What You Need To Know Before Buying Vintage Furniture

Buying vintage furniture seems like a great idea until you actually start looking for the right pieces. It is, however, worth the pain.  Nothing can add personality and uniqueness into your living space like a high-quality and stylish vintage addition. Shopping for antique furnishing is nothing like going to a regular garage sale or a thrift shop and should be approached with different mindset.What You Need To Know Before Buying Vintage Furniture1

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Vintage is not a synonym for high – quality. The term is widely used to describe various types of items. When looking for stylish and superb decor additions, it’s essential to know the difference between the fine pieces from the trash.

Sophistication is one of the features that set the quality vintage furniture from its cheap counterparts.  The flair and passion invested in the production of these appliances distinguishes them from the other furnishing. You can quickly spot the machine-produced good for their naive design and lack of human element. Check the texture, patterns and motifs.  Examine the frames and the overall structure of the furniture. The best strategy is to look for one – of –a – kind custom-made pieces.

Imperfections Give Character

What You Need To Know Before Buying Vintage Furniture2Get used to the idea that all vintage furniture has minor flaws. Be prepared to compromise with mild scratches and small imperfections. This is part of things that make your vintage appliances unique. Don’t turn down a good offer because of insufficient defects. In most cases your vintage piece will require upholstery cleaning.  Of course, you should avoid severely damaged pieces unless you are ready to spend some money on renovation. To sum it up, if you find a furnishing with relatively good quality and price, don’t pass it by because of minor flaws.

Chit-Chat with a Dealer

Take advantage of the knowledge and experienced of a furniture dealer. A professional can give you an in-depth- information and will help your chose the right appliance for you. Talk about the features of the piece and what makes it so unique.  Ask about the time period and the style. Gain more insight by making your own research before going to the dealer. Don’t forget to ask about any specific cleaning requirements.What You Need To Know Before Buying Vintage Furniture3

Create a Coherent Decor

Before purchasing vintage furniture, consider whether these pieces fit your décor. Your primary aim is to achieve consistent and harmonious design. These appliances are expensive appliances. The last thing you want is to come home only to find that your gorgeous vintage couch doesn’t suit your interior.  Always check the size of the appliances or you will end up with a piece that is too big or too small. When buying more than one item, pick complementing pieces.

Basic Care

In order to preserve the amazing look of your vintage furniture, you will need to invest some effort and time in its maintenance. Before purchasing the piece, be sure you are familiar with the cleaning requirements.  Use professional cleaning service for the gentle fabrics.

Furniture Down The Ages

All the movable household articles of equipment fall under the category of furniture. Furniture can be made out of metal, plastic, wood, glass, or marble. Whether it is an ordinary pine chest, country chair, or an elaborate ornamental cabinet, all are included in the wide range of furniture. Furniture is a decorative item that serves a purpose. Therefore it can be treated both as an item of necessity and luxury. Moreover, furniture is not restricted to the common stuffs like bed, chair and table only. In fact, other home furnishing materials like rugs, lamps, and mirrors etc are also counted as furniture.

primitive3The style of furniture has been changing as civilization has progressed. Various techniques of inlaying, woodcarving, painting, veneering, gilding and marquetry have been used to decorate furniture and make it look attractive. Furniture in the western culture is embellished in the styles followed by the Egyptians, Chinese, Gothic and Greeks.

It is logical to assume that the idea of making furniture must have originated from the human needs. Perhaps, the chest was the first piece of furniture designed by man because of his need to hide his belongings. Followed by the bed, stool and chair etc.

The old oriental furniture carried designs engraved in ebony and teak. The ancient Egyptian style of furniture exhibited the classiest form of woodwork, body and the decoration. It was distinct because of the carvings of animals that had gold and ivory inserted in them. The Greek style of furniture was distinct because of low couches and tripods. In the imperial period furniture was ornately decorated.primitive2

The contemporary style of furniture focuses on its multipurpose utility. This gives it a different appearance and is not so costly. For example, the most popular office-cum-bed set can be used for various purposes. It appears to be a bed with bookshelves and a shelf at the bottom, all built in one. But it can be easily converted into the office furniture having a desk, suitable for laptop, side tables and more shelves along with a chair. You have to see it to be able to understand the whole arrangement.

primitive1Such beds are already very popular in Europe. Apart from beds there are other pieces of furniture that appear to be something like a sofa but can be converted into many pieces of furniture as required.

Good furniture should be functional and beautiful. It should fit into the environment aesthetically. Furniture must be environment friendly. If it can adapt itself to different uses it will be very affordable, too.

East meets the West – Evolution of Indian Furniture

Indian craftsmanship has always enjoyed a fame that has invited both respect and pillage from the earliest days. Whether it is stone work on temples or standalone articles, terracotta figurines, jewelry pieces, woodwork or graphic and plastic art, the craftsmen from this country have always been welcomed by connoisseurs of beauty. At times, however, this fixation with beauty sacrificed utility and comfort – this tendency resulted in ornate and complicated creations like a wooden throne, for example, that would have raised the goose-bumps, but would also have given a nasty backache. Local tradition and culture contributed to the furthest development of ornamental woodwork – for palaces, temples, public houses, works of arts, etc – but did not generate any utilitarian furniture of the kind we modern dwellers of the world are used to. One big reason for this was that eating was mainly done on floor, and sitting and resting on charpoys (simple string bed with wooden posts). The main thrust to furniture development was given by foreign influence.

indian_furniture3

When the Portuguese, the first Europeans to come to India, arrived, they did not find any familiar furniture, it was them, and later, the Dutch, the French and the English, who inspired the composition of domestic furniture to cater to their settlements. The Indian carpenter turned out to be precocious in adapting foreign designs and inducing in them an indigenous flavor of craftsmanship. Thus, as Joseph Butler mentions in an article in Encyclopedia Britannica, “India’s place in the history of furniture is that of an adapter or transformer of imported Western styles rather than a creator of independent styles of its own.” It was the play of these influences that gave birth to the Mughal style, the Goanese, the Indo-Dutch style, the use of ebony and ivory in the manner of Chippendale and Sheraton.

indian_furniture2

English predominance since the 18th century resulted in English influence in furniture styling, and this became so popular that even Indian rulers became patrons (this latter tendency could simply be a reflection of the Anglicization of the rulers, of their desire to identify with the ruling class). In the 19th century, the ornamentation assumed primacy, divorcing itself once again from utility.

A tropical country with about eighty varieties of hardwood available for woodwork, India has an old tradition of furniture making. Subsequent to the English influence who cultivated teak as a ‘royal tree’ for shipping industry (teak is tremendously resilient to water and weather), teak assumed tremendous popularity for quality woodwork. Almost all large articles were composed on wood. Royal houses and rich households have always been the traditional patrons of the furniture industry, and even today the royal palaces strewn across the four corners of India feature some of the most illustrious examples of indigenous woodwork. Frederick Litchfield’s Illustrated History of Furniture (1893) mentions many such marvels that still mesmerize. Like the two wooden teak doors sent as gift to the Indian Government and now kept in the National Museum (Kolkata). Or the shisham wood (rosewood) carved window at Amritsar with its overhanging cornice, ornamental arches with pillars and intricate work on the body. Royal gifts sent to the Queen and the King as well as the Princes also showed an obsession with details that is unique to India. Even today, much of British royal furniture is of Indian vintage.

indian_furniture1

In the years since the British left the furniture industry in India has evolved. Utility and simplicity gained primacy over art. Price considerations have driven down ornamentation to the minimum, and cheaper wood varieties have come to be used to cater to the huge low cost demand. Yet, in niche areas the old forms of furniture still continue to be crafted. In many places, like Rajasthan, that still has a royal ethos in a Republican India, with its dozens of Palaces’, the old form of furniture making is still preserved. Here, one can take a time travel and find works of an earlier day being crafted with the same expertise. Exported around the world wherever antique and ornamental furniture is appreciated, the Jodhpur furniture forms the focal point of this industry. Nowadays foreign designs are adapted with local styles that are hugely popular with Western customers. Once again we are back to the Portuguese days when designs were an inventive amalgamation of European sensibilities and Indian craftsmanship.

Finding the Value of Antique Furniture

The process of incorporating an antique furniture value lookup isn’t quite as straightforward as you may think. There are so many older furnishings that border on the realm of artwork. There are also many pieces that hold little more than sentimental value to the owner.

While yantiquevalue4ou may want to find the worth of a particular antique furnishing piece the prospect can be a little bleak. However, it is possible to get an estimate of the value of similar pieces from the same era. This will make a great starting point for your evaluation.

Some like to visit forums dedicated to the subject of antiquity. This is a nice approach for getting a general idea of the item’s worth. It is common to find a lot of conflicting information using this approach. Forums may be great for building a sense of community and for getting some ideas they just don’t stand up to a real antique furniture value lookup.antiquevalue3

Shop around for similar antique furniture for sale. This can be done in person by visiting traditional antique stores. However, this approach is very time consuming. If you have plenty of time and you enjoy browsing, though, making a few visits to local antique stores can be a lot of fun.

Most of us simply don’t have time to shop around in person. There are many online options to consider as well. Some sites offer antique furnishing for sale while others offer antique furniture value lookup services right online. This is a very time-effective approach to finding assessments for your items.

antiquevalue2So many items have rich histories and interesting stories behind them. There are many who find as much worth in the stories as in the items themselves. Try to get as much information about the furnishings as possible. If there is a story that goes with the piece, it may be of interest to many.

A good antique furniture value lookup will incorporate the history of the item including its origin and the number of similar items made during its era. Some items will have greater value simply because of their rich historical backgrounds.antiquevalue1

Consulting a professional antique appraiser is the ideal approach for getting the right number for your investment. Before selling any of your fine pieces of furniture from generations past, try to get a professional estimate of their value. An antique furniture value lookup is the perfect starting point.

At Furniture Works, we think the real value of an antique piece (or, for that matter, any furniture) is the joy it brings when you make it part of your home.

Why Teak is the Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture supplements the beauty and elegance of your home garden. Being a natural product, wood is considered to be the best material for constructing garden furniture. Since most timbers are not resistant to adverse weather conditions and insects, and lordy how we get the weather here in the Pacific Northwest, utmost care should be taken to stretch their lastingness. Here comes the prominence of teak wood as the ideal wood for making patio furniture. Teak is one of the best, long-lasting and strong materials used for indoor and outdoor furniture. Some of the specialties of teak as the most suitable wood for outdoor furniture, are given below.

teak_chairTeak wood is good-looking, smooth, sturdy and durable.

  1. It is resistant to bad weather and insects. A garden bench made of teak is capable of withstanding rain and sunlight for several years even without periodic maintenance.
  2. Unlike furniture made of other materials, teak furniture don’t require artificial polishing or oiling.
  3. Teak wood is rich with silica and natural oil content that make it resistant to all kinds of insects.
  4. Teak is very suitable for structural works and carved designs for its sturdiness, elasticity and ease of use.
  5. Teak wood does not get rotted or splintered even if it remains in contact with metals like iron for years due to the presence of silica and oil content.
  6. The denseness of teak, together with its other qualities, makes it the favorite wood of shipbuilders throughout the world.
  7. Because of its stylish design with clean lines, teak wood stands out among all timbers.
  8. Cleaning and maintaining teak furniture is pretty easy.

teak_pieces

The Teak tree is classed as Tectona Grandis and it belongs to the family Verbenaceae. One of the reasons for the high cost of teak is that it takes approximately 50 to 60 years to complete its physical growth. Despite its high cost and difficulty to acquire, teak is still the preferred wood for making high quality furniture, doors, windows etc. Although teak wood is immune to heat and humidity and resistant to insects, timely cleaning and maintenance will definitely prolong its life. The high cost and scarcity of teak have slowly given rise to the use of other hardwoods like African oak and mahogany in its place. But none of them matches the quality of teak.