via Homes to Love
New things are undoubtedly lovely — untouched, modern, and smelling of the factory floor. However, if you furnish an entire home with new pieces, the result feels like a showroom completely lacking in soul and personality. Worse still, new things can quickly become old, and at the rate styles change, dated as well.
In our disposable age think how refreshing it would be to buy quality furniture with inherent character that, instead of ending up in landfill, may actually increase in value. Vice president of the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association Chris Hughes is obviously a passionate antiques advocate. Below he gives five reasons why you should choose them over mass-produced perishables, and we must say it’s quite a convincing argument!
Antique items were made to last. They were made from solid materials often close to nature — like timber, metal, and textiles — by individual artists and craftsmen, which gives them a soul. Hand-cut timber with forged nails and woven fabrics have such a different vitality than modern factory-produced items with volatile compounds that have a period of off-gassing. Many of these skills are now lost and may never be able to be reproduced. Unfortunately, the skills and techniques that were passed down from generation to generation are being forgotten.
Check out this 150-year-old dairy transformed into a family home. (Photo Credit: Maree Homer / Australian House & Garden)
They are already out of style; they have shifted into timeless. They speak of not needing to keep up with the latest trends and styles. The room can change around them. I love my antique dining table. I may change the chairs over the years to suit changes in trends, but I always intend to keep my table; it has so many reminders of the parties I have had at it. It is older than the arrival of the first fleet to Australia and has traveled and hosted many a meal — some boisterous and some more intimate. It has seen diners in afros and bellbottoms but also hoop skirts, corsets, and powdered wigs. I would say it knows more about style than your average fashionista, as it has seen the trends come and go.
Check out this restored Queenslander with quirky, eclectic style. (Photo Credit: Elouise Van Riet-Gray / homes+)
Antique items will not lose their value the same way a modern item loses its value as soon as you take it out of the store, unwrap the plastic, and take off the tags. Once you take home your average new piece of furniture, it suddenly falls into the category of “second-hand” rather than antique and loses tremendous value. These items have a value that is retained in their craftsmanship and their limited numbers. That being said, market tastes do fluctuate and you shouldn’t expect to make a huge profit on selling your pieces. The trick to retaining or gaining value on your antiques is knowing the appetites of the markets and when the time is to sell, buy or just enjoy.
Check out this interior designer's country retreat in the NSW Southern Highlands. (Photo Credit: Chris Warnes / Australian House & Garden)
Antiques tell a story about you. They speak of authenticity and the desire to surround yourself with items of true quality. Antique items also help to serve as a gentle reminder of the progress of time. We know that these items have lived lives with people before us and they will go on to live lives with others after we are gone.
Check out this light-filled and serene timber home in Brisbane. (Photo Credit: James Henry / homes+)
Antique items were generally made with skill and to last. They are handed from generation to generation. Modern items, such as IKEA, are not made to last. No one hands IKEA onto their children in their will. It all goes to the landfill.
Check out this Hamptons-inspired Mornington Peninsula weekender. (Photo Credit: Lisa Cohen/ Belle)
This post was written by Alexandra Fishburn. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.
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