Antique vs. Vintage Furniture: What’s the Difference?

Vintage Furnishings or Antique Furnishings?

Vintage and Antique Furnishings: You can’t always judge a book by its cover.

There is a common misconception these days that antique and vintage furniture are one and the same. The truth is, the terms antique furniture and vintage furniture are not interchangeable. In fact, they are quite distinct, and shoppers who understand the differences can better identify the value of items and how the seller may have arrived at certain prices. It creates a better retail experience for everyone involved.

Antique Furniture

To qualify as an antique, the furnishing must be at least 100 years of age or older; otherwise, it should not be labeled as an antique. The item should also be in its original condition and not altered in any way. When an item has lasted more than a century and is still in good condition, you can understand why it sometimes carries a significant price tag!

Vintage Furniture

To achieve vintage status, the furnishing should be able to show its age and a high attention to detail. It’s less about the amount of years and more about whether or not the item can be tied to a specific era, and whether it is indicative of the style of that era. That being said, it’s a general rule that items younger than 20 years are not considered vintage.

Key Determinants for Antique and Vintage Furniture Classification

Designations of Antique and Vintage Furniture

Remember, whether the item is vintage or antique will depend on its age, condition, quality, and even its relative rarity. A reputable furniture reseller should be able to tell you these details about any of the pieces they have labeled antique or vintage, and most will welcome the opportunity to educate buyers on the distinctions.

Have some fun learning about the differences!

Check out our Showroom Sales each month and test your knowledge of furniture while shopping or just getting inspiration. Ask questions from our staff, and get in the know about furniture styles and decorating trends.