Secrets to Buying Antique or Used Furniture

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know that I love to have older pieces in my home.  They can be older as in true antiques /vintage pieces or older as in someone used them & I found them at my local flea market & decided to give them some love.  I love bringing life back to pieces that I find, but the most common question I get about my “used” furniture is how do I know if it’s a good piece or if it’s worth saving.  Today I want to tell you my secrets to buying anitque or used furniture.

#1 Classic Lines

I first look at the lines or shape of the piece.  I tend to look for more traditional lines in the pieces that I get, but if modern is more your style then you are going to want to look for more modern lines.  My favorite chairs for example, I found these 2 chairs at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX.  I loved the shape of them.  I loved the curves of the arms & feet.  They were sturdy, but needed lots of love. I could see past the ugly dirty dated fabric & I knew these could be turned into something beautiful. 

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#2 Sturdiness

Depending on what you are going to use the piece of furniture for , you are going to want to make sure it’s still put together well.  Rock it, open it’s drawers to make sure they open easily.  Most older pieces are solid wood, so they have a lot of life left in them, however you want to give each piece a good look over.  Now, if you aren’t needing to actually use the piece then something a little unstable will work.  Take this  dresser for example.  I loved the lines of this piece & could tell that once it was sanded down it would be beautiful, but the drawers don’t open well & the back is beginning to fall off.  I knew I didn’t need it to actually function,  so I bought it because I could see the potential in it.

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#3 Price

Money is a big player in finding these used & antique pieces.  My favorite chairs met my first two rules—-loved the lines & they were strudy.  They needed a lot of love.  I know that I would be reupholstering them, so I had to that into account.  Knowing that it’s at least $100 per chair to reupholster & that didn’t include the fabric, I knew what I was willing to spend.  The chairs were a whoping $10 each.  I had to buy them.  My entryway dresser….it was in rough shape.  I knew I was going to have to give it some love by sanding it down & cleaning her up.  It wasn’t going to cost me more than just my time.  She was $30 & I gladly paid that for her.  Now for pieces that are ready to go—-great lines, perfect structure, and these are normally larger pieces I’m willing to pay a little bit more for.  Take my blue cabinet in my living room for example.  When I walked into Vintage Station in Tomball, it was love at first sight.  I loved the blue patina it had on it, the original hardware, even places on it where the old timer at the hardware store wrote what he stored in the drawers was left on it.  It’s solid wood & I wasn’t going to do a thing to it.  I happily paid more for the piece.  Always take into account what you plan on doing to the piece, whether it’s reupholstering, sanding, painting is it going to be worth it in the long run? 

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If you are into really high class antiques & not “junk” that I buy, like my MIL likes to say, then I’m not your girl.  I don’t really know a ton about them.  I can tell you that they are old & beautiful, but just not my taste.  I prefer things a little beat up. :) 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!! 

I'm so excited to be teaming up with Vintage Market Days of Northwest Houston to do a giveaway for the Spring event, so you can take some of these lessons & put them to good use. It's happening May 11-13 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe.  I have 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway so you & your girls can make a day or heck, check out all 3 days at the event.  Lots of vintage picking will be going on with some fabulous vendors!  Heck, maybe we can even meet up because I plan on being there.  

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How to Enter:

1.  Leave a comment below & share something you'd love to find at the Vintage Market Days event.  (1 entry)

2. Jump on over to our Instagram & follow us (1 entry), like the photo (1 entry) & tag a friend on our giveaway picture.  (1 entry per tag)

3. Go to our FB page post & share the giveaway picture.  (3 entries)

**Winner will be announced on Friday May 4th on our Instagram Stories!**