Saturday, February 2, 2019

Only the Old Stuff - the Disappearing Antique

I ran into a friend this week who owns an antique store, quite a large one.  He's been in the business for a very long time.  He talked about how bad business is, that the prices for the products he sells have fallen so low that he can't make a profit.  He rarely buys anymore because he can't gauge whether he can resell the product for any amount of money.  Why is it that no one appreciates the quality that is inherent only in things made long ago?  Why do people prefer a table from IKEA made of particle board that might last only a few years over a solid wood mahogany table that will outlast all of us?

Everyone has different tastes, but have we created an instant gratification world in every way?  When I was younger and just starting out, I'd take hand-me-downs from my relatives even if I didn't love it, just to get started - beds, draperies, rugs, silver, coffee tables, side tables, lamps.  As I was able to buy things I liked more (that were closer to my taste), I handed the older stuff down to others.  The quality was superb.  I had a set of drapes from my parents' house that had been lined and interlined (for warmth).  They were made of silk with the most beautiful braid.  I did wear these out but they must have been at least 30 years old by then.

This is what you find today - grommets.  Awful.

What is wrong with something being old and imperfect? I love this old table.

And chairs!  You can buy old chairs now for nothing.  Paint these chairs, add a great fabric to the seat!  What a find.

 I love these!

And these!

Use the web for your inspiration, seeing what others have done with older furniture.  Then visit your local antique mall to shop for the real bargains.  They are out there. Redo the old. The quality is so much better.  Be creative.  Find fun updated fabrics and turn something old into something new again.  Then pass it down! 


  1. I came face to face with this realization during the past few months. My MIL passed away and we're clearing out her house before it goes on the market. She had so many wonderful, beautiful, well-made pieces of furniture, etc. that I thought an estate sale would be perfect. We called one recommended by a realtor, they took one look and said that they weren't interested!


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