Value Investing: Buying Vintage Design

7 February, 2019 12:09 pm

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Never is this truer than when selecting antique items for your home or work space.

Of course, the piece you purchase may already have the antecedence that makes it valuable. Or, your acquisition could grow in worth in the coming years. However, the true value of vintage items is in the pleasure they bring to you. Discovering a truly special piece is a wonderful feeling that doesn’t come around often.

One of the great benefits of buying vintage designs is that they offer you opportunities to move away from homogenised interiors. Why should your home and office slavishly follow the latest trends and fads? Carefully selecting antique and vintage pieces to suit your tastes and ideas means you’re stamping your own personality on the space. Choose from different eras and design houses, and your room becomes a truly original environment.

Antique and vintage design furniture and furnishings are far more than simply eye-catching. They can be statement pieces that endow character on the available space.

buying vintage design

An investment opportunity

Beyond their intrinsic worth to you, the right antique items can grow in monetary worth too. You don’t have to be an expert or spend hours studying reference sources; though it does pay to know what you’re buying. Or, you can use your own instincts and insights to gauge what will look good in your home.

At Rachel Laxer Interiors, we’re in a position to help our clients navigate the complex world of vintage design. This is largely thanks to the hours the team spends in galleries and dealers’ showrooms, including many that are not open to the public. We love sharing our experience and expertise to guide clients in wise purchasing strategies.

However, if you are looking to buy for investment purposes, here are some basic guidelines to increase your chances of seeing a return.

buying vintage design

Buying vintage

Where you buy from is crucial. This is one type of investment that is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or any other regulatory body.

Always check that the firm is registered with the British Antique Dealers’ Association or the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers.

That’s not to say you always need to use dealers. If you’re buying a substantial item direct from an individual, make sure you ask for proof of ownership and any other paperwork to verify its authenticity and provenance.buying vintage design

What to look for when buying antique and vintage items

Going back to our original point, if you like the aesthetics of an item and it suits your interior design, it could be worth every penny. Value investing by buying vintage designs relies on someone else feeling that same urge to buy in a few years!

Smaller items tend to attract greater returns than large pieces of antique furniture as they are simply more practical.

Spending a lot on something you don’t really like in the hope it can be resold later for a profit is risky and in our view, pointless. Buying vintage design should be first and foremost because you love the piece and want to own it.buying vintage design

When studying a potential purchase, don’t just consider its origins and the calibre of manufacturer. Has it been restored or altered in anyway? Even the most careful and seamless repairs can render an older item worthless as an investment.

Certain eras of vintage pieces are timeless and a reliable investment, including smaller items from the Georgian or regency periods. Look too for rare and unusual items; particularly those that show clear craftsmanship, and high levels of creative design.

Contemporary finds

There’s a tendency to believe that value investment can only come from items produced decades ago. In fact, there are contemporary pieces that represent a good opportunity to enjoy a healthy future return on your investment too. The same rules apply as outlined above; craftsmanship, creativity and high-quality standards are essential.

At the end of the day, buy with your heart not your head, with the intention owning that piece for ever. If you’re lucky, it may one day see a rise in demand. But more than likely, it won’t and thus the importance buying vintage design for the shear love of it is paramount.