Antique Furniture: 7 Best Ways to Find and Save on Vintage Furniture

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antique furniture in sophisticated living room

Antique furniture can make a room pop with character. Not only are aged pieces beautiful and sophisticated, but they are also an environmentally friendly shopping choice. Done right, you can add major eye-candy to your interior for a bargain.

transitional living room with antique furniture

Antique furniture in the dining room – design by Decorilla online interior designer, Corine M.


Vintage furniture may be a bit easier to find than antiques as an item gets the vintage tag when it reaches 30-40 years old, while the antique label is reserved for items 100 and older. To help you dodge a pricey buy, we’ve set up the seven surefire ways to find the things you love at a price you can afford.

1) Tap into the Local Antique Furniture Arena

local antique furniture - living room design

Similar to finding what you’re looking for in a thrift store, you need to head to your local antiques furniture stores to see what’s on offer. However, unlike your second-hand furniture, antique furniture comes with a prominent price tag. Some vintage furniture stores discount items after they’ve been on the shelf for a while. Checking in regularly will help your quest to find the perfect piece.

antique furniture living room - decorilla designer corine m

Traditional living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Corine M.


You can also find out from friends and family if they know about any stellar deals. At times the piece you want is not hidden in antique furniture stores, but rather sitting in an acquaintance’s storage room. All you need to do is let people know that you’re interested, and something special might surface.

2) Visit an Antique Fair

antique furniture dining room - decorilla designer marisa g

Antique furniture in the dining room – design by Decorilla online interior designer, Marisa G.


Antique fairs and flea markets are good sources for unique finds. At some of the larger fairs, vendors from all over America come together to show off their wares. Consequently, your options increase exponentially and so will the chance of finding what you’re looking for. Generally, flea markets will be more affordable, but you might still find a bargain at an antique fair. Persistence and patience are all you need to get the perfect piece.

antique furniture bedroom - decorilla designer kellie e

Traditional bedroom design with antique furniture by Decorilla online interior designer, Kelli E.


If you’re wondering how to find fairs that sell vintage furniture, get insider info from your local antique and second-hand stores, as well as vendors at local craft markets. Alternatively, you can take your search online and browse all the options for “flea market near me”.

3) Discover Vintage and Antique Furniture Markets in Your Area

antique furniture in modern apartment

Perseverance is key when looking for affordable vintage furniture. Explore your area to find as many hidden gems as possible. Auctions, estate sales, and flea markets can have pretty pieces waiting to be snatched up. If you’ve found your favorite source, pay frequent visits. It also helps to get to know the salespeople and vendors because they can let you know when they have new or extra special stock.

4) Get Help from an Interior Designer

transitional living room design by luca c -decorilla

Transitional living room design by Decorilla online interior designer, Luca C.


At times, professional guidance will help with curation and procurement of unique statement pieces that tell a story. Tell your interior designer what you’re looking for and they will do their best to find antique furniture perfect for your home. Some interior designers have access to special collections or have built up antiques of their own, specifically to give clients access to unique statement furniture and artwork.

5) Look for Relatively Unknown Brands

home office design -decorilla

Home office design with antique furniture by Decorilla online interior designer, Darya N.


Popular or well-known brands often come at a higher price tag. Thus, choosing lesser-known brands and furniture can significantly lower the cost. These items may have the same or a higher level of quality. So, if you know what you want (a dresser, chair, sofa, etc.) research the era familiarise yourself with the known brands.

6) Spot Vintage Furniture Defects and Bargain

smoking room with antique furniture

At times you’ll be able to use defects to your advantage. Inspect a piece for damage or alterations. Some vendors and salespeople will give you a better price if you bargain on the grounds of imperfections. However, before you take a broken piece home, consider all the costs. Make sure that the repair cost won’t outweigh the purchase price or the antique furniture’s value.

7) Buying Vintage Furniture Online

antique furniture in bedroom - taron h - decorilla

Bedroom 3D rendering and design by Decorilla online interior designer, Taron H.


Online shopping is an antique lover’s friend. Many furniture websites may hold feature pieces you’re hoping to find, and sometimes at a relatively affordable price. Some of these websites specialize in different style genres, and auction-based sites will have several kinds of styles. Classifieds also have one-of-a-kind pieces; however, sifting through these ads takes time and patience.

formal living room design

Online browsing is convenient but can be time-consuming. Also, not seeing furniture in person means that it may look different in real life. Items may be bigger or smaller, in a different shade or with a few more scoffs than you initially expected. Plus, shipping cost can increase the price. To avoid buying a risky piece of furniture in a precarious condition, stick to reliable websites. This will not eliminate the shopping risk but will lessen it.

Online Antique Furniture Stores to Help You Get the Best Value

study interior design - decorilla interior designers

Study design by Decorilla online interior designer, Darya N.


With so many online stores, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But you can look at these platforms first, before branching off with your search.

8) Attend an Antique Furniture Auction or Estate Sale

velvet chesterfield sofa - antique furniture

Attend auctions and estate sales to learn about the market prices and value of vintage and antique furniture. At times these events will swell product cost, which is why you need to attend more than one auction, fair and antique furniture store.

moody transitional living room design

To find an event, browse for “auctions near me” or “estate sale” on Google. You could make it a fun day out with a friend or partner, and end with coffee to discuss your findings. Having someone with you as you search for the perfect piece will help keep you from making an impulsive purchase.

Antique Furniture Value: A Quick Guide

antique furniture modern farmhouse

Did you know that antique furniture can have multiple values? Retail, wholesale and auction values are the three most popularly used. Retail value is the highest and is often used in insurance appraisals; wholesale value is what an antique furniture dealer is willing to pay for an item (between 30-50% less than retail; auction value is a range that is less than retail but more than wholesale. In general, buying furniture from an antique dealer or at an auction is often more affordable than from a vintage shop.

 

Need help finding that special piece? Schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to see how Decorilla interior designers can help you find what you are looking for!

 

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