I thought today I would write about the virtues of vintage and antiques. When it comes to design, my eyes are often much larger than my wallet. I want unique and well crafted furniture, but my budget doesn't allow for crazy spending. Shopping for antiques is always a crap shoot, whenever I am planning to drop some dough, there is nothing to be found, it's when I'm least expecting it that I tend to stumble upon something amazing. That being said, antiquing is fun, the prices are never really fixed, I'm not a great haggler, but as long as I'm friendly and smile I always seem to get a good amount off of their "listed price". Below are some pieces of furniture I have scored at antique markets. I've put them next to an image of the comparable mass produced item so you can see what you would pay for them if you bought them "new" or "reproduced" from a regular store.
Furniture cart coffee table. New from Restoration Hardware, mine from a vendor at the Brimfield Antique Fair who salvages them from old factories in North Carolina and refinishes them. I actually think mine is better quality and quite a bit sturdier, I also think the color variation is amazing on the vintage one.
Eames lounge chair. New from Design Within Reach, SUPER pricy. Mine, from the Brimfield Antique Fair, I had to reupholster it, you can see the before and after here. This is a classic piece with knock offs up the wazoo, but it always looks good and it very comfortable.
This dresser was a huge score for me, I actually got an the entire bedroom set (this dresser, a tall dresser, and two nightstands) for $500, also at the Brimfield Antique Fair. It just needed a new coat of polyurethane and it was good to go. After I bought it, I was browsing online and stumbled upon this credenza which is EXACTLY the same, but about 10 times more expensive, it made me feel like the savviest shopper ever.
SO, morale of the story, find your local antique dealers, visit them often, smile and shoot the shit, and more often than not, you'll be taking home something better, more unique, and cheeper than you could ever find in a box box store.