Chair upholstered by Sally Bell

Is antique furniture for people like me?


//Photograph of chair upholstered by Sally Bell via The London Chair Collective

As I plunge headlong into the wonderful world of upholstery, I have started to reassess how I feel about antiques.

I have always assumed that having ‘antique’ furniture in the house would  be synonymous with choosing to live cocooned in a bourgeois bubble. And as well as the politics of it, I have thought the aesthetic itself to be too concerned with its own status, too decorative and too, well, much. Now I was not quite stupid enough to lump all antiques together but whilst I happily broadcast my love for a retro side table or a charity shop bargain, I have always felt like auction houses and fine antiques were not for people like me.

Having been on the hunt for antique chairs to practice my traditional upholstery on, it’s all beginning to grow on me. It turns out that antique furniture is not half as expensive as I thought it might be and even paying someone (or me!) to reupholster it only brings it up to the same sort of price as a new piece. The dimensions of antiques tend to be a bit smaller than lots of modern furniture, particular chairs, leaving rooms looking more spacious. Plus reusing has got to be better for the planet.

And you might not be surprised to know that the past is all very current. The world of interiors are currently enjoying all things Victorian and people are increasingly choosing a mixture of old and new furniture for their houses.

If it’s not for you, great. But maybe antique furniture can be for people like us. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Is antique furniture for people like me?

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