10 Furniture and Decor Items You Should Never Buy Brand New

An increased awareness of the environmental impact of mass production and buying things brand new has resulted in many of us embracing sustainability and upcycling. Scrolling through Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and meandering around secondhand vintage stores for used furniture can be lots of fun and your wallet and the environment will thank you for it. 

Shopping for used furniture takes some patience as you most likely won't find exactly what you're looking for straight away. But for those who love a vintage interior scheme, unique pieces in their home, or simply just want to be more eco-friendly, it's well worth it. Items from vintage stores are also often of a higher quality so you will likely be able to hold onto these pieces for some time. 

If you're looking for some furniture items for your home, but are unsure whether to buy them new or used, follow this guide.

10 of the Best Furniture Items to Buy Secondhand

1. Mid-century style consoles

It's so much nicer to get the real deal when it comes to mid-century modern furniture. It's generally of a higher quality if made during that period and has real character to it. Consoles in particular are a great find in secondhand furniture stores as they will make a fabulous statement in a living room or hallway. If you get lucky, you can also find mid-century consoles that have record players in them.

2. Wicker/cane furniture 

The wicker and cane furniture trend is still going strong and given its popularity during the '70s, many vintage stores now have it in surplus. From daybeds to baskets, this style can fit in with coastal, retro, boho, or more traditional-style interiors.

3. Picture frames

Vintage and secondhand stores are teeming with picture frames. You can find an eclectic and unique selection ranging from ornate and gold to simple and oak and will create beautiful and special vignettes in your home.

4. Gilded mirrors

One item that feels unnecessary to buy brand new is a gilded mirror. Vintage/secondhand stores have an overwhelming selection of antique mirrors to choose from which is great because these highly popular pieces make for beautiful decor items in a space. 

5. Retro lamps

From mushroom styles to pleated shades, retro lamps have been trending in a big way. Thankfully, many of these styles can easily be picked up secondhand and will add a playful and nostalgic nod to decades past.

6. Bar carts

If you're someone who frequently entertains, a well-stocked bar cart is essential for any successful occasion. And if you're someone who doesn't, these chic pieces of furniture are still great for adding a glamorous touch to your living or dining room. The beauty of finding a bart cart at a secondhand store is that it will fittingly have history and charm to it. And even if it's looking a little bit rough, you can easily dress it up with beautiful bottles and glassware.

7. Upholstered chairs

The wonderful thing about buying upholstered chairs from vintage stores is that the base materials used are likely to be of a higher quality. if the seating material is looking a bit worse for wear you can get your chair reupholstered with whatever fabric suits your home's style. 

8. Wooden stools

Short wooden stools make for great bedside tables or accessories for a bathroom, adding a distinctly rustic look to a space. Wooden bar stools are great for any outdoor area or for bringing softer, natural materials into your kitchen.

9. Solid wood desks

Another great big ticket item that generally is of higher quality when it's from a secondhand store, is a wooden desk. And with most of us continuing to work from home, it's an investment worth making. It’s worth checking all the drawers and cabinets on your furniture for mould and other issues before you make your purchase.

10. Ladderback chairs

Ladderback chairs date back to the Middle Ages and were among the most common style in 17th century England. They have a distinctly antique look to them that makes it feel almost wrong to consider buying them brand new. 

Modern reproductions of these chairs can be found in most furniture stores but original versions are still found in antique stores. They make for a lovely farmhouse-style addition to a dining space and add a sense of history to it as well. 

Enjoyed this? Here are 16 of the Best Vintage Furniture Sellers to Follow on Instagram

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