Part of the joy on interior designing is choosing the right furniture to suit your theme or historical period and if you can find something suitable at a bargain price to boot, then it makes it even more fun. Many people want to use retro or antique furnishings so we thought we would give a few guidelines on what to look out for when examining and considering purchasing antique or older pieces of furniture whether from the flea market or top end auction house.
Buying quality antique furniture is definitely worth the money as antiques are investments as well that will continue to grow in value.
There is something deeply satisfying about owning some antique items as you feel that you are the custodian of the piece, a page in its history before it is passed on to the next generation or sold.
Antique refers to any item over 100 years old. There should be a certain rarity to them to retain value but most importantly, buy what you like and not because of the investment potential. Antique items can gain in popularity or go out of fashion with collectors.
When looking at buying antique or vintage furniture, keep your eyes on the detail, craftsmanship, and aesthetic appeal. Identifying items to suit your environment is a great place to start and a few trips to auction rooms, antique furniture dealers and antique fairs as well as charity shops can give you a fair idea of what you will be expected to pay for the object you desire.
If you are looking at spending significant amounts of money, make sure you are dealing with a reputable dealer or auction house and always check out the provenance of the piece you are buying by making sure it is authentic and original. Reproduction furniture from the early 20th century can make a fantastic substitute for the originals at far less cost and still be an antique in its own right! Know your materials and be able to tell your walnut from maple and check for any damage particularly woodworm, which must be treated before the piece comes into your home.
Many interesting old furniture pieces can be found that are not expensive from flea markets, bric-a-brac shops and charity shops. Sometimes these pieces are suitable for renovating or for being adapted to another use and sometimes, they may just be the right shape and colour for the space you are designing. Whether you are opting for the unparalleled quality of craftsman antique furniture or a cheerful, quirky sixties coffee table, a few basic checks will make sure you are buying something that will look good and also be a talking point.
When you are planning your room and looking for antique furniture, draw a plan of the room and have the measurements available and ceiling heights so you can measure the furnishings to see if they fit in your home. To learn more interior design techniques, why not consider one of our short courses?