The most important thing to remember when shopping for antique furnishings is the condition of the piece versus the price. If something is in rough shape, but the cost is low, you could have a real treasure with a little effort and expense. Be practical about repairs, however, and bypass any pieces that appear too deteriorated or damaged. Cosmetic alterations are not only easy, but can be fun, and can result in some one-of-a-kind furnishings for the home. However, when antique pieces don't function like they should, such as when drawers won't open or frames are deteriorated, it could be time to take a pass.
Look for the following when shopping for antique furniture:
Chairs bring the perfect element to the home when you are looking to add some antiques to your home. There are many styles that make perfect seating in a foyer or hall, or you may find sets of chairs to use for dining that match. Depending on your preferences and buying budget, consider bringing some vintage chairs to your home's interior.
Upholstered chairs might show damage on the fabric or cushions. Assess the difficulty of repair before opting for these fixer-uppers. If the chair is a vintage English wingback or a cool, retro unit chair, it is fairly easy to reupholster or cover these items.
Non-upholstered chairs, such as the American Hitchcock, Bentwood chairs, or even older wicker rockers, are great finds when shopping in antique stores. Be sure to try to avoid painting vintage wicker furniture, as the resale value is higher when left natural. Better yet, seek out wicker or rattan pieces that still possess the paper tag, typically found under the seat of the chair.
Depending on the primary purpose and location of your sofa, there are some styles of antique sofas that may be less pragmatic than others. If you are looking for a dramatic, ornamental touch for the home, look for a versatile Chesterfield, an ornate French Sultane, or an elegant regency chaise lounge. For homes that will be using the sofa, such as in a family room or high-traffic area, seek out retro-styled modular sofas to bring a comfortable, contemporary look to the home.
If you are just starting to add antiques to your home, consider seeking out the following occasion tables. Parsons' tables are distinctive and useful anywhere around the house or patio. These linear, square shaped tables typically have four legs and a wooden-top, without ornate scroll-work or other hardware. Pembroke tables date back to the 16th century, and are notable for their round tops and thin, scrolled legs. Often these feature intricate details or even a small drawer under the table-top. New England Butterfly tables are graceful featuring gate-legs. The top is hinged with movable supports which make them very useful around the house.
Whenever you come across a wood-crafted table with a pedestal base, it might be a great item to invest in and repair, if needed. Mahogany pedestal tables are beautiful occasion-tables that can easily integrate with a wide range of home interior design styles with ease.
Antique furnishings and accents give the home flair and personality. Finding great deals on slightly damaged or cosmetically-flawed items makes it possible to create something captivating for the home that will be cherished for years to come. Seek out some of the suggested items and keep tips in mind to avoid spending money on pieces that are simply not worth the investment and that require a great deal of work to restore.