Welcome to the modern era of a ‘buy it, burn it, get a new one’ lifestyle. Where fashion is disposable, and now furniture too. But investing in antique or vintage furnishings is a great way to capture and store monetary value in something both practical and beautiful.
Buy a new car, and on that very day you’ll zoom away roughly 20% of its capital value. We’ve all heard the story. Living in the here and now is all the rage these days. Just look at the fads in fashion, fridges (pastels are all the rage) and food intolerances. I’m sure you’ve heard your granny say things aren’t made how they use to be. And it’s much the same with furniture – maybe even more so.
In this modern era where disposability rules, is there any wonder why?
I mean, not that new furniture (or a new car) is bad – I enjoy new furniture just as much as the next stool. And with the notably significant rise in affordable flat-pack furniture options, how could anyone resist? Nowadays, you can re-style a whole house with countless unique stylistic options for less than a few dull furniture essentials would have cost you 10-20 years ago!
But let’s talk brass tax. You buy a house so you can live in it as your home; and you take great pride in your home. So you should. It’s a huge part of your lifestyle and you’ve worked hard to sleep in style. But your sofa can be as much of an investment opportunity as the bare walls that contain it. Case in point: houses on the market rarely open for inspection without being staged to Vogue Living perfection. This is because the visual aesthetic of high quality, stylish furniture adds serious value to those walls of yours.
For us proud home dwellers, it’s time to claim back the quality gauntlet. It’s time to invest in quality furniture that will last a lifetime. But how can you overturn the steep slopes of the furniture depreciation curve and invest in your furniture as you did in your home? Well, ditch that Allen Key and put down those flat packs! Quality doesn’t need to come at the cost of a fancy price tag.
Image: Lana Adams/Scammells
It’s time to float your next investment company and find yourself some antique or vintage furnishings – the kind of pieces that have stood the test of time. They’ve got character, and class. And they hold their value, or even increase in value, over time. Just look at the Mid Century furniture craze happening right now.
Investing in antique furnishings is a great way to capture and store monetary value in something both practical and beautiful. Here are some handy tips you can follow when considering purchasing antique furnishings:
- Look for quality materials and construction. Oak, Walnut and Jarrah woods are solid, safe bets. In terms of soft woods, Huon pine and Mahogany hold their re-sale value.
- Know the condition you’re buying the furniture in. At an auction house, some items are labelled as ‘AF’. AF can mean either AS FOUND or ALL FAULTS, indicating there’s some damage, and the item must be bought with faults included. Note: Wobbly chairs are a no go, unless they’re just for show. They need too much reconstruction work.
- Prioritise simple pieces for the majority of the furniture, which can adapt to various interior styles. Follow the rule of “garnish” over “garish” for loud and fascinating character pieces.
- Consider maintenance or breakage costs as some styles of antique furnishings can be very fragile. Be mindful of your home environment; particularly if your young ones (or your Gen Y house squatters) enjoy a good play pen (or rave cave).
- Check out several options and take your time. There are hundreds of antique furniture merchants who sell thousands of local and imported pieces in boutique stores, online, at auctions, fairs and events. I personally find auctions to be the most cost effective and exciting purchase strategy.
Image: Image: Lana Adams/Scammells
Just like all things investment, be wary that not all your antiques will take off and there is no guarantee on a positive return. For this reason, above all be sure to choose pieces you enjoy living amongst each and every day.
To find your nearest antique merchants, get on the Google and search for keywords like ‘antique furniture for sale’. You will be amazed by how many unique (and as they continue to age, nearing one-of-a-kind!) options and styles of antique furnishings are available.