Is Vintage and Upcycled Furniture Just a Fad?
Updated: 2 days ago
We know that fashions and trends come and go, and I'm not just talking about furniture here.
We smile when we remember the 80s craze for HUGE shoulder pads, the decorating phenomenon that was chintz…..everywhere, even matching wallpaper.
How about Avocado green bathroom suites, "perms", and roll-on lip gloss that looked like you'd spent the entire evening with your head stuck in a family bucket of KFC.
(Image courtesy of Erica Jane Wafford from Art Vision Cotswolds)
Platform shoes, floral flares, ruffles, "big hair", bubble gum…. The list is endless, and we all raise a whimsical and nostalgic smile when we think of these "vintage" fads; I, for one, am very grateful that time and fashions have moved on. But it now appears that Vintage is back in Vogue.
You just need to put "Vintage" in front of anything, and it will "fly off the shelves". Vintage sweet shops, Vintage tea rooms, Vintage dress shops, Vintage themed weddings and parties….
Again, the list is never-ending, and it's difficult to know if "Vintage" is a fad or here to stay.
Well, for this blog, let's look at furniture and some of the reasons why Vintage Furniture will never be out of fashion:
4. Price point
Let's expand on those points:
The very fact a piece of furniture can be labelled “Vintage”, and is therefore, at least 20 years old, (and that “antique” furniture is at least 90 years old), indicates that these pieces were made of good quality raw materials, or they wouldn’t have stood the test of time. It wasn’t until the 1950s, when the UK demand for affordable furniture increased, that we started to import far more from overseas. This in turn, in some cases, resulted in lower priced (and ultimately lower quality), materials being used. So, by investing in a vintage piece, you are, by definition, buying a quality piece and getting more value for your money.
Let's face it, we only have one earth, and her resources are most definitely finite, as we are reminded daily.
So, we must all play our part in protecting her because, after all, where else are we going to go? But after the weekly recycling, turning the power off when not needed and making sure we try to buy as locally as possible, what else can we do?
Well, one way is to start shopping Vintage. And however these pieces are labelled, be they "second hand", "antique", "retro", "preloved", "upcycled" or "vintage", they all have one thing in common: they are still completely useful, totally relevant and not only will you be getting a beautiful, well-made, high-quality piece; you're also investing in the future of the planet.
At the beginning and towards the middle of the last century, many furniture designers tempered the previous fashions for flamboyant, showy pieces with new designs of clean lines that were aesthetically pleasing and far more easily incorporated into the modern home. So whether you were and are looking for a coffee table, cocktail cabinet, chest of drawers or console table, when you buy vintage, you are buying quality, sustainability and, in many cases, an iconic design.
It's hard for many of us to remember a time when household finances were being stretched quite as tightly as they are now, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, so when we spend, we need to do so wisely, making sure we are getting value for our money.
When you buy a vintage piece of furniture (or any "preloved item for that matter), you are helping to build, and sustain, a "circular" economy.
An economy that moves away from the current "take, make, and chuck away" model is built using existing products and services. (I could write a separate piece about that, but perhaps another time).
Suffice it to say, buying Vintage may, in some cases, seem a little more expensive when compared to, say, IKEA, but not if you look at the bigger picture of quality, sustainability and design.
A restyled piece of furniture has many things going for it, but none more important than its individuality - it is truly one of a kind. It is unique, stylish, and distinctive.
And if you have had the piece commissioned and customised to your requirements, it will not only be designed and finished to a very high standard, but it will also add beauty, character, and style.
And, quite possibly, bring an exquisite touch of furniture history to your home for you and your family to treasure for many years to come.