Style On A Budget
Regardless of what your taste in décor is, used quality furniture can be purchased today at auction for pennies on the dollar. This is in part caused by the ever-growing popularity of build it yourself and high end branded furniture stores. While these stores are catchy with their marketing and designs, the furniture lacks the quality and ability to stand the test of time. Besides, what do you think their furniture is based on?
Every auction offers furniture in a sale, and that is simply because every estate has furniture they need to liquidate. So be patient, enjoy the hunt and regardless of what you are looking for it is bound to pop up. If you are more traditional in style and prefer dark stained woods such as cherry, mahogany, oak, or walnut, the American furniture market is primed for you. In today’s market period eighteenth and nineteenth century furniture can be purchased at ten percent of what it cost twenty years ago. Aside from the unbelievable savings, it is a cool topic of conversation to say your bureau is as old as the United States. For example, a circa 1800 Federal flame mahogany bureau can be purchased between $300.00 and $500.00 for a nice example, and that is for a solid mahogany constructed chest, not something made of particle board with an Allen wrench. If you are also in need of a dining room table don’t fret, those are even cheaper. Full dining room suites including a table, six chairs, leaves, hutch, and server if need be can be acquired for under $500.00. Obviously, an Important 18th Century dining room set which belonged to John Hancock will always be a treasure, but the supply of quality and clean sets today is staggering leaving the market softer than ever before.
If dark wood furniture isn’t your style that is ok too, there is plenty of modern furniture to be had today. While authentic pieces designed by artists such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) or Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) will always command a premium, the majority of pieces have become very affordable over time. Whether it be a coffee table or night stand, most smaller pieces can be purchased for under $500.00. Even though a good Danish designed dining room set consisting of a table, chairs, and hutch will cost $1,000 or more, that is nothing compared to the average $5,000 spent on a contemporary designer set, worth a fraction once it leaves the store.
So remember, when it comes to home décor and design think outside of the box and head to an auction. While big box stores are appealing and convenient, their severe lack of quality in their general lines is appalling. Don’t spend money on particle board, invest in quality furniture because it’s not just furniture, it is history. Going forward when it is your turn to sell, you will typically get a great percentage on your money back. If all goes right and the market turns around who knows, maybe you’ll make a few bucks