"Do young people even like antiques?"

"Do young people even like antiques?"  

I’m often asked this question and I always enthusiastically answer, "Yes!”.  While we may not collect in the same manner as people did years ago, I feel our generation still appreciates a good piece of furniture or art.  As Jayne's daughter, I grew up surrounded by antiques and didn't really understand them; I questioned why would people pay so much for something that wasn't new.  Now, after furnishing my own home and working in the industry, I get it: we want antiques for their rarity, quality craftsmanship, and style.  Antiques of the period we deal in (pre-industrial revolution) are rare; they were handmade by trained craftsman and, more often than not, commissioned for a specific client.  When I put a piece in my home, I don't have to worry I will see it in someone else’s home or that my house will look like one from a website. 

Good antiques were made by quality craftsman. To be a technical antique, a piece needs to be over 100 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time.  The early 18th century oak gate leg table I feed my two young kids on each day is made of good quality solid English oak and has a rich wax patina that cannot be replicated in a new piece of furniture.  Antiques have style.  Just like fashion, furniture was made to appeal to the styles of the times, and those classic pieces will always be en vogue.  One of my favorite pieces in my home is a French fruitwood farm table with a trestle support that looks like a ladder.  I remember being so excited when the dealer offered the table to us for the gallery.  This piece was so unique, I couldn't quite afford it, so I asked the dealer if we could work out a payment plan.  She agreed and I’ve never regretted it.  Every day, I see this table in my dining room and it makes me smile; it is not made of old floor boards (like most of them on HGTV) and has a wonderful nutty brown color and thick top.  

These are a few reasons this young person loves antiques. I am not alone in this sentiment.  I recently helped two clients, one in her early 30s and one in her 20s, find statement pieces that make their homes special.  Both of these gals wanted their homes to be different from their friends and not out a catalog. Antiques were an easy solution.  One of the young clients is very concerned about the environment and loved that her antique pieces are “green.”  The Windsor chair she bought was handmade and has been around for over 150 years with zero carbon footprint.  

So, yes, young people are collecting; maybe they are not doing it the fever or fashion they did in the late 80s or early 90s, but I have a feeling that as homes across the country continue to become clones from a catalog, more and more young people will look to something that is unique, quality crafted, and stylish.  

July 31, 2017 by Lori Finke