This One Clever Trick Will Save You Thousands on Furniture

Photo: Courtesy of @chairish

"Buying vintage is not just practical; it's smart, chic, and kinder to the earth," Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, tells us. Just like we're tired of ultra-edited perfectly polished photos on Instagram, we're craving variety in our décor too. It girls are at the forefront, showcasing their Hans Wegner chairs and Louis Vuitton trunks in every snap, and people are seeking more diversity in their décor—more mixing of periods and styles—a trend that's only going to skyrocket even further in the coming year.

While we're busy browsing our favorite vintage décor sources for the perfect Eames chair or a rare Karl Springer lamp, we can also feel great about the fact that we're also technically recycling at the same time. There's just one small issue: Those of us who aren't expert antique buyers can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by buying vintage. What is the piece I'm buying really worth? How do I know if it's even authentic? Can I negotiate the price? We tapped four experts at the forefront of everything consignment, estate sales, and vintage buying and selling to demystify everything you need to know about shopping vintage—take note! 

Know Your Designers

Photo: Courtesy of @chairish

Research the styles you love and get to know the designers that made this style iconic: "Right now midcentury designs are extremely popular," says Bruce Tilley, founder of Décor NYC, a luxury consignment store in NYC. "The classic Eames Lounge Chairs have continued to be in high demand over the last few years, and I don’t see this trend losing steam anytime soon. We are also seeing an increase in requests for furniture that is made of rosewood, such as midcentury Italian or Danish tables or sideboards. As people continue to decorate their homes with more minimal and modernist designs, items that fit into this French modernist style are also popular. Of course, I would suggest that you be familiar with Hans Wegner, a Danish designer, whose Wishbone Chairs are currently having a big resurgence. I have also enjoyed seeing more Karl Springer’s pieces pop up recently; the German designer who relocated to New York created extremely chic pieces that have a wonderful high-fashion look."

"Anything and everything midcentury continues to sell well," seconds Kimberly Brown, senior director of home and art at The RealReal, and online consignment destination for both high-end fashion and home. "It’s exciting to see designers beyond the 'usuals' (Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, etc.) from this era attracting some attention. Hans Wegner seems to be everywhere right now."

"I am also seeing a run up in interest in Art Deco pieces, particularly Swedish ones," adds Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, an online marketplace for all things vintage and antique. "And say hello to '80s Italian! Think smoked glass,low-slung, slinky profiles with shiny chrome and gold accents. My personal favorite designers include Karl Springer, Vladimir Kagan, Adrian Pearsall, Pace, Milo Baughman, and Billy Haines to name a few. Also here's a shout out to Percival Lafer who is the leading light of Brazilian vintage constellation."