Furniture Buying Guide

No matter if you are in the market for examples of fine colonial cabinetmaking or need some sleek items for your modern abode, the following paragraphs offer some useful insights that can make the furniture buying process simpler than you may have dreamed possible.

Key Facts About The Market For Furniture

Furniture is a realm in which collectors have seen steady levels of growth all the way back to 1968. There are numerous styles available in the world of antiques, a definition which encompasses items that are at least 100 years old. “Among the most popular furniture genres are Chippendale, Rococo, Baroque and Colonial. There are also countless collectors in the categories of Pennsylvania Dutch, Early American and Georgian,” says a furniture upholstery expert in Surrey.

The demand for a certain piece of furniture tends to escalate in direct relation to its condition, utility, design, scarcity and the ability to verify provenance. As an example of this, the Harrington Commode was able to fetch a price of £3.8 million in 2010 for a number of key reasons. The piece was of incredibly high quality, was extraordinarily rare and had probably been personally made by Thomas Chippendale. As a result, there were five different bidders attempting to win the auction, and the final selling price exceeded the original estimate by a multiple of almost three.

While there are certainly many instances in which old, high-end pieces command top prices, there are also categories of furniture that are attracting increased interest and are accessible to new collectors or those with more limited means. A good example of this is the rise in the market for mid-century, Retro or modern furniture from the 1950s and 60s. Especially desirable items in this area of pieces of Scandinavian origin and those from design icons including G-Plan. Take a walk past any number of London storefronts, and it almost feels like 1951 all over again.

What About Condition?

There can be no doubt that condition is a critical factor in the value of an antique. Of course, furniture that is truly old is bound to have some signs of wear, and that is perfectly acceptable. The key is to gain an understanding of the areas on a piece that ought to bear signs of age so that authenticity is easier to determine and fakes can be identified quickly. A good example of this is the way in which a genuine antique chair should show greater wear marks on its back pair of legs, rather than the front. This is because those sitting in the chair over time would have naturally leaned back on those legs. There may be additional wear marks on the top portion of the chair’s arm, as this part of the piece would have had greater contact with the user’s body than others.

Choosing a Collection’s Focus

Collecting what you love is the best way to maintain a strong interest in furniture and to ensure that your home is filled with things that bring real enjoyment. As is the case with anything taste-specific, preferences tend to be regional in nature. Indicative of this is the fact that country-style oak furniture has seen a resurgence in the recent past. This could be because those living in rural environments wish to furnish their homes with period-appropriate items. Such individuals often stay true to their style choice, while urban dwellers may be more susceptible to furniture fads.

All collectors should bear in mind that building an eclectic mix of styles is often a great way to achieve the layered look they desire. Designers of late have begun curating and bringing both modern and vintage pieces together to build interior spaces with real visual impact. A classic piece that is finely crafted really can blend seamlessly even in an overwhelmingly modern room.

Ascertaining the Value of Furniture

Those interested in learning the actual value of pieces they own can take advantage of a number of helpful resources, both online and in print. Of course, paying a visit to a reputable appraiser is a simple, straightforward way to have a proper valuation done on any piece of collectable furniture.