It's true that some antiques have fallen out of favor with younger homeowners. Maybe it's our busier lifestyles, but we have less patience for dusting fussy things that look nice, but don't serve a utilitarian function in our homes. But for pieces that can be used, or re-purposed, there's definitely a place for them in our hearts and homes.
Here are five of the most popular authentic pieces that today's homeowners look for and love to find in good condition.
There are no rules that require antiques to be used exclusively for their original function. Most of us don't use spinning wheels or brass pots to wash our clothes nowadays, but antique pieces can get a new lease on life...you just have to view them in a different light. Here's a quick rundown of six furniture items that have found a renewed purpose in today's homes:
1. Benches and pews
These seats are classics that have surged in popularity in today's home, whether they're nestled up to a farmhouse table, or greeting guests on a porch or entryway, bench seating is the ultimate in flex-seating.
Whether your tastes run to taller sideboards or lower credenzas and buffets, this long piece is equally at home in the dining room, serving as storage and serving space, or in the family room, game room or bedroom.
They can serve to anchor big-screen televisions whether they are wall-mounted or seated on top of the piece.
3. Wash stands and chests
Finding nightstands to flank a massive headboard can be a daunting task, and may require thinking outside the box. Cue the wash stands and 3- or 4-drawer chests.
They are classic pieces and their proportions lend themselves nicely to serving as nightstands. It doesn't matter if they match, as long as they are close in size and shape, and they can be left in their natural finish, or painted to match.
4. Hoosier cabinets and small hutches
Coffee is a necessity in many homes, and for those who have splurged on roaster, grinders or just a great coffee maker, having a dedicated coffee bar is a welcome addition in many kitchens.
Hoosier cabinets and smaller hutches are sought out for their ability to be tucked on an open wall, and serve up coffee morning, noon and night.
5. Jelly cabinets & pie safes
We may not "put up" food or bake like our grandmothers did, but these old pieces are cherished for their patina and style. And they are fabulous for storing towels and other linens or displaying quilts in your bathroom or hallway.
Bonus: Blanket chests and trunks
Times have changed, and we no longer travel with massive trunks of clothing. A cedar-lined blanket chest was once a young couple's proud possession, but they have fallen out of favor in the bedroom.
But before you relegate yours to the basement or donate it, consider other uses for it. These large, well-made storage pieces are still sought after when repurposed into side tables and coffee tables.
Double Bonus: mount large caster wheels on the bottom to raise the height of it, add an industrial vibe and make it easier to move.
So stop before you throw out that piece, and consider it from all angles and all uses.
Note: All photos are courtesy of Pinterest. This article was originally shared with our friends at the Busy Bee Trader in their October 2020 issue. We are proud to create articles and advertise in this long-running guide to antiques and boutique stores in the mid-south.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!