Adding Some Vintage Wood to Your Décor

by Don Russell 09/22/2019

Who doesn’t want to find that perfect eclectic wood piece to complete their design? Selecting vintage wood furniture is both a pursuit and an art. Among the myriad pieces that look similar, how can you tell what is vintage and what is a reproduction?

Learn the art

To tell a counterfeit study the real. Know what the real thing truly looks like before you head out to those antique dealers, flea markets, and vintage shops. Go online and look at how the wood should appear, what the hardware looks like, and those other telltale details you'll find in older wood furniture. Then, follow these guidelines:

  • Don't just take the dealer's word for it. Get way down on your hands and knees and look under that table for marks, stamps, or signatures. Sometimes all you're looking for is a date. But remember, just because an item lacks a date or stamp doesn't mean it isn't vintage, so go on to the next guideline as well.
  • Assess the wood’s age. As it ages, wood darkens and sometimes warps. If the items spent time outdoors, you should see weathering.
  • Finishes develop fine cracks and darken or turn yellow or amber over time. If the former owner or dealer refinished the piece, the dealer might be able to tell you when.
  • Joints in older furniture typically use dovetails, pins, or dowel construction as a sign that a cabinetmaker built it rather than a factory mass-production.
  • Older hardware loses its shine and gains a patina. Drawer pulls often have a post and nut construction, and authentic vintage furniture shows signs of wear and even grime and dust around the pulls and hardware.

Pursue the object

  • New and shiny might look pretty, but refinishing can diminish the furniture’s value on the vintage or antique market. This caveat includes the trend of chalk paint to create the shabby chic and farmhouse looks. Nevertheless, if the piece is what you want, its value is in its ability to fit your design.
  • Trust yourself. If the piece looks new, it probably is. If you genuinely want vintage, keep looking until you find it. If the piece fits what you want, buy it and don’t worry about its age.
  • Haggle. Buy it if you like it, just don't overpay for it. Don't lowball a dealer, but feel free to make an offer more in keeping with your budget or with similar pieces you've seen elsewhere or online.

If you're looking for a home to display your wood pieces, ask your local real estate professional to show you homes in your neighborhood.

About the Author
Author

Don Russell

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Don holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California At Berkeley. He has spent his career as a Real Estate and Development professional on the West Coast of the US, as well as holding many executive Real Estate positions with a large multi-national company. He speaks and reads Spanish fluently.

Don spent more than 15 years of his career living and working in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the late 1990's, he returned from living in Mexico City to reside and work out of South Florida. This was his first taste of the "Florida lifestyle" and he was "hooked". Prior to his last foreign venture in Los Cabos, Mexico, Don lived in South Beach, Palm Beach and Amelia Island, Florida.

In Los Cabos, Don oversaw the development of a large high-end golf course community. He was directly or indirectly responsible for the sales and development of many high-end oceanfront properties ranging from $5 to $10 million. Having a Real Estate and Development/Construction background all woven into one professional, Don was able to provide the necessary daily attention to detail to all aspects of his projects and maintain excellent relationships with the buyers. Known for his organizational skills, great communication skills and follow-up, he was always receiving great accolades from all parties involved in his work.

After more than 5 years in Los Cabos, Don made the decision it was time to return to the states. As in the past, Florida was harkening to him in the back of his mind. so he set out for a new adventure. A friend suggested he come take a look at the West Coast of Florida, particularly Sarasota, and after one trip, that new adventure started!

After moving to Sarasota 5 years ago, Don obtained his Florida Real Estate License and became a member of the industry in Sarasota. As your professional Realtor, whether you are buying or selling, Don will provide you with the best service available in the marketplace. Whether you are relocating to the Sarasota area or already living in this wonderful area, Don is here to make your Real Estate goals happen hassle free! Se habla Espanol!