Admitting to my bias for all things old and wonderful I am truly puzzled by a phenomenon I’m noticing in furniture. Browse through furniture stores featuring makers such as Serta, Homecraft, and Meridian, and you will find new furniture desperately striving to look old. These “fauxtiques” are not bargain basement pieces, either. I’m talking about sofas starting at $2,500 beds for $5,700, and side chairs for $1,275 a pair. I even found a 19th century reproduction “banquette” for which the customer must provide the upholstery material listed for over $5,000.
Older and Wiser
In the meantime, antique stores offer beautiful, well built pieces from the Victorian and other eras for much less. Sure, there are some spectacularly rare finds in high end antique stores. These rarities can command amazing prices compared to a similar repop, but that is not the norm. Most antique stores are carrying gorgeous, well-built pieces, at fair prices – well within a furniture shopper’s budget.
I have several amazing Victorian and Edwardian pieces I love. One is a marble top dresser I use in a hallway to provide storage and a touch of elegance. I gave about $350 for it, after finding a similar fauxtique version online for $1,950 plus freight. Even better, my much less expensive version has that amazing patina, giving rich depth to the wood that no amount of “distressing” or “antiquing” can possibly replicate.
Not Fragile, But Handle With Care
Think that all antiques are rare and delicate and must be handled with extreme care, making them hard to live with? Hogwash! I have plenty of pieces that I live with, enjoy, and don’t fret over one bit. Any fine furnishing deserves a modicum of care. Of course, I would not let my cat dig her claws into a 19th century wash-stand. By the same token, I would not allow it with a new wood bureau from Haverty’s, either. So if you love the look of true antiques but think you can’t afford them, or can’t live with them, think again! Then head out to your friendly, local antique store with a new perspective on antique furniture.
8251 S. Main Street, Helen, GA 30545