The backstreets of Sanlitun South
just got hipper thanks to Pop-Up
Beijing, a home décor shop that lifts
Chinese antiquities from the rubble
and revitalises them with a touch
Launched by design duo Vito
Zhang and Glenn Schuitman, Pop-
Up Beijing feels similar in many ways
to Lily’s Antiques, the gorgeous
furniture shop in the city’s famed
furniture market Gaobeidian.
That’s because Schuitman, a
Kiwi designer, was Lily’s former
chief designer and stylist for
two years before branching out on
The 160sqm loft-like space
is artfully decorated with works
by emerging Chinese artist Kim
Xu (starting at 4,500RMB) and
centuries-old Qing and Ming
shelves, tables and chairs that are
lacquered up in contemporary, bright
hues to contrast the ageing wood.
Custom tables, couches and chairs
made from elm and walnut can also
be made to order.
At the centre of the showroom
sits a round, lacquered white table
listed for 8,000RMB; a larger, solid
elm table – fitted with garden hoes
as cross braces in a playful touch –
goes for 16,000RMB.
One of our favourite pieces
is the maogui or ‘cat cabinet’
(14,550RMB), a mahogany antique
food pantry inscribed with the
characters for the four seasons.
Wooden frames shielding the
shelves beneath the pantry were
intended to keep your cat’s paws off
the food, according to legend.
Dotted around the shop are
potted herbs and succulents
(40RMB) and glistening porcelain
vases (1,540RMB), tea sets
(785RMB) and cups (28 RMB) by an
artist referred to as ‘Brother Wang’
from Jingdezhen, the ‘porcelain
capital of China’, lending the space
some rustic charm. No matter what
your budget, you can find something
to brighten up your home.
Take for example, the comical
pillows shaped with prints of
sardines, cupcakes and baguettes
(starting at 265RMB) from local
Pop-Up aims to share its space
with the artistic community by
transforming it with – yep, you
guessed it – pop-up events such as
monthly flea markets by emerging
designers, wine tastings, art
exhibitions, even Sunday afternoon
jazz. With a new liquor licence in
hand, Schuitman plans to put a
handful of tables inside the shop
where he will serve drinks.
‘It’s called Pop-Up not because
we’re transient, but “pop-up”
because we want to head up events
and have them popping up in our
space,’ says Schuitman.
‘We want to show curated living,
not just with interiors or homewares,
but a selection of things that really
enhance people’s lives, whether
that’s a beautiful vase we designed
or really good cup of coffee.
Something that lifts someone’s
spirits and makes them feel
special for a moment... that’s our