When it comes to buying designer furniture, you want to invest in the very best. Usually, this means paying a premium for exceptional craftsmanship, the best materials, and solid construction. However, there’s another way to ensure that the piece you’re looking for is of exceptional quality, without necessarily having to increase your project budget: Buying vintage. After all, a vintage item has proven its ability to withstand the test of time.

There are also a few more reasons why vintage options tend to be a great choice when you’re searching for décor for your home. From beautiful finishes that are hard to replicate to distinctive styles, we’ve rounded up the types of items that are better to buy vintage and currently available for sale at Sotheby’s Home (image above by Emily Henderson):

Storage Pieces

One to try: Vintage Paint-Decorated Bookcase

While there’s no shortage of new storage furniture, the types of vintage pieces in this category can be a bit more interesting. Think: Bookcases with intricate details, secretary desks with plenty of drawer space, mid-century sideboards with spacious cabinets, etc. Then, there’s the entire category of display cabinets, which can be a rarity on the modern market.


One to try: Gaetano Sciolari Vintage Metric Chrome Chandelier

Current-day lighting options tend to lean towards current-day trends. And, when one particular style becomes popular, it quickly becomes ubiquitous. If you’re looking for a unique chandelier, pendant, or table or floor lamp, vintage is the way to go.


One to try: Vintage Crystal Hock Wine Glasses

As dining habits become a bit more casual, distinctive fine china and glassware can be harder to find. You’ll have far more options to consider when buying vintage, as these types of items were treated with the utmost care by their previous owners.

Dining Tables

One to try: Mid-Century Modern Sculptural Expandable Dining Table

Like fine china and glassware, dining tables are often considered too formal for a new generation of families. While there are still plenty of options available (for now), few compare to the grand feeling of a vintage dining table. Even simple designs stand out for the gorgeous materials used in their construction, particularly when it comes to wood (which often develops a subtle “glow” from years of care and polish).

Accent Chairs

One to try: Arne Vodder Vintage Danish Reclining Leather Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Like virtually every other category covered here, it’s not like there is a shortage of accent chairs. However, vintage versions have that one-of-a-kind feel that comes through the overall design and the incredible quality that has allowed these pieces to endure.

Shop more vintage furniture and accessories at Sotheby’s Home»

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