space just down the road and relocated Coroto a bit farther west. Jan enthuses, “We love our new showroom! The height of the ceilings; the gorgeous windows; one of the rooms still has the original 1950s wood paneling and a gorgeous folding door.” They worked hard to bring out the midcentury vibe in their new home, even excavating ceramic wall art that had been buried in decades of plaster. To celebrate the move, we invited Jan to give us a quick insight into his approach as a vintage dealer.

 

1. If you could travel back in time, when and where would you go?

We would love to travel back to 1950s Caracas, where David is from. It was such an exciting time with some of the world’s best architects realizing amazing projects like the university complex by Carlos Raúl Villanueva and the Villa Planchart by Gio Ponti.

2. If you could be any designer past or present, who would you be?

Finn Juhl. It would be amazing to understand his way of thinking and creating. To us, he is one of the true masterminds of furniture design.

3. What is the most exciting vintage piece you've come across in your scouting? Did you buy it?

It would be a huge bronze flamingo. And yes, we did buy it!

View of Caracas from the road of Los Españoles (1954) Photo © Graziano Gasparini; Urban Photography Archive Chieftain Armchair by Finn Juhl for Niels Vodder (ca. 1949), sold at Phillips auction in 2013 for £422,500 Photo © Phillips 4. Why do you think midcentury modern designs remain so popular today?

I think it’s because these pieces have so much character and bring a personal note to an interior. In those years, there were just so many immensely talented designers creating exceptional pieces.

5. What do you think remains undervalued or overlooked about midcentury modern today?

I think that Dutch midcentury designers have been overlooked. There are some very interesting pieces out there, like the F&T Chairs designed by Rob Parry (1953) and the Japanese Cabinets designed by Cees Braakman for Pastoe (ca. 1950s).

6. Name something that is becoming increasingly popular today that’s getting on your nerves?

Industrial-style design.

7. Which colors do you find always works with midcentury modern design?

In our store at Karl-Marx-Alle, we had one of the rooms painted in petrol blue, which works very well with wood and brass. Minimalist grey and white wall colors also complement midcentury modern design

8: What is your favorite thing to do on your days off?

Reading, listening to music, and going to our favorite restaurant.

9. What is your favorite design of all time?

It’s very difficult to choose just one—there are so many great designs—but ours would be the Chieftain Chair by Finn Juhl (ca. 1949). The beautiful combination of organic shapes and geometrical lines. Such a masterpiece!

10. If this beloved design were a song, which song would it be?

Elle et Moi by Max Berlin.

 

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