Tips for Buying Traditional Furniture
Finding classic furniture pieces is exciting. They are available at auction houses, private sales, and furniture stores such as Carrocel. When looking at a piece, you must make sure that it has remained in good shape and will continue to hold up in the future. Here are our tips to look out for when purchasing classic furniture.
- Look to See How the Piece Was Made – If the item has drawers, be sure to open them and see how they’re made. Looking for dovetails and cut marks on the interior and sides indicate that the item is handmade. This can indicate higher levels of craftsmanship. If dovetails are not visible, this can mean that that the piece is held together using nails or glue and was likely made in or close to the 20th century, and likely in a factory.
- View the Hardware – Inspect the hardware of the item. Handles should be attached with threaded posts and nuts. Items that have a screw pointed towards the face indicate that the piece is of newer construction or has been refinished with new hardware.
- Look for A Signature, Label, Or Stamp – Look at the back or underside of the furniture piece to try to find a name or stamp. This can provide information about the date the piece was made, as often the markings indicate a model number, or where the piece was made and by whom.
- Check for Damage – It’s advised to be aware of where furniture pieces wear out. This can help you look for damage more efficiently. For chairs, look closer at the back, the upper area, and the center supports as these will be the most likely places for damage to appear and the most likely regions for repairs and replacements. For heavy pieces of furniture like cabinets or dressers, look at the feet as it’s likely these pieces may have been pushed into various places rather than lifted and placed.
- Identify the Difference Between A Repair and A Replacement – A repair simply means an original piece has been re-attached. A replacement is when a missing or damaged piece has been swapped out for a different or new piece.
- Decide How You Feel About Refinished Furniture – Some individuals may feel that furniture should not be refinished. They may believe that the original finish gives the piece authenticity and shows the years of wear. To determine if a piece still has its original finish, look at the colour and surface. Old finishes may turn purple or black with time, and may appear as an alligator skin effect, full of tiny cracks. However, the old finish may obscure details of the original wood. Others believe that, due to the obscuring, furniture deserves to be refinished to look shiny and beautiful. Establishing which group you fall into can help you know what to look for. Remember that once the original finish is replaced, it can’t be added back.
- Buying Online Is Okay – If you aren’t close to a furniture store, you can purchase pieces online. It’s understandable to want to touch or feel an item in person, so be sure that you trust the site you’re using. At carrocel.com, we have a variety of pieces online for you to view and learn about. We are transparent in our descriptions and advise whether or not a piece has been refinished, and also it’s date and country of origin.
- Always Buy What You Love – Whether the piece is in great shape or not, if you love it, purchase it. You are the one who is putting it in their house, so be sure to enjoy each piece.
Visit Carrocel to View Our Traditional Furniture
Carrocel has a wide selection of timeless furniture pieces for your home. Visit our 20,000 square foot showroom located at 245 Bridgeland Avenue in central Toronto, and you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye. For a more in-depth selection, please view our online catalogue.