Vintage or Reproduction? Things to Consider When Buying Old Furniture

Vintage Furniture Interior Design in Broward County

Trends are cyclical. This means that styles come back every 5-10 years, raging across every creative art, from clothing to design and decoration. When that happens, you may feel tempted to add some old-school furniture to your interior design in Broward County.  

However, leaving the aesthetic value aside, vintage furniture poses several challenges to buyers, from overinflated prices to the unrepairable damage of the years. In front of this, you may feel more tempted to acquire a new, “vintage-inspired” piece for your residential interior 

To help you decide, here’s a short quiz! 

Vintage Inspired Vintage Furniture Interior Design in Broward County

Secondhand or Reproduction?

Older pieces have always held an important place in the world of furniture. From better materials to detailed craftsmanship, secondhand furniture tends to be very resilient and can last an eternity. Additionally, vintage pieces have a majestic charm, can add layers of history to your interior, and are better for the planet.  

However, not everything that shines is gold. Buying second-hand furniture has its disadvantages, like acquiring fake pieces, encountering objects in a bad state or infested, and having to take precautions to protect it against the Florida weather. If these aspects keep you reluctant to buy secondhand pieces, vintage-inspired collections are an attractive choice. 

Well-known designers like American company Stickley’s timeless designs, Fendi Casa’s classical pieces, or emerging players like Amigo Modern, which strives to bring Californian modernism back, are attractive choices.  

These companies take inspiration from older trends and turn them into brand-new, unique pieces that can fill out the place you’d leave for a vintage piece. They bring out that classical look you’re going for, without any of the struggles used-furniture brings. 

Nevertheless, both options offer their advantages, so here’s a short quiz to help you determine which one is for you. 

1. Is It in Good Condition? 

Vintage and antique furniture will inevitably show some signs of wear. For some people, this is part of its charm. Still, the entire piece can be rendered useless if it shows severe signs of decay, like water damage, woodworms, or missing elements. 

Before purchasing furniture, it’s important to inspect the item closely. We always recommend visiting a seller in person rather than buying online, as you can inspect it in person and try out its working parts. Often, a piece seems in perfect condition on the outside, but you’ll see some warning signs as you dive deeper. 

  • Depending on the level of quality you are after, the condition of a secondhand piece of furniture might be an issue for you. If you can’t accept wear or find pieces in good enough condition, reproductions may be better. 

2. How’s the Color? 

Over the years of usage, waxing, and polishing, furniture builds up a unique color and shine on its surface, known as patina. This takes hundreds of years of handling to form, and it’s what makes a piece irreplaceable for some. 

It’s also a good indicator of the piece’s age, as it cannot be faked. If the object has a recent coat of paint on top, you can ask the seller what it’s like underneath. Depending on the type of material used, you can remove the paint without damaging the furniture’s original surface. 

  • If you like the patina that builds over older pieces, you prefer antique. 

3. Will it Increase in Value? 

The goal of collecting antiques is to love and preserve history, but also to make investments. Antique designer pieces can grow in value as time passes, so if you’re considering buying secondhand, you’ll have to wonder if their worth will increase—or if, at least, won’t drop. 

The opinion of an expert designer team or furniture collector is irreplaceable. However, there are certain aspects to which you can pay attention and decipher the value of a piece. For example, look at the craftsmanship and the designer’s name. Items from reputable manufacturers retain their value over time, and can even increase it. 

  • If you see a collection as an investment, you prefer antiques. 

Classic Vintage Furniture Interior Design in Broward County

4. Is it Too Heavy? 

The heavier the furniture or decor item, the older it is. Before, many designers used higher-quality materials like stone, marble, thicker glass, and denser and higher-end wood.  

Because of that, secondhand pieces are incredibly heavy. If you like redecorating your home by moving furniture around and rearranging your spaces, this may be a downside. 

  • If you want easy-to-maneuver furniture and prefer practicality, reproductions are your best choice. 

5. Is it Legit? 

When shopping for vintage furniture, it is common to encounter fake pieces. If you are going to invest in a piece, you should make sure it’s worth the money and that you’re getting what you expect. Ask the vendor questions, like: 

  • Where is it from? 
  • Who’s the creator? 
  • How did it originate? 
  • What artistic current does it follow? 
  • Why did it end up in their hands? 

If they’re charging an expensive price for an antique, they’ll usually know its history. 

Another common aspect of vintage is combinations. Older pieces go through various hands before reaching ours, especially. Every owner feels like they’ll be the last one and tends to add their own personality to a piece. 

Because of that, you can find dressers with several coats of paint, chairs with legs from another piece, and older sofas with a new tapestry. These mix-maxed pieces aren’t a problem in itself, but their lack of authenticity should be reflected in the price. 

  • If originality is important to you, vintage pieces may be better.  
  • If you don’t mind mismatching and like the charm it gives to an object, you’re in front of a one-of-a-kind vintage piece.  
  • If you don’t like the idea of others touching up your furniture before you, you prefer a new reproduction. 

Pro tip: Try to search for similar pieces on sites like 1st Dibs. If you find another 500 units like that one, it may not be as novel as the vendor says! 

6. Do You Like its Quirks? 

Old furniture tends to have quirks and imperfections. From secret drawers to unique functionalities, exploring antique furniture will leave you surprised by the originality of humans. 

For some, this contributes to the character of the piece and fills it with individuality. Others may feel like these are unique, and sometimes weird features drive them crazy.  

  • If the quirks and details of vintage furniture aren’t acceptable for you, you prefer reproductions. 

Antique Vintage Furniture Interior Design in Broward County

Renew Your Interior Design in Broward County 

When it comes to choosing between vintage replicas and original pieces, there’s no right answer. Each one has their series of advantages and disadvantages to offer, and the main decider in your choice should be your lifestyle, habits, expectations, and current design. 

Nevertheless, whatever furniture you buy at the end must match your existing style. If you want our expert team at Interiors by Brown’s support for that, give us a call! 

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