Six Reasons to Buy Antique Furniture Rather Than New
So What is an Antique?
Definitions of what age an item needs to be to be designated as an antique vary, although 100 years appears to be the yardstick. In looking at furniture, I'm using a more elastic approach. There have been many beautiful pieces produced that are much younger than 100 years, Art Deco items are one example. So let's call it furniture made up until the 1940's although some might then be deemed to be "vintage" or "collectable".
Every Home Needs Furniture
What kind you should buy is of course a matter of personal taste. Antique furniture deserves due consideration however for the following reasons:
While there is a perception that antique furniture is expensive, bargains can be found at yard sales, deceased estate sales and online at ebay, gumtree and similar sites. You also need to consider the value for money side of the equation. Antique furniture tends to be of solid construction (otherwise it would not still be around in any quantity). Will the modern sofa you purchased last as long? If you think of it as a long term investment, antique furniture can be relatively very cheap.
In the olden days there was more focus on quality and people took great care in making things. You only have to look at the detail and finish on antique items to see the high level skills of those who made them. Antique furniture is therefore usually beautifully to look at, and, as mentioned above, has most likely a much higher degree of durability than the modern version. The exception to this is Amish furniture, where apparently it is difficult to tell antique pieces from modern ones as the quality and construction methodologies have changed little over time.
Buying antique furniture has to be the ultimate in recycling. You are buying it from others who have used it for a long time and, as it is likely to last, you will be able to pass it on to others, perhaps to your children.
4. Environmentally Friendly
Whilst some old time practices of furniture making included hazardous items, with your average bed or wardrobe, the antique version will not have the nasties associated with some modern furniture such as formaldehyde in the glue and fire retardant chemicals.
5. The Perfect Gift
Because we live in such a mass produced world, giving a gift of antique furniture is rather special. For occasions like weddings, a carefully chosen antique item can become a treasured heirloom.
6. Resale Value
Should you not wish to keep your antique furniture for the long term, when you go to sell it you may well find it has appreciated in value rather than depreciated as is normally the case with modern furniture.