How the Furniture Industry can Save Antiques

It was a few years ago that found me feverishly buying and packing for an upcoming show. A show I had never been to because I always thought it was only for new furniture.  Perish the thought, I would say.  Who needs something new when there are so many incredible antique and vintage options.  I'll tell you who needs new furniture: Interior Designers.  They need something to fit in a certain space, in a certain fabric, in a certain time frame and in a certain budget.  Could these folks really embrace the world of antique and vintage furnishings?  A world of uncertainty.  A world where luck played as big a role as experience?  A world where things could not be ordered, did not come in six colors and could not be custom sized? Yes. And boy did they...

With my rental truck packed to the ceiling, I headed south to High Point, NC.  The furniture capital of the world.  New furniture that is.  For nine hours I pondered my choice to sign up for this show.  Too late to turn around, I journeyed onward.  Arriving at the refurbished former factory building, now showroom, I knew this would be a great show.  As I unpacked, the buzz grew.  Sure, I expected other dealers to be interested, but when I saw groups of Interior Designers strolling through I knew this was something special.  The sales began in earnest and stayed strong throughout the week.  Designers were choosing pieces for their projects and fawning over my antique and vintage finds.  They looked at the seating, lighting and case goods in my booth with fresh eyes and saw potential in every piece.  They had become the champions of the antiques business.

Because, for a long time now, the word antiques conjured up a dusty, dank, cramped type of feeling where brown wood is stacked on top of more brown wood.  Not exactly the stuff of million dollar renovations.  But, it is now.  Folks are falling in love with antique and vintage pieces all over again.  They are learning how to live with them, decorate with them, incorporate them into the design of their homes.  Top designers command their own shows and have reached celebrity status.  Oh yes, I know this is not truly new.  The icons of earlier generations certainly paved the way, but now we are reaching far more folks.  Antique and vintage pieces are no longer reserved for the few, but for the many.  It's now quite the norm to see these antique and vintage pieces in homes.  And that's because they've been made accessible.

Decorative pieces, even designer pieces, are now de rigueur for interiors.  They add a touch of uniqueness, of personality, of history.  You see, there is always a great story behind every antique and vintage piece.  Whether you tracked it down in a grassy out door flea market field or traipsed through 100's of showrooms - there is always a story.  This makes for great conversation in the home as well.  Guests will marvel at your (your interior designer's) skill at unearthing such incredible finds.