New vs Old Furniture
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Is fresh the best or will classic always be cool?
No two people are the same. And thank goodness for that. We all have our own internalised perspective of what is attractive, ranging from romantic partners to wall colours. This variety is the root of what makes humanity the intriguing and fantastic group that we are.
This, of course, also influences our sense of style as it pertains to interior decorating. For some, the unique draw that antique furniture holds will always enchant them. For others, there is nothing as satisfying as having bespoke items made according to the newest and most trending styles.
Furthermore, statistics show that the global furniture and home furnishings stores market is expected to grow from R542,23 billion in 2021 to R588,58 billion in 2022 at a rate of 8.5%. The market is expected to reach R699,71 billion in 2025. This means that the Covid buying freeze has certainly thawed in furniture sales, at least.
As with most things in life, there is much to recommend each inclination. Let’s find out if it is even possible to choose between them.
Why New Furniture?
It is a generally overlooked privilege to afford new or bespoke furniture. Many homeowners start off with family hand-me-downs and never have the opportunity to invest in something brand new.
New Furniture Allows for Choice
New furniture allows you the opportunity to choose an item that appeals to your personalised style and taste. You do not have to settle for whatever was in vogue twenty years ago when the piece you choose was created.
New Furniture Ensures Ergonomics
A new couch, sofa or upholstered chair will have the most up to date foam and internal support technology. Ergonomics have come far since the years that your parents purchased a three-piece lounge suite from your uncle in the furniture market. A new couch will have the back support and seating comfort to ensure you never croak or groan as you get up to grab a coffee.
New Furniture can be Healthy
Second-hand furniture can hold a plethora of hidden health risks. Not only could unexpected allergens be hiding deep withing the upholstery, but unsound internal structures could lead to injuries. New furniture holds no health surprises, and you are assured of structural integrity.
New Furniture Means no Maintenance
The peace of mind that sprouts from knowing that there will be no reason for maintenance, barring incidents, cannot be overstated. New, high-quality furniture will last longer without any adjustments needing to be made.
Why Old Furniture?
Heirlooms play an integral role in preserving family history and communicating the stories from our past. When you decide to purchase furniture that is even more valuable due to the years it has spent on this earth, you contribute to this cycle of historical preservation.
Old Furniture is a Smart Investment
They just don’t make it like they used to. Vintage furniture tends to be handmade or at least made on a smaller scale than the mass-produced items you can buy in a flat pack from any big-box store. This usually means that the second-hand piece you select from a curated antique store will be as sound in 40 years as it was the day it was completed.
Old Furniture is Trend-Proof
Trends change every year, and sometimes, every season. It is virtually impossible for anyone to purchase whichever furniture style is trending at the moment, every moment. When you invest in classically beautiful pieces, no trend will ever make your space look outdated or in need of revamping. The best part is, that younger generations are embracing vintage and consignment pieces more than ever before.
Old Furniture is Green
By purchasing a second-hand furniture piece, you are not contributing to the large carbon footprint that the manufacture of new furniture leaves behind. Furthermore, disposing of chemically treated wood or metal furniture is not particularly eco-savvy. It is always smarter to reuse or upcycle a good quality vintage piece than to pay for a new, bespoke piece.
Old Furniture Tells a Story
There is something satisfying about purchasing a piece of furniture that has seen the ebb and flow of history. You are investing in a table or a footstool that has witnessed life. To those of us that are a bit more sentimental, antiques just will never be outdone by new furniture.
The New vs Old Furniture Verdict?
This is a tough one. It really does, finally, come down to what you prefer. Some lovers of new furniture will never be convinced that they should sacrifice the satisfaction of buying something that no one else has owned. The vintage crowd will never bow before the assertions that old school cool is just another way to say “time for an update”.
We at HOMEMAKERS have decided that antique and modern should be allowed to exist peacefully side-by-side.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.