Pumpjack and I are very into old stuff. We simply love vintage and antiques. Always have done. But why, what’s so special about them, you may ask?
I have heard, or overheard, sometimes that some people don’t like the idea of buying what others have owned, worn or used. Now if that is not a modern consumerist ideal, I don’t know what is. And yes, I could see if something is worn out, not clean, or smells it wouldn’t necessarily appeal. But vintage (and antiques) can be so much more.
To be clear, what defines vintage is something over 20 years old. An antique is over 100 years. It may never have been used, or even owned (called dead stock), but it’s more likely it is in some way second hand and was at one point loved by another.
And I do mean that when I say ‘loved’ by another. For vintage, and particularly antique, items to get a second look in means they have had to stand the test of time. So someone had to look after the item in the first place to get to our current day.
But why to my mind is old stuff so much better than new stuff? And I honestly do think this. Well I can give you at least 6 basic, solidly good reasons.
First and foremost, to my mind, it was made to last. Whether that is a piece of furniture, kitchen gadget, knick knack or clothing. After all if you are looking at it today and it is already 20, 50, 100 years old, it kind of goes without saying.
My Pumpjack is particularly keen on joinery and loves his wood working. He is super passionate about old furniture. Not so much for the design aesthetic as the amount of time and effort that went into making something. And that in itself deserves appreciation and new lease on life.
We can then add into the equation that it is sustainable and ethical to buy vintage. Giving that new lease on life means it doesn’t go into landfills. If it’s clothing, it doesn’t contribute to fast fashion, eg. a need to have the latest trends at cheap prices, now.
Following on that trend, vintage means you are unique. Unlike shopping in a mainstream store where there are multiples of the same thing, when shopping vintage it is to be expected that there will be only one. (Or maybe two if you are hopeful for end tables.) So unless you actually do like to dress like everyone else, or you wish your house to look like others, then you are missing out if you are not shopping for vintage and antique items.
And speaking of trends, what goes around comes around. Especially in fashion. So with vintage clothing, it is easy to find what is currently on trend, but with a unique one of a kind, make it your own twist. This is true of furniture, too. Or any other home décor area.
Now let’s talk cost. Older stuff is generally more affordable. Honest. I could buy several sofa and chair sets before buying one Ikea or similar ilk not meant to last couches. And I am talking in good, clean condition. Heck I know I could kit out a whole house within any budget (now there is a dare) with vintage items. With new, uh-uh, not possible.
Of course this isn’t true of every item you come across. Give it a Designer brand name and prices, like in current day, rise. But compare a vintage haute couture dress (or scarf) to modern day and the price difference may suddenly put it within range of your pay check. We could even talk cars when it comes to vintage. Well, maybe not Ferrari, but you could certainly consider Jaguar, Mercedes or Rover. And more.
And last but certainly not least, you can get your creativity flowing. Especially if you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of second hand. Make your old find into something new. There’s no reason you can’t adapt vintage and antique items to suit you. There are a whole host of videos and tutorials out there of re-purposing furniture to clothing. Don’t like the colour? Paint it, stencil it, completely transform it. If the bones of the item are essentially good (which is likely with older stuff), whether furniture or clothing it can be easily made into something truly special.
Last but not least, we hope you will visit and be inspired by our own vintage and antique shops:
Pumpjack & Piddlewick – sells vintage and antique fab and fun finds (mostly) from France.
French Silk Scarf – sells vintage and antique silk scarves from France , including French haute couture Designers.
and Taking Time Too – sells French vintage printables. Not familiar with printables? They are digital download designs you can print on your home printer to use in junk journals, scrapbooking, card making or any other paper or printing project you desire.