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A Case for Antiques and Vintage Design: Old is Awesome

Antiques-in-Museum Sadly, in the “Ikeafication” of the modern world, it’s easy to forget that some antique furniture in Santa Barbara is so much more than just for status and style. There’s something about furniture that maybe you don’t have a story for yet, but you know has lived many lives before intersecting with yours.

It’s not a chair, it’s a mystery

Take, for instance, one shopper’s 1846 camelback armchair. As a writer, he can stand back and look at that thing, and remember warmly all the stories of his family and all their events that occurred when someone was enjoying its big squishy comfort. But he’s a child of the ‘70s and that chair was alive for 125 years before his birth. How many other souls have sat in it? How much life went down in that chair? Has anyone died in it? How many children sat on someone’s knees? Were there marriage proposals and other life events? What books have been read in its comforting arms over the 170 years it’s been on this planet? That chair is five generations old, if not older. As times changed, it simply remained what it was — the carefully crafted chair sitting in the corner as life went down around it.

Reclaimed wood is reclaimed history

Another armoire a customer has is made of floorboards from a landmark store in Vancouver, Canada that was demoed in the early ‘90s. All the woodworkers got together and gutted the boards, turning it into reclaimed wood furniture. Now those floors are her armoire, and she can close her eyes and imagine the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve walked across them in the century they serviced the public…even though the furniture itself is less than 20 years old.

Allowing you to dream of something bigger

Filling your house with antiques in Santa Barbara allow you to dream of something bigger than just the piece you have before you, of times that precede you. They bring to mind wars and peace, infamous eras like the Roaring ‘20s. They make you wonder how many natural disasters they’ve survived. Whether someone sold the piece in the Dirty ‘30s to pay for food for a hungry family, or a son cried to receive it on his father’s deathbed as he started his own family. Antiques remind us that we’re passing by in the squint of an eye. As much as we think our lives bring meaning and bigness to our world, even furniture can last longer than us, bringing story after story as it goes. It’s perspective you live among.

An investment in more ways than one

The cliche “they don’t build ‘em like they used to” is true for good reason. Even with the relatively humid weather here in town, antique furniture in Santa Barbara tends to stand tough for generations. With the Baby Boomer generation downsizing and their predecessors in their advanced elderly years, more and more antiques are hitting the markets than ever before. There’s never been a better time to start collecting antiques in Santa Barbara. Prices are low, they’ve been owned by older people who’ve cared for them well through the years, and the economy isn’t exactly awesome yet, so good prices and great pieces are aplenty. So much great design has occurred over the past two centuries, of all kinds, that there’s a look to suit every style and they’re far more forgiving that you imagine. I have mixed pieces spanning 170 years of design and it all comes together harmoniously.

You’ll have a story to tell

Today, the prices of antiques in Santa Barbara are fairly low, but as the years to pass, fewer and fewer antiques will survive, due to natural disasters, fires, poor care, and more. Those who remain will enjoy higher values, and your furniture will have become an investment. Plus, you’ll have unique furnishings, conversation pieces. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll have yet another story to tell one day. Original article sourced from

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Antique Restoration and Repair


As society continues to advance technologically, the value and popularity of antiques in Santa Barbara also seems to grow. More and more people are realizing just how irreplaceable their antiques are and just how valuable grandma’s dresser may become. While numerous kinds of antiques can be restored, antique furniture and clocks are, by far, the most common. It’s rare to find a piece of furniture that has made the journey through time without some kind of damage. This is to be expected and natural wear can actually increase the value of an antique in Santa Barbara. Certainly you’ll want to keep your antique from further degradation, but you’ll also want to make sure you aren’t accidentally devaluing your antique with frivolous repairs. Restoration vs. Preservation While museums may spend countless hours trying to preserve an antique with all its original materials, if you still want to use your antique furniture you’ll need to have the piece restored. Antique restoration entails returning the piece to its original condition. Obviously, the more original materials the antique is able to retain the more value it will have, but an antique damaged beyond use isn’t likely to yield a fortune, either. The most important principle of a good antique restoration is reversibility. Any antique restoration should be able to be undone. Even if it’s a tad more expensive, the glue used on antique furniture should be able to be dissolved without risking the integrity of the piece. Before you let someone work on your antique furniture in Santa Barbara, ask them if what they’re doing is reversible. If they say no, ask them if there’s something else that can be considered. How Bad is Too Bad?  On the other hand, a badly damaged antique may need to be repaired. Repairing an antique involves replacing or otherwise altering part of the antique. This doesn’t necessarily make the antique worthless. A common mistake people make is throwing out a damaged antique. Even a badly damaged antique can often be effectively treated, returning the piece to its original condition. Burn marks and water damage can look fatal, but can often be removed without a trace of the previous damage. Cost and Value Unless you’re doing an antique restoration for purely sentimental reasons, it’s often a good idea to have your antiques in Santa Barbara informally appraised. Sometimes the restorer will be able to do this or you may need to go to who specializes in antique appraisal. If you’re planning on selling the antique after it’s restored, keep in mind an antique appraisal is not always an accurate indication of the selling price. Strange things can happen at an auction house—think of the stories you’ve heard from eBay. The selling price may be considerably more or less than the antique appraisal, and the rarer the antique the greater this disparity is likely to be. Still, even for a more common antique in Santa Barbara, this process may be informative. If you’re not careful, you can spend several hundred dollars on an item that still ends up in your yard sale. On the other hand, spending a couple hundred dollars to fix the claw foot on your antique table may increase its value by over $2,000. Original article sourced from Home Advisor

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Four Indicators That Vintage Furniture Is Making A Comeback


Are you starting to see furniture reminiscent of the 1960s and 70s in design magazines, furniture stores and friends’ homes? Why is Vintage furniture making a comeback in Santa Barbara? There are various reasons behind the resurgence of vintage or antique furniture in Santa Barbara. Vintage furniture is considered retro, encouraging nostalgia, sentimentalism and celebration of the past. On another level, a lot of vintage and antique furniture is actually very green and environmentally friendly. If you want to populate your home in Santa Barbara with vintage, antique furniture to make it more personal, here are some common vintage trends reappearing this year.

Chinese Teak furniture

Constructed from Teakwood lumber, Chinese Teak antique furniture like tables, chairs, shelving and drawers are coming back to homes as part of the Eastern or Asian design style. What makes them appealing, other than their age, is their extreme durability with natural oils rather than varnish or sealants. This means cleaning or refinishing them requires less work than modern teak furniture. They were traditionally used as outdoor furniture but can be adapted for indoor use as well.

Vintage luxury accessories

According to Chris Powers from 300 Magazine, a lot of vintage luxury accessories common in decades past now hold prominent placement as collectibles in modern-day homes. This includes tarnished chess sets, beer mugs and watches, leather kicks and solid furniture. Homeowners seem to want the retro experience everywhere in their home, which means antique collectible businesses see a marked increase in customers and interior designers who want their products.

Peacock chair

Do you remember the peacock chair Morticia Addams sat in throughout various Addams Family movies? Well now that chair can be part of your own vintage home design in Santa Barbara, as it’s made a comeback in the last year or so. This trending chair in the 1960s comes in different colors and allows for a breezy feeling while homeowners relax on it in their homes or on porches.

Oak furniture

Antique oak furniture is also popular again in the home design space, especially because of its old world feel and the simplicity in its design. A lot of oak furniture doesn’t have the varnish or staining modern oak furniture has, so it just looks carved right out of an oak tree. This fits into a lot of natural home design but sometimes will require a carpenter’s expertise to resurface or sand away any damage to the exterior from years of use. Original article sourced from Build Direct

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