Antiques are wonderful—they bring a touch of style and individuality to any space, not to mention they last for generations. But, before you part with your money, make sure you consider these experts tips from Mary Claire Boyd, Fair Director at
1. Know where to look
Antique fairs are a fantastic starting point for discovering just how much choice there is when it comes to antique furniture. They also save you many miles on the road as dealers are brought together from across the country.
2. Make sure it's a 'vetted' fair
At vetted fairs, every item for sale has been checked by a group of over 100 experts before the show opens to ensure everything is genuine and of sound quality.
3. Listen to wise words...
The old adage, "buy the best you can afford and you will never regret it," remains as true as ever.
4. Build up relationships with furniture dealers whose styles you like
This way, they can share their immense knowledge of the industry and help you to buy and sell furniture.
5. Think about position
When thinking about where to put the furniture, ask for help. Professional interior designers know that just one piece of antique furniture will transform a room.
Many furniture dealers have a great eye and can advise you on where best to fit a piece into a room. Some will even allow you to try a piece in a space before committing, so it's worth asking.
6. Mix old and new
Don't be afraid to experiment. A Georgian mahogany chest with an electric blue, contemporary, ceramic vase on top brings both to life. In the same way, an early 19th century ash farmhouse table looks brilliant in a modern kitchen.
7. Think of its purpose
Beyond just the beautiful, it is important to remember that antique furniture was designed to be fully functional. Make sure you are prepared and armed with measurements and ideas on how you want to use it.
8. Don't forget the paperwork
Any paperwork or provenance that provides the back-story of an item will help with its value. Experts encourage you to do a little research on a piece before you buy it. Visiting fairs can be an educational experience as well as a retail one.
9. Know how to look after it
It is not difficult to look after antique furniture and it will prolong its life for future generations. Make sure you ask the dealer to advise you before you buy.