The Grazia Girl’s Guide To: Buying Vintage, Antique And Second-Hand Furniture Online
By Lucy Morris Posted on 26 Oct 2018
The internet has made furnishing a home a mere click and credit card away. The options for how you go about this are endless - will you pick luxe and exclusive designer furniture or fulfil your need with a quick Ikea hit? Or, perhaps indulge in the unfettered joy of uncovering a one-of-a-kind vintage piece? The latter appeals but comes with baggage. Suddenly shipping from an obscure town in Eastern Europe becomes a very real worry and you find yourself asking strangers if they have ever smoked within the presence of a specific item of furniture.
Before you start bidding this is everything you need to know about shopping vintage, antique and second-hand furniture online…
What Should Shoppers Consider Before Shopping For Vintage And Second-Hand Furniture Online?
‘Do your research,’ says Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson, ‘Ask questions. Be specific with the questions you ask the seller.’ Get to grips with the micro and macro details, like the era, value, colour, shape, fabrics, condition and the previous life of the item. It’s not just the seller who needs to be quizzed, Johnson thinks it’s important we ask ourselves if this item has a use and if it will last before we make an offer.
What’s The Difference Between Vintage And Antique Furniture?
‘The term vintage has no “official” meaning but Vintage on Etsy needs to be over 20-years-old,’ says Johnson. Antiques, however, have a very specific definition as they need to be more than 100-years-old.
What Are The Easiest Mistakes To Make When Buying Second-Hand Furniture Online? And, How Do You Avoid Them?
Hesitation isn’t an option, says Johnson, ‘this is a one-of-a-kind item and there are unlikely to be multiples so if you see something you love, then buy it.’ Secondly, she says to ‘keep a measuring tape handy,’ as house and furniture sizes have changed over the decades and scale will determine if the item will seamlessly fit within your home. Finally, consider the delivery costs. ‘If it’s shipping from abroad or within the UK just remember to check the delivery costs before you buy as this can vary considerably when buying furniture as it depends on weight and size. You want it to arrive safely’ and within budget.
How Do You Know When A Furniture Designer Will Become Collectable?
There are no guarantees that something will become collectable,’ our Etsy expert says. But, you can keep on eye on trends across the industry to stay one step ahead.
What Are The Big Trends In Vintage Furniture Right Now?
Naturally, the fact we’re even writing this story suggests vintage furniture is a huge trend, but Johnson reports upcycled items are forging a new trend too with searches for ‘upcylced home décor’ up by more than 120 per cent so far this year. ‘Whether it’s a vintage chair upholstered in modern fabric or a mid-century sideboard with some painted detail on (like ElizabethDotDesign).’ This is part of a growing movement towards sustainability and eco-consciousness has sparked renewed interested in upcycled decor. Johnson reveals there have been more than 75,000 searches for upcycled in the home and living category on Etsy. Unexpected items are being repurposed to make an (environmentally conscious) style statement including rugs made from recycled plastic bottles.
Rattan is another trend gaining momentum. ‘This really lends itself to vintage items as it was such a big trend in the early 20th Century - although wicker first came to the UK in the Victorian times - so there is lots out there,’ Johnson says, ‘this tactile trend will reconnect your home with nature as rattan adds texture and soft curved shapes and compliments any room. We’re starting to see this applied to all different types of furniture on Etsy - this is definitely one to watch out for.’
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