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Practise sustainable living by going vintage

Martin Castilla            No comments            Aug, 24

Not only does vintage furniture look great and add luxury to your home, it is also one of the greenest options when it comes to interior design

In an age of modern convenience, we are all constantly pushed to buy new things. Think of all the emails you get from shops you’ve visited in the past, offering discounts and pushing sales on their latest items. We’re all familiar with the pressure to buy more and buy new, especially when it comes to purchasing furniture for our homes. 

When we give in to these temptations, we don’t often consider the impact our purchase is having on the environment. Some of us may seek out sustainable brands in an effort to reduce this carbon footprint, but something as simple as buying vintage furniture could make all the difference when it comes to going green, as well as having more character and standing the test of time.

For fans of new furniture designs, the figures surrounding its environmental impact can be a shock to the system. Furniture is categorised as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means that our home décor creates a considerable source of waste material.

Even back in 2014, the EPA estimated that total MSW generation was 258.5 million tonnes, and this number continues to grow. Less than half of this amount — 122 million tonnes — was recovered through combusting, composting and recycling, leaving a large chunk which simply fell to waste.

The report also reveals that the amount of waste each of us creates continues to be too high. In 2014, 4.44 pounds of waste was generated per person per day. Back in the 1960s, the average person was responsible for 2.68 pounds of waste every day.

In recent years, a lot has been done to try and combat this growing environmental impact. A large number of us will make the effort to reduce food waste, or recycle packaging rather than simply throwing it in the bin. You may also make the effort to send unwanted furniture to charity shops or antique sellers rather than throwing them away. However, one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your effect on the environment is to ensure there is less furniture going into landfills by shopping for vintage furniture solutions.

Introducing vintage furniture into your home is a fantastic way to treat your décor to a touch of luxury while also doing your bit to be green. You might find the thought of perusing flea markets and vintage sellers intimidating, but this is no longer necessary. The rise of online vintage marketplaces like Vinterior ensure that anyone can find the perfect vintage furniture without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Avoiding newer, more disposable flat-pack furniture solutions in favour of vintage options allows you to do your bit for the welfare of the environment. However, there are plenty of other reasons to consider vintage options when furniture shopping. Let’s take a look.

It’s unique

Aside from the environmental benefits, arguably the biggest plus of a great piece of vintage furniture is that you know you are introducing something truly unique into your home. By its very nature, vintage furniture is one-of-a-kind. No two pieces are exactly the same, which means that your home is the only place to find the exact piece you’ve purchased. A stunning mid-century wardrobe tells its own personal story with every aspect of its design, and you can’t say the same about a flat-pack alternative.

It will increase in value

New furniture is like a car: it starts to decrease in value as soon as you start to use it. A brand new dining table is worth a lot less once its housed a few meals, but this certainly isn’t true of vintage furniture. In fact, vintage items even tend to increase in value the older they get.

This makes older furniture a great option for the long haul. Every time you use it, you’re only adding to its already rich history.

It is surprisingly cost-effective

Not only is vintage furniture valuable, it’s also cost-effective. There is a misconception about vintage furniture that it is vastly more expensive than other options, but taking the time to peruse online marketplaces can help you snap up some hidden gems for a lot less than you thought. Unlike new high street options, there isn’t necessarily a fixed price for vintage furniture and in certain situations there is usually room to negotiate.

It will help you make a statement

Vintage furniture is luxurious, unique and decorative, and all of this comes together to create a fantastic statement piece. Whether it’s a vintage sofa, a decadent dining room table or an ornate storage unit, a piece of vintage furniture instantly transforms the space around it and commands attention. You can then use the power of your vintage furniture to inspire the rest of your home design, creating an interior setting which suffers from no shortage of interest, excitement and elegance.

It is above trends

The trouble with modern furniture is that it is subject to changing trends. What was considered stylish 10, 5 or even one year ago has completely changed, and this can leave you feeling like your home needs an update far too often.

Vintage furniture has survived a lot, including the constantly shifting tastes and trends of the interior design industry. Through it all, going vintage has remained a stylish and respectable option for furnishing your home.

It creates contrast

You don’t need to have a vintage home in order to enjoy vintage furniture. Likewise, you don’t need to fill your home with vintage pieces — one standout piece could be enough. Don’t be afraid to mix and match vintage furniture with more modern features in your home to create a real sense of depth and excitement. You could even try introducing vintage pieces from various periods to transform your home into a space that’s interesting, fun and completely unique.

You have a lot of options to choose from

Vintage doesn’t just mean one thing. Furniture has been part of our lives as long as the home has, and there is furniture out there to reflect every style from modern history. So whether you want a luxurious mid-century rolltop desk or a fun bohemian sixties armchair, there is a piece of vintage furniture to suit every style and setting.

It tells a story

When you buy vintage, you’re not just investing in a piece of furniture, you’re investing in a rich history — one which you’re now part of. With every item of vintage furniture, there are a hundred stories to be discovered, and this makes it even more exciting to introduce into your home environment. It also makes for a great way to spark conversation when friends and family come to visit.

It is usually high quality

Vintage furniture tends to be very well-made, having been lovingly crafted to stand out and stand the test of time. A mid-century dining table has already survived for a significant period of time, so you’re guaranteed that it will continue to survive under your care. This in itself shows how going vintage is not only a luxury option, but a green one.