All of the best things are not necessarily shiny and new — think of the gorgeous patina on an antique chest, the gleam of old silver and the complex flavor of a really special aged bottle of wine. So why does it seem like we’ve been trending toward disposable furniture and away from well-made old stuff? It may be easy to fill a home quickly with goods from a chain store, but we may be missing out on some pretty spectacular benefits by going all-new. Here are five reasons to consider adding vintage pieces, antiques and good old hand-me-downs to your home, and to appreciate the old stuff you already have.
1. Old things are unique and make your home more personal. Yes, those glossy catalogs are gorgeous, and designed and styled to entice us and your neighbors and friends, too — meaning that many of our homes end up looking strikingly similar simply because we have ordered furniture and accessories from the same places. But when you hunt down something in an antiques store or at a flea market, chances are you won’t see the same thing in your friend’s home. Working old stuff into your rooms also forces you to get more creative, coming up with interesting ways of putting things together you never would have considered if you were shopping solely at one or two stores.
Style tip: Rethink heirlooms. This table from a Paris flea market is so interesting — and it may very well be that your children or grandchildren will covet it more than a traditional box of fancy china. And regardless of whether you have kids, wouldn’t it be nice to own things that are bound to keep or increase their value?
2. They preserve a slice of history. Whether what you have is a valuable antique or a fun vintage find, old stuff is bound to be wrapped up in a story. It could be the personal story of how you found the piece (wandering the aisles of a seaside flea market), a family tale about the person who gave it to you (your great-aunt who used to haul the brass bed outdoors on hot summer nights), or a larger historical story about the era when it was made (a creamer used on an old steamship during the golden age of travel).