A Beginner's Guide to Buying Antiques for Your Home

If you have never bought antiques for your home before, there is no doubt that this can feel a little daunting at first.   You may have been considering adding some pieces but you have no real idea where to begin.  Well, you have come to the right place!  We are going to be looking closer at several different areas of antique-buying that will hopefully simplify your task and get you confident enough to start putting some in your home.

What Are Antiques and Why Buy Them?

Before you go any further, it is worth answering these two fundamental questions.  Officially, an antique needs to be at least 100 years old to be called one.  This is what differentiates them from things which can simply be called ‘vintage’.

Now, why would you want to have such old items in your home in the first place?  To start off with, these are often unique pieces which are highly different to the usual mass-produced ones.  Not only this, they are much more likely to retain their value and even increase over the years.  Generally, antiques were built to last with high-quality materials and construction methods to ensure this.  Many people simply love the feeling of history being right there in their homes.

How Do You Educate Yourself About Them?

Not knowing about antiques and simply walking into an antique dealer can feel very daunting.  There are plenty of books on the subject or articles which you can read online to provide you with a helping hand in this regard.  Otherwise, you could even sign up for a class which promises to provide the information that you are looking for in a straightforward manner.

Visiting some auctions and fairs with no intention of buying at first is also useful. You are likely to find that many people are more than willing to share the wisdom that they have built up over the years.

Where to Shop for Them?

Antique stores, fairs, flea markets, and auctions are all places where you can get your hands on some unique pieces.  Also, antique marketplaces are becoming popular amongst buyers.  You may even have a spot of luck at your local car boot.  If you are going along in person, to one of these places, it helps no end to have someone else with you who knows more about the world of antiques.

And it also helps to simply have your eyes open when you are out and about shopping.  Your other main alternative is to shop online, but you always need to make sure that you are going through reputable dealers and that you ask for additional information such as photos from different angles, exact measurements etc.

How Do You Spot a Great Piece?

This is a question which is a tough one to answer, and it certainly takes some time to spot great antiques.  First and foremost, you should follow your individual sense of style.  After all, you will be the one who is living with the item in your home day in, and day out.  There is no point in buying a recommended piece if you simply don’t think that it is attractive.

Think about its practical worth as well, and where you envisage it fitting in your home.  Next up, take a closer inspection of the piece.  Does it look like it has been well looked after?  Are there any breakages or damages beyond the obvious wear and tear?  Always ask the seller plenty of questions about the piece - particularly if you are thinking about investing large sums of money in it.  For higher value or rare items, you should ask for documentation to prove that what you are investing in is the real deal and not a fake.

Should You Revamp a Worn Piece?

Refreshing an antique which is a little bit worn and damaged can be a wonderful thing to do, but you need to initially be aware that reupholstering can end up getting quite costly.  You should also be wary of doing this to high-value antiques as they could end up losing their initial value - and this is the last thing that you want to happen.  However, if you know what you are doing or you hire someone who does, this can end up being a very rewarding task with great results for your home.


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