Vintage is in. Pinterest is full of furniture redo ideas that make old pieces new again. Businesses that refinish old pieces are springing up across the country. So how do you know whether an old piece of furniture is a vintage treasure or a pile of junk? Use these techniques to assess your latest vintage furniture find.
Check the Shape
So that table is the ugliest shade of pea green you can imagine. Or the wood is completely scuffed up and stained. Look beyond the obvious flaws to check the bones of the piece. Does it have an appealing shape? If you refinished it, would it be a focal point in your home? You can always give the piece a new look, but if the design itself is outdated or not compatible with your decor, pass up the vintage piece.
Test the Condition
So the piece passed the design test, but can it pass the condition test? Some minor repairs are possible, but if the wood is rotten, the springs or destroyed or major pieces are missing, the vintage furniture piece may be more than you can handle. Check out how sturdy the piece is on its own. In some cases, some simple reinforcement can make a wobbly piece sturdy again.
When it comes to upholstered furniture, check out the fabric. Even if you plan to reupholster the piece, the condition could indicate a major problem. Do you see bugs crawling on the piece? You don’t want to bring bed bugs into your home along with your new vintage find. Are there signs of rodent damage? You could bring home a family of mice if the rodents are still living in the piece. Does it smell like smoke, pets or another foul odor? Even if you replace the fabric, the smell could be in the cushions.
Do You Need It?
It’s tough to pass up an awesome vintage furniture piece because you’ll probably never see anything like it again. But do you really need another easy chair or end table? If your home is filling up with vintage furniture, institute the “one in, one out” rule. For each new piece of vintage furniture you pick up, another one needs to find a new home.
Size is another consideration. Before you go vintage furniture hunting, measure your available space, especially if you’re looking for a very specific piece. Take your list of measurements and a tape measure with you so you can check for fit before you purchase.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding unique vintage furniture pieces. Before you buy, make sure it’s the right piece for you.