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Millennials increasingly opting for antique furniture

Monday 07 January 2019

A new generation of bargain hunters are turning to antiques when it comes to home interiors, as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

According to Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of global auction search engine, Barnebys, current sales of antiques and designer furniture is up by 32 per cent, with younger buyers motivated by the wish to bolster their green beliefs, become more cost-effective and invest in individual, quality items.

And with critics arguing that few new collectable antiques are being produced these days, so the value of antiques can only rise, the trend of buying pre-owned doesn't look like it's about to slow down any time soon.

Silfverstolpe said that changes to consumer behaviour, led by Millennials, is driving interest in using renewable and pre-owned items: “They know that antiques are better for the carbon footprint. We clearly see an increased interest from the younger generation of buyers who want unique, personal and quality items that last over time. It is just not sustainable for our world to continue to consume as we do today, and have done over the last few decades. So, today, many of the younger generation actively choose to furnish their homes with pre-owned furniture, which surprisingly is often cheaper than even Ikea furniture.”

“Antique is, of course, a relative term and there are antiques that are hugely expensive, but there are less grand antiques which are robustly well made and individually designed. Old furniture also has the loved look of family heirlooms which adds that certain charming ‘lived in’ look so popular with interior designers. And they have a another singular advantage – one does not have to struggle to put them together at home! They come, complete.”

Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are now a huge driving force behind buyers hunger for photogenic, vintage furniture - representing a burgeoning corner of social commerce, leading younger buyers to seek out second hand pieces. 

Benedict Winter, a specialist in furniture and works of art at Christie’s auction house recently told The Telegraph: “We've definitely seen a growing trend in young people who are interested in our sales at Christie's.

“It definitely helps that people care about green furniture, and this combined with the history and the craftsmanship really appeals to 21st century people. The trend is towards sustainability and less of a throwaway culture and that's definitely been reflected in our auction sales.”