Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The dos and don’ts of buying vintage furniture – What to look out for and how to get the biggest bang for your buck


Buying furniture is always a tricky task, regardless of what kind of furniture you’re aiming to buy. It is due to all the different aspects of it that you need to keep into consideration. Will it fit in your living room? Will the colors match the ones that are already running across your hallways? How well will that new Mid Century Modern Dining Table match with the rest of your furniture? All these questions are often unanswered until the decisive moment of purchase. But not having a plan beforehand leads most times to scenarios in which people are unhappy with what they’ve bought. It is avoidable, and you can make sure that whatever you purchase from the local antique store or online will have a solid spot in your home. Both you and your guests will appreciate the beauty of a properly managed vintage piece of artwork. To do this, you just need to pay mind to some simple tips and keep a couple of others into account as well. With that said, if you’re ready to venture into the land of vintage furniture and get a better idea of what you need to do before buying, let’s carry on and start digging into the solid advice we’ve prepared for you.

Look beyond the first impression
First impressions are of course crucial and once made, they cannot change. However, when it comes to furniture and especially vintage furniture, you should try and look past those first impressions. What may look unattractive or unpolished right now could turn into something entirely new (so to speak) that will do wonders for your interior décor. You like that vintage chair but don’t agree with the color it has? Or maybe the paint is chipped off in many places, completely ruining the integrity of the piece. These are scenarios in which you should get that chair, keeping in mind that it’s only a fresh coat of paint away from being a perfect addition to your vintage collection. The same thing can go for any furniture.  Try to look into the future when you’re looking at vintage furniture, and try to assess what it would look like with a bit of maintenance.

The bones of furniture piece are the most important
This kind of ties in with the previous bit of advice, in the sense that you shouldn’t judge the integrity of a piece of furniture by its exterior appearance. Just as a chair can be re-painted, so can glass, tapestry and any other kind of material see improvement at the hand of a talented, contemporary artisan. Keeping this in perspective, the most important part of any furniture is its bones. To be more precise, we’re talking about what could refer to as the skeleton of that furniture piece.  The part of it that holds everything together is the most important one, and as long as that one is in good health, the overall furniture piece still has a chance to play a valuable role in your home’s décor.

Measure before shopping, don’t shop before stepping
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as it refers to the necessity of measuring the space you have in your house or apartment before you set out to buy more furniture. There’s no use for a beautiful closet or dining table if you don’t have room in your home for it. Therefore, making sure that you would have a place to put it in is essential when going vintage shopping. Even more so that regular furniture, old furniture might require some extra breathing room around it in support of its more fragile state or the aesthetic it’s trying to pull off. Take a good measurement tape and see precisely how much room you can spare before going to your local vintage furniture shop. 

Once you are ready to spend your money, however, don’t contemplate too much on where everything is going, either. While it is important to assess the relationship between space and the actual furniture, you should also trust your heart.  If you like something and you know you have the room for it, buy it. You can figure out precisely how it’s going to go inside a room once you get there.

Expand your shopping horizon
We previously mentioned shopping from your local shop. It brings us to another vital topic, which is getting into the habit of checking more markets for quality and beautifully crafter vintage pieces. It’s not just the local shops of specific interest that hold important pieces, but also the various vendors you can find online. There are countless shopping opportunities online, with many different vendors offering incredibly beautiful and rare pieces that would do wonders for your vintage collection.

Right now, you might be wondering just what kind of merchants you can find online. The beauty of the online medium is that it has no boundaries and you can find anything if you look in the right places. You can visit antique shops that have an online website, where they display larger stocks of available furniture, which isn’t available for display in physical stores. You can also get in touch with individual vendors that want to sell a vintage piece inherited from their great, great aunt. Many people sell many things for different reasons, and having access to the platform on which they decide to auction them is highly beneficial for you.

Beware of cheap fakes
Usually, when it comes to antiques, if a price is too good to be true, that’s because it is. Many people thrive off of selling cheap knockoffs to unsuspecting people that just like the idea of owning vintage furniture. To protect yourself from these people, it’s important to take the time and examine the merchandise you are thinking about buying. It’s a lot easier than you might think, especially with the modern tools we have at our disposal today. If a vintage piece of furniture is authentic, it should bear the mark of its original designer somewhere on it. Look for this mark and once you find it, use your phone to Google that designer and get more information about them and the furniture you’re trying to buy. If the vendor you are dealing with seems offended or actively protests to your inquiries, you should consider looking for furniture somewhere else. An honest vendor that sells the real deal will not mind you being cautious. In fact, they will most likely understand why you need to do it, as they should be even more accustomed than you when it comes to the dangers of cheap fakes.

Keep a unified design in mind
No matter how diverse your collection of vintage furniture might get, it’s important always to have a central design concept in mind. It can get colorful and hectic from a design point of view in a room, once you start adding elements from different time periods, made by various artists and so on. The key to making everything look beautiful together is to find common elements that bind them together. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you have furniture from 5 different eras in your living room and if they feature radical design concepts all across the board. As long as all of them pertain to a blue color scheme, they have something in common that makes them look great from afar.


Now that you’ve read some of the most important things to remember before going shopping for vintage furniture, you can properly buy and stay away from shady deals. There are a lot of people that have started their passion for buying vintage furniture with a flop, so you not adding to their numbers isn’t by any means a tragedy. You know what to look for, you know who to look for, and you also know where to look for them. With these tools at your disposal, you will be quite surprised at how easy it will become for you to populate your entire home with some of the finest vintage pieces available on the market, on any market. Before you know it, you will barely have room for a candlestick, thanks to all the valuable things you were able to spot and pick up along the way.
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