Tips For Buying Vintage Furniture
As I wrap up my design topic 'Vintage' for the month of May, I wanted to share my top tips for buying vintage furniture because let's face it, it can be a bit overwhelming because you don’t know which pieces to buy and which to avoid.
1. Avoid Pieces That Are Unstable
This seems like a given. If the piece has been exposed to water and/or extreme temperatures. These conditions cause wood to swell and shrink as well as loosening glue in joints and destroying paints and finishes. These pieces will not be functional again without a lot of repair.
2. Make Sure The Piece Fits In Your Space
If you are like me it is easy to get distracted by the beauty in a piece of furniture, but that doesn't mean it is going to be the right piece for your space. Prepare before shopping by making a list and taking measurements (height, width and depth) of the space you’re hoping to fill.
3. Avoid Pieces That Are Stained, Stinky, and Potentially Infested
As a matter of fact, burn them. Okay, obviously I'm not promoting arson here, but always give a piece of furniture the “sniff test”. Mustiness can be aired out, but strong pet or smoke odors are next to impossible to remove from all the layers of foam and batting.
4. Timeless Pieces Are Always A Win
The best thing about buying vintage or antique furniture is the timeless quality they give your space. If the style of a piece looked good 50 or 100 years ago and it still looks good today, it’s a purchase that’s likely to look good in another 50 to 100 years.
5. Just Because It's Cheap, Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It
When making a buying decision, take the price out of the equation. Even if it’s $5, would you pay more for it? Do you love it that much? Do you have the perfect spot for it? If the answer to those questions is yes, go for it! If you wouldn’t pay good money for it, it’s not worth buying.
These tips are based on years of experience shopping for, fixing up, and reselling antique and vintage furniture. I made all of the mistakes, so you won’t have to.
My mother rang me up last Wednesday night right before bed and told me she was interested in getting antique furniture. She was in the process of remodelling her living room and wanted to add these furnitures to elevate its look. I offered to help her look into it and that's where I found your very informative post here. I am most impressed with where you mentioned to prepare before shopping by making a list and taking measurements (height, width and depth) of the space you’re hoping to fill. This is a good point you bring up, which I'm sure those interested in getting these antique furnitures will be glad to be mindful of. Thanks for this! I'll be sure to share this with my mother later!
I like that you can use 50 to 100 years as a reference to see how timeless a piece will be. I am in charge of helping my sister redecorate her home and I think that some luxury hickory furniture would look really nice. She is looking to mix vintage and modern and I think that this could be a great fit for her.
Thanks for explaining that timeless pieces will continue to look good in your space for many years. I'm hoping to buy some antique furniture that can help spruce up my living room. It'll be nice to give my home a more vintage feel.
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Author, Candance Toscano
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