Extraordinary as it may seem when one asks ‘Modern or Antiques?’ it is the latter that is winning the argument with Millennials who are choosing the latter now that antiques cost virtually the same, are better quality, are unique not mass produced, and green, that is environmentally sound, leaving no carbon footprint. The choice is a no-brainer.
Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of the giant global auction search engine Barnebys which has 2,000 international auction house clients on their website and a million article for sale on any day, says: “The new generation is increasingly choosing antique furniture for their homes. Currently sales of antiques and designer furniture is up by 32%. Buyers are motivated by the wish to bolster their green beliefs, to save money and invest in quality and individuality.”
“Changes in consumer behaviour, led by Millennials is driving this new interest in using renewable pre-owned items. They know that antiques are better for the carbon footprint. We clearly see an increased interest from the younger generation of buyers who want unique, personal and quality items that last over time. It is just not sustainable for our world to continue to consume as we do today, and have done over the last few decades. So, today, many of the younger generation actively choose to furnish their homes with pre-owned furniture, which surprisingly is often cheaper than even Ikea furniture.”
And there is an argument that few new collectable antiques are being produced these days, so the value of antiques can only rise.
For example, below is a mass produced dining table – the very basic and austere plank item for £350 as against a lovely softer shaped Victorian table for £250. And another for just £145. No wonder more and more young home makers are choosing antiques and design.
The amazing thing is that if one replicates this with beds, sideboards, cupboards, chairs and occasional tables you end up with a much more individual and charming home than one that looks as if its come out of mass produced factory. Old furniture also has the loved look of family heirlooms which adds that certain charming ‘lived in’ look so popular with interior designers.
Antique is of course a relative term and there are antiques that are hugely expensive, but there are less grand antiques which are robustly well made, individually designed and cared for that take the eye and make for a much for comfortable and charming home environment. And they have a anothersingular advantage – one does not have to struggle to put them together at home! They come, complete.