Go Green: buy antiques

For a long time I’ve been designinghomes where we’ve mixed old or antique furniture with more contemporary pieces to create a more eclectic look. Well now I have another reason for buying antiques: they’re greener.

After years of falling prices antiques are now as cheap as they have ever been with what is often called brown furniture selling for very low prices.

Buying a Victorian chest of drawers is a greener option than buying new

Don’t get me wrong, antiques can still be investment pieces, the good Gillows, Liberty and Chippendales are still commanding exceptional prices, and good quality Georgian and Victorian pieces are still making good money at auction.  But it can be cheaper to buy an antique piece, than its flat pack equivalent, and importantly it will hold its value. And what is really important is that this is a greener option too. During the 1980’s elegant mahogany and oak furniture saw something of a renaissance in the auction houses as we clamored to fill our houses with period pieces but in the 1990s and 2000s we started looking to the future. Scandinavian design was very much in fashion and we moved away from ‘brown furniture’.  A few of us still sold these pieces, often hand painted to emulate the Scandinavian look but flat pack and the rise of Ikea seemed to take over.

I now think we will see a shift away from flat pack furniture, not least because you can now pick up a well made, solid wood piece which will last for another 100 years or more for the equivalent price and it’s greener too. The energy and materials needed to make it have already been used so its impact on the planet and our precious resources is negligible. Your modern flat pack furniture uses new wood and energy to manufacture it, it’s probably made of particle board, fibre board and polyurethane/acrylic paint, it uses petroleum products and energy and will last 5 – 50 years if you’re lucky.

Combining antiques with contemporary pieces like these beautiful chairs creates an eclectic look

 So if you’re looking to a brighter, greener future, take a look at what’s on sale at our local auction houses and antique centres. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll come to love a little piece of history in your home.

If you need help finding the right piece for your home or how to get the right look, please give me a call Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020 or drop me an email: alison@alisonhutchinsondesign.co.uk