A Designer’s Tips for Buying Vintage

May 07, 2021

At Workshop/APD, modern design is deeply embedded in our DNA. But, we still understand and appreciate the impact that vintage pieces bring to our projects, including a sense of history, depth, and character that is hard to duplicate. Below, we’ve included our fundamental tips for finding and purchasing one-of-a-kind vintage furniture and decor

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Find Good Sources

When it comes to sourcingantique, vinatge and secondhand furniture, our interiors team’s go-to’s are online platforms like 1st Dibs and Chairish, vast marketplaces that offer an-almost infinite number of options that can really inject unique character into a room. Local NYC shops like Coming Soon New York and Claude Home also have an excellent assortment of one-of-kind vintage pieces you will never find anywhere else. Get to know the owners and staff at local shops – they’re a wealth of information on the products, their provenance, history, value and condition and some will even keep an eye out if you’re looking for something specific.

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Research, Research, Research

Thanks to the great wide internet, you have access to a large amount of cost data at your fingertips. You can really get an understanding of the piece you’re looking at is worth by comparing vendors with the same or similar product and make sure you’re paying a fair amount.

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Be on the Look Out for Knock-Offs

In the world of vintage anything, knock-off products are everywhere. Online platforms offer a lot of protection for buyers. When it comes to buying in-person be wary of prices that are too good to be true (they usually are), identify specific design hallmarks and look closely for each,  and if you’re looking to buy a rare vintage investment piece be sure to consult with a professional.

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Examine the Condition

With vintage furniture, it’s rare to find anything in perfect condition, but be sure to evaluate the piece by looking for scratches, dings and tears. And don’t be afraid of some light wear-and-tear damage, as you can always bring new life to your piece by refurbishing.