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Furniture Buyer’s Guide

Whether you are looking for the latest pieces of furniture to fit your modern apartment or a specific colonial piece to complement your home, there are many things to consider when finding the perfect piece of furniture on the market. Here are some tips to consider when buying the perfect piece of furniture for your home.

The Furniture Market

Furniture has been on the market for many decades. In fact, it has had a steady growth since 1968. Furniture that is more than 100 years old, that have been conserved well through antique furniture restoration, is considered antique furniture. They come in numerous makes and genres. Some of the most sought-after pieces include Chippendale, Rococo, Baroque and Colonial furniture. There are many other popular furniture periods such as Pennsylvanian Dutch, Early American and Georgian.

The value of a piece of furniture can increase due to many reasons such as the rarity, design, provenance, utility and other unique features. For example, the Harrington Commode sold for £3.8 million in 2010. Rarity was the unique feature of this piece of furniture – probably created by Thomas Chippendale himself. In fact, there were three bidders competing for the piece which resulted in a hammer price that was three times its original valuation.

Even though high-end and older pieces of furniture usually achieve record prices, there are many other pieces that are available for the novice or less experienced collector out there. On the other hand, mid-century (20th century or retro) furniture from the 50’s and 60’s is also on the rise. Some of the most notable furniture within this time frame includes Scandinavian design and furniture by designers such as G-Plan. In fact, some of the popular furniture stores in London are beginning to showcase furniture pieces from the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Is the Condition Important?

Of course, the condition of the piece is important for antique pieces. But a real antique piece will show some wear and tear. If you know how to determine the condition of a piece of furniture, you can identify if the piece is genuine or fake. For example, antique wooden chairs show more wear and tear on the back legs compared to the front legs. This is because the user would continually lean back on his/her chair. The top and end of the wooden arm also will show wear and tear compared to the inside of the arms. That is because these areas come into contact with the user more than any other area of the chair.

What Type of Furniture Should You Collect?

You should collect pieces that you prefer. After all, you are the one who would be living with your furniture collection. Popular antique furniture designs can vary from region to region. In fact, oak and country furniture has become more popular in recent times than other genres of furniture. Most of the time, people who live in the countryside choose furniture to reflect the period his/her house was built. These folks are more consistent in their tastes while city dwellers are more easily swayed by the latest fashions in the furniture industry.

Mixing up the styles of furniture you collect could have an aesthetic benefit too. In fact, the latest furniture trends lean towards a mixture of modern and vintage designs of furniture. For example, the 18th-century giltwood mirror fits in very well with the latest interior and clean lines.

How to Know the Actual Cost of the Furniture?

There are many places that will help you ascertain the actual cost of a particular piece of furniture on the market. Online forums and books are some of the most common in this regard. The most effective method of determining whether you are getting a bargain on the furniture is to call an independent appraiser to value the piece.