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Tips for Buying Vintage Furniture [Part 1]

Tips for Buying Vintage Furniture
What kind of unique vintage and custom furniture are you looking for?

What’s your style? Every home has a story to tell. The items my clients have that speak of their travels or have been passed down from loved ones make their home special and uniquely theirs. Adding in other carefully chosen pieces can help those vintage artifacts shine.  For many people, going to big box stores doesn’t satisfy the need to showcase their individuality, because millions of people already have a specific couch or bedroom set. Want to bring a little more of that one of a kind feel to your home? Buying vintage furniture is a great way to do just that and for many it even becomes a great weekend pastime: the search for the perfect item. To make sure your purchase is going to be a good investment, review these tips for buying vintage furniture.

Tips for Buying Vintage Furniture

  1. Find Good Sources

When you begin your search for vintage furniture, expand your usual shopping areas. You may have great vintage stores in your neighborhood, but try branching out so you are able to find a variety of new items. Once you find quality stores, flea markets or estate sales, visit them often so you never miss a good find.  This can become a great road trip for a long weekend of “antiquing” or maybe an annual pilgrimage to some of the nation’s larger shows, like the Round Top show in Texas. This link has everything you need to know about the event:

  1. Find Gently Used Pieces

This may seem obvious, but a trashed piece of furniture isn’t going to do you any good, no matter if it is vintage or not. There is a fine line between the distressed/shabby chic look and something that is in need of serious restoration. Test and examine the pieces to ensure they will be able to last in your home.

  1. Find Working Items

Before you commit to a purchase, make sure it will work the way you want. Test drawers in dressers to make sure each is able to slide in and out; check cabinets to make sure doors are secure if you want your pieces ready to go as soon as you bring them home.

  1. Be Open to Restoration Work.

If you are able to do some restoration work yourself or can locate a great craftsperson in your area, don’t be afraid to take on a bit of a project. Doing the work to revive a piece that really speaks to you is one the many ways the items in your home become personal and have your own story attached. By the time it’s ready to place in your room you’ll have a history with that item! Often times you can get the best prices on very special items when they are a little battered; being willing to do some work can help make your investment very worthwhile.

  1. Look for Quality

Just because it is vintage, doesn’t mean it’s a good find; a vintage item does not guarantee quality. Learn to recognize quality craftsmanship for what it is. If you love vintage furnishings there are many books available that will show hallmarks of craftsmanship and how to identify wood species and time periods based on style. You may find a whole new world through some simple exploration at the library. As mentioned above, really give vintage items an inspection before you take them home.

One of my favorite books for antiquing: The Encyclopedia of Furniture: Third Edition – Completely Revised

Vintage furniture is a special addition to any home, it allows owners to express their individual tastes and put a little something personal into their homes style. Come back next week to discover even more tips for buying vintage furniture. Not only can Lagnappe help you track down the right items you want, we can help craft your dream home with our custom items. Contact us today for more information!

About Lagnappe Custom Interiors:

Lagnappe Custom Interiors is a full-service interior design firm specializing in bringing the small niceties to a home or commercial space that make it memorable, functional and yours. Based out of St. Thomas, Lagnappe [LAN-YAP] is led by Tiffany Cassidy who enjoys working with clients to create a home that reflects their style and needs. Tiffany marries her artistic and scientific sides together to bring the residents of the Virgin Islands and continental U.S. an interior decorating service that manages the complex and turns it into beauty. Her goal is to not only make a home prettier, but in doing so, make your life better. Visit for more information.

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