A Guide to Buying Antique Furniture

One of the best ways to personalize your home and add a unique touch to your interior design is by incorporating antique furniture into your décor. Not only are antiques often stunning pieces that can serve as conversation starters, but the process of sourcing and collecting them can also be a rewarding hobby. Antique furniture can prove to be a worthwhile investment as well.

However, if you’re new to the world of antique furniture, it’s important to do your research before making any purchases. The following guide will teach you everything you need to know about buying antique furniture, from how to identify high-quality pieces to where to find them.

Strategies When Buying from Antique Stores

If you want to invest in antique furniture, the easiest place to start your search is an antique store in Toronto. While online stores and auction sites are also viable options, you’ll have the best luck finding what you’re looking for if you shop at antique stores in person. The following are a few strategies you can use to ensure you’re getting a good deal on a high-quality piece of furniture.

Build a Network

When buying antique furniture, one of the best things you can do is build a network of reliable antique dealers and fellow antique collectors. This way, you’ll have people that will notify you when they come across something you might like. For example, if you build a relationship with an antique store owner, they’ll know your taste and budget and can let you know if they come across something that meets your criteria.

Do Plenty of Research

Before buying anything, especially something as expensive as antique furniture, it’s important to do your research. Read up on the different styles and periods of furniture to better identify which pieces are right for your home. This research will also help you avoid overpaying for a piece of furniture and make you more adept at differentiating authentic antiques from replicas when visiting stores.

Be Patient

Don’t settle on a piece you’re not in love with just to fill up space in your home. The hunt is part of the fun of collecting antique furniture, so take your time. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect piece, making the wait worthwhile.

History of Antique Buying

Antique collecting has been around for centuries. It first became a fashionable hobby back in the 14th century. Towards the end of the Renaissance, the British elite would commonly have cabinets of curiosities filled with antiques. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the middle class had more disposable income than ever before and began buying antiques to decorate their homes with. Antique collecting has remained popular until this day.

The Best Place to Buy Antique Furniture

One of the fun aspects of antique hunting is that there are many places you can explore to find the perfect furniture for your home. The following are just a few places to look for high-quality antique furniture.

  • Antique Furniture Stores: When visiting antique stores, inspect the furniture carefully for any signs of damage or wear and tear. In addition, ask the store owner about the piece’s history and whether they have any documentation.
  • Auctions: Auctions can be a great place to find antique furniture, but if you’re not an experienced auction-goer, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and overspend. It is important to set a budget and do your research before you go.
  • Dealers: Antique dealers are another great option for finding rare, high-quality pieces of antique furniture. Just be sure to ask for references and look at the dealer’s track record to ensure they’re reputable.
  • Flea Markets: Although flea markets tend to be full of replicas and less valuable furniture, they’re a great place to find hidden gems if you know how to identify valuable antiques.
  • Online Marketplaces: If you’re looking for a specific piece of furniture, online marketplaces are a great option. However, as with any online transaction, be wary of potential scams.

How to Spot Antique Furniture

Now that you know where to go, the following are a few tips to help you identify antique furniture:


Different types of woods were popular during different periods of time. Knowing what woods were used at different points can help you identify how old a piece is.

Natural Upholstery Stuffing

Antique furniture made with upholstery tended to use natural materials, such as wool or horsehair. Modern furniture uses synthetic materials for its upholstery.

Reinforced Joints

Modern furniture is built using glue and nails, whereas a lot of antique furniture is constructed using reinforced joints, such as a dowel, dovetail, tenon, or mortise joints.


If you see a piece of furniture built using Phillips screws, it means it was built after the 1930s. The presence of such screws is a sure sign that it’s not an antique.


Antiques were built by hand, which means slight imperfections are unavoidable and often a clear sign that a piece of furniture is antique.


Old furniture has a very specific smell to it. If it smells like new wood or varnish, it’s probably not an antique.

Carrocel is a Top Antique Furniture Store in Toronto

If you’ve decided to embark on the rewarding journey of antique furniture collecting, then you need a reliable store you can trust to provide high-quality pieces. You’ll quickly find that there are few antique stores with the same selection, quality, and customer service as Carrocel.

We have a wide selection of exquisite antique furniture on display at our showroom for you to choose from. For over 30 years, we have helped customers throughout Toronto find the perfect pieces to complete their homes. Contact us today to learn more about the antique furniture we carry.

Pair of French Antique Louis XVI Antique Bergere Arm Chairs

Antique French Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Leather Top Writing Desk

  • Antique French Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Leather Top Writing DeskSculpted gilt bronze detailing
  • Gold embossed black leather top
  • Antique French Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Leather Top Writing Desk

Antique Louis XVI French Marble Top Commode Chest

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