8 Ways Vintage and Antique Furniture can Save You Money

In a world where trends and fashions come and go, vintage and antique furniture has stood the test of time. They can bring a unique sense of history to your space, but also be a great way to furnish your home on a budget. So, let’s dive into discovering how vintage and antique furniture can save you money. And all while adding character and style to your home.

Ornately carved victorian upholstered sitting chair with a chartreuse velvet pillow and grey throw blanket.

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In this post, we will explore the benefits of vintage and antique furniture. Also, how they can offer you the option of high-quality pieces at lower prices compared to modern furniture.

In fact, Antique and Vintage furniture can offer a good investment for those who appreciate their value.

The Cost-Effective Solution: Why Buying Vintage Furniture is Better Than Purchasing New Items

Vintage furniture or antique pieces offer a great way to save money while acquiring high-quality furniture.

Antique furniture pieces offer a sense of history, sentimental value, and unique styles that modern furniture cannot provide. The value of an antique increases with time, making it a good investment in the long run.

Old Furniture vs. New Furniture

Acquiring a few stand-alone antique pieces, such as old dressers or great chairs, can add character and charm to your home. Vintage pieces can also be integrated with contemporary forms to create a unique furniture style that reflects your evolving tastes.

Antique purchases can be investment pieces that offer a great price in the long term. They can also add to the feel of your home while reducing the need for mass-produced items that add little value.

Antique Empire buffet repurposed as an entertainment console in my living room.
I purchased this Antique Empire Buffet off of Facebook Marketplace for a total of $100.
Antique empire buffet closer up inspection of the gorgeous tiger oak patterns and glass knobs.
This piece is so heavy my husband and I barely got it up the stairs, but it’s a gorgeous beast. Extra sturdy against 5 kids.

Let’s explore the many ways vintage and antique furniture can save you money.

1. Lower Retail Prices

Vintage furniture is often less expensive than new furniture. Especially when compared to high-end or designer furniture pieces. This is an immediate saving benefit.

2. Increased Value Over Time

Antique furniture typically increases in value over time, making it a good investment for the long term. This means that you can buy a vintage piece now and sell it in the future for a higher price. Or it can become a family heirloom that retains its value for generations to come.

3. Quality and Durability

Vintage furniture pieces are often made from high-quality materials, such as solid wood. This means they are more durable than modern furniture made from cheaper materials. Therefore vintage furniture can last longer and require less maintenance, saving you money in the long run.

4. Old Furniture Refinishing and Restoration for More Savings

If you have an older piece of furniture that has seen better days, restoring it can be a cost-effective solution. Professional restoration can bring an antique piece back to its original glory. And typically for a fraction of the cost of buying a new item.

Handmade solid wood cabinet with glass doors filled with children's books and oddities.
This handmade solid wood cabinet is 1 of 2 I purchased off of Facebook Marketplace and paid $45 each for them. They’re about due for a facelift, but I absolutely love them.

5. Higher Quality

Antique and vintage furniture is often made with high-quality materials and superior craftsmanship. This can make them more durable and longer-lasting than newer, mass-produced furniture.

Also, the initial cost is typically lower than new furniture of similar styles Antique and vintage pieces may require less maintenance. And likely won’t require replacement like new furniture over time, which results in long-term savings.

And this is just another way vintage and antique furniture can save you money.

6. Unique and Timeless Styles for a Fraction of the Cost

Classic style always comes back in style if you wait around. This is definitely true for furniture styles as well. New companies are trying to bring back the style and beauty of old furniture, but want to charge you a fortune for it.

So why pay more when you can get an original piece for less? Antique and vintage furniture often has a unique and timeless style that can enhance the look of your home.

These pieces can add character and warmth to a room, and their classic designs can remain in style for hundreds of years. This makes them a smart investment that saves you money immediately.

7. Resale Value

Vintage and Antique furniture can save you money if you sell it for more than you paid for it. This is easy to do if you’re buying smart!

If you decide to sell your antique or vintage furniture pieces in the future, you may be able to recoup some or all of your initial investment. Antique and vintage furniture that is in good condition and rare or unique can appreciate in value over time, making them a smart financial investment.

8. Environmentally Friendly

Buying antique and vintage furniture can save you money but is also an environmentally friendly option. This is true because it reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

It also reduces the need to produce new furniture, which has a significant environmental impact due to the use of natural resources, energy, and transportation.

While you may not see the financial benefit of this understand that all vintage and antique furniture from 100 years ago just gets rarer as time goes on.

They don’t make furniture in the same sustainable ways and so the vintage and antique furniture of the future (100 years from now) will not be the same as it is now. So, family heirlooms passed down will help save your children and grandchildren money. As the benefits will continue to be passed down with them.

Creating a Vintage Home: Using Antique Pieces to Save Money and Add Charm

Open-mindedness and patience are essential as it may take time to find a unique piece that fits your taste. You don’t need professional restoration of older furniture pieces to give them a new life.

Ornately carved Victorian sitting chair next to an Antique french server that was completely refinished recently.
This chair came with a matching couch purchased together for $150. The ornate Antique French Server was purchased for $160 off of Facebook Marketplace. I recently refinished it completely and recorded the entire process from start to finish in a video.

In fact, you can easily refinish or restore furniture yourself which will result in exquisite pieces of antique furniture. Furniture restoration can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint by recycling and preserving an entire piece instead of buying a new one.

How Do You Know if Furniture is Vintage or Antique?

When purchasing a piece of furniture, the first step is to determine if it’s vintage or antique.

Determining whether the furniture is vintage or antique can be based on the item’s age, but the exact time frame can vary depending on the industry, style, and origin of the piece.

The chances are higher that vintage and antique furniture can save you money if you know what you’re looking at! This is also true when you know what you’re looking for, specifically, and know what it’s worth in your area.

Antique Empire Server with beautiful warm tiger oak stained with glass knobs.
Because it was missing its original hardware, I just put some glass knobs on for now. Changing out hardware is an easy way to update an older piece.
Antique blue sitting chair with embroidered pillow.
These pretty blue chairs came from a thrift store where I purchased the pair for $100.

In general, antique furniture is considered to be at least 100 years old, while vintage furniture is typically between 20-100 years old.

Here are some common indicators of age to help you differentiate between vintage and antique furniture:

Antique Furniture:

  • Made from high-quality materials, such as solid wood or handmade textiles.
  • Crafted with fine attention to detail and intricate workmanship.
  • May have imperfections or signs of wear and tear that are consistent with its age.
  • May exhibit specific historical design elements or styles that were popular during the time it was made.
  • Often has a unique provenance or backstory that adds to its value.

Vintage Furniture:

  • Maybe mass-produced and made from less expensive materials like plywood or particleboard.
  • Typically has a more recognizable style that can be associated with a particular era.
  • May show signs of use but is generally in good condition.
  • May incorporate modern materials or construction methods that are not present in antique furniture.
  • Can be rare or unique, but is generally less expensive than antique furniture.

It’s worth noting that some furniture may be considered “mid-century” or “retro” rather than vintage or antique. In this case, the time period typically refers to the 1950s-1970s, and the style is characterized by a mix of modern and traditional design elements.

The Best Places to Find Vintage and Antique Furniture Deals

Antique sitting chair with chartreuse velvet throw pillow.
As you can tell my two preferred places to find Antique and Vintage furniture are typically Facebook Marketplace and Thrift Stores. I simply have had the best luck in those two for budget-friendly pricing as well as unique options.

Knowing where to look for vintage and antique furniture can save you money big time. Purchasing at Antique shops is convenient because they’re usually not in short supply. But that convenience will cost you a lot.

The best places to buy vintage and antique furniture will be places where the seller doesn’t care about its worth, doesn’t know what it’s worth, or didn’t set out to get antique prices (like thrift stores).

Here are some of the best places to find vintage and antique furniture deals:

  • Thrift stores and charity shops. Thrift stores and charity shops often have a wide range of vintage and antique furniture at affordable prices.
  • Estate sales and auctions. Estate sales and auctions can be a great way to find high-quality antique and vintage furniture pieces at reasonable prices.
  • Online marketplaces. Online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, and Chairish offer a vast selection of vintage and antique furniture pieces from different sellers.
  • Flea markets and antique fairs. Flea markets and antique fairs are great places to find vintage and antique furniture at reasonable prices.
  • Garage and yard sales. Garage and yard sales can be hit-or-miss, but they can offer great deals on vintage and antique furniture pieces. Be sure to arrive early to get the best selection and to negotiate prices with the seller.
  • Antique Dealers, Auction Houses, and online auctions. These are good sources of antique items, including Italian designs, art deco, and work tables. However, caution is necessary when bidding at an auction or purchasing from an online auction site.

Remember to inspect the furniture carefully for damage or defects, and to negotiate prices to get the best deal possible.

How to Give Your Antique and Vintage Furniture Pieces New Life

Antique piano stool refinishing project.
Antique piano stool being refinished. I purchased it off of Facebook Marketplace for $35.
Vintage chair in dire need of reupholstering. Antique furniture that needs work can save you money with just a bit of sweat equity.
A vintage wooden chair I purchased from a thrift store for $5. It needed a complete repair and reupholster job.

Purchasing Antique and Vintage furniture that is a little rough on the edges can only benefit you. If you have the skills, or the time to learn the skills, those Antique and vintage furniture pieces can save you money.

In fact, it’s my absolute favorite way to add old charm to my home on a very small budget!

Here are some tips for giving your antique and vintage furniture pieces new life:

  1. Clean and Restore. Start by cleaning the furniture with a gentle cleaner to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. If the piece is damaged, consider restoring it by repairing any broken parts or refinishing the surface.
  2. Reupholster or Recover. If the furniture is upholstered, consider reupholstering it with a new fabric to give it a fresh look. Alternatively, you can recover it with a new slipcover to protect the original fabric.
  3. Mix and Match. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different pieces of furniture from different eras to create a unique and eclectic look.
  4. Paint or Refinish. Consider painting or refinishing the furniture to give it a new color or finish. This can be a great way to update the look of an old piece without losing its vintage charm.
  5. Repurpose. Get creative and repurpose antique and vintage furniture pieces for new uses. For example, a vintage dresser can be converted into a bathroom vanity or a storage cabinet.
Stripping an Antique Empire secretary desk with Citristrip.
There are some projects like this Antique Empire Secretary desk (purchased for $50) that need an entire overhaul.

Remember, if your focus is on their financial values it’s important to preserve the original condition of antique and vintage furniture as much as possible. So, avoid making any irreversible changes that may affect their value.

Otherwise refinishing vintage and antique furniture can be a really fun way to not only get a personalized piece but also save yourself money. Typically furniture that needs work will be offered at a lower price point.

FAQ

Vintage furniture can be a good investment, but it depends on several factors such as the quality of the piece, its condition, and the current demand for it.

Antique furniture can have advantages such as unique designs, high-quality craftsmanship, and often being made from high-quality materials. They can also be valuable as collector’s items and can add character and charm to a room.

Vintage furniture is valuable. Depending on factors such as the item’s age, rarity, condition, and historical significance the value can increase. Additionally, restoring or modifying your antique furniture can sometimes decrease its value.

By researching the value, getting an appraisal, and maintaining the original condition, you can help your antique or vintage furniture appreciate in value which will help you get the most out of it when it comes to selling.

From Thrift to Chic: The Conclusions of Saving Money with Old Furniture

At the end of the day, antique furniture offers a good deal and a complete makeover of your home office environment or children’s furniture. The number of hours spent searching for the perfect antique piece can pay off in the value and sentimentality it brings to your home.

Whether it is a priceless antique or a spun chair of the old days, the sense of history and the great price make antique furniture a good investment in the modern world.

By taking advantage of these benefits, vintage furniture can help you save money. But it will also add character and style to your home at the same time.

If you Love Vintage & Antique Furniture You Will Love These Posts

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sincerely,

Julie

Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→

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