Purchasing used furniture doesn’t get much respect in a culture obsessed with newness. But today I want to address the stigma associated with buying secondhand home furnishings. My place is full of items that have a history, and here is why I like it that way.
1. Style – If you love design styles from the past, secondhand furniture is the way to go. I have furnished my home with many mid-century modern pieces, purchased locally, to create a space that reflects my unique taste. And if you’re not into past styles, you can modify items with paint or new hardware to give them a more updated look.
2. Quality – Purchasing high quality furniture today can be very pricey, but when shopping secondhand you can find great pieces at a steep discount. Furniture that has survived multiple owners and is still in good enough shape to be sold is likely to be well-made!
3. Affordability – With the exception of antiques and some specific in-demand brands, most secondhand furniture can be purchased for a fraction of what it would cost for new. This can be a great benefit if you have a tight budget or if you need to furnish an entire home at one time.
4. Imperfections – Most used furniture will come with some scratches and dents. While that may sound like a negative, I find the opposite to be true. When something is already broken in I don’t sweat it if it gets another scratch or if I bump it with the vacuum cleaner. This can provide peace of mind if you have kids or pets who are tough on the furniture.
5. Responsibility – Finally, buying used means you are keeping these items out of the waste stream. Creating a unique space that reflects your personal style while saving things from the landfill is a win-win!
A couple of caveats: secondhand furniture generally doesn’t come with a warranty, so inspect items carefully before purchasing. And I would be cautious when buying upholstered pieces unless you are planning to have them recovered.
I’ve included some photos of my favorite secondhand purchases. I’d love to hear about yours!
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