Incorporating antique or vintage furniture pieces in your home’s design plan is a way to make it look unique, adds richness and visual interest that new furniture can often lack. Especially in a new or remodeled home, vintage pieces can bring soul and make it feel less sterile. And, buying vintage usually means you’ll receive the pieces quickly without dealing with long lead times. If you’re looking for tips on exploring the luxury antique and vintage markets, read on for everything you need to know.
Whether you’re shopping locally or on a vintage site such as Chairish.com or 1stdibs.com, being diligent about measuring your space and the item is a vital first step. Vintage pieces are often non-returnable, so be sure that whatever you bring in your home will fit in the intended spot.
Ensure the Pieces are in Excellent Condition
Often, if you fall in love with a vintage piece, it can be easy to overlook any functional flaws. Before making any purchases, thoroughly inspect the piece to ensure it functions properly. Avoid purchasing this piece unless you know exactly what needs to be repaired and who can make the repair.
There also may be surface damage. Check for repairs on the upper part of chairs, which typically withstands the most use. On heavier items, such as armoires or chests of drawers, look for damage on the feet of the piece. Wood pieces may have cracks due to temperature fluctuations. Surface damage doesn’t necessarily impact the functionality, but it’s still important to factor in before purchasing.
Look for Authenticity
You can check the age and authenticity of a piece by looking at the bottom of the seats and the backs and undersides of drawers. You may find signatures of who made the piece and the year it was made. These markings will tell you if a piece was made in the 17th or 18th centuries. Furniture assembled in the late 19th century and early 20th century may have stamps from the factory where they were made.
Have a Plan to Refurbish
If you purchase a set of vintage dining chairs that need recovering or a loveseat that needs reupholstering, be ready to send it to the upholsterer as soon as you receive the piece. The longer you put it off, the less likely it will get done.
Buy What You Love
Sometimes, a piece will catch your eye and you’ll realize you can’t live without it. Then, after you’ve thoroughly inspected the piece and it’s in sound condition, purchase what you love, and you can usually find a way to incorporate it into your home.
Whether you’re perusing online sites well into the night or you enjoy taking a weekend trip to visit little-known antique shops, incorporating these historical pieces into your home will give it soul and a distinctive look.