What do some of the top interior design trends like Japandi, Grandmillennial and Art Deco have in common? Besides being increasingly popular year after year, they rely on a healthy dose of carefully curated vintage and antique items. Whether it's an antique vessel to hold your perfectly imperfect branches in your Japandi home or an elaborate vintage dresser to match your brightly wallpapered Grandmillennial living room, antique and vintage furniture is key to creating an authentic version of these trends. However, with antiques and vintage furniture often costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, it may be difficult to narrow down where to find authentic yet budget-friendly deals. To help you be a smarter shopper, we split out the best antique and vintage furniture stores based on your budget.
Budget-Friendly Deals at Ebay, Etsy & Flea Markets
Ebay & Etsy are two of the best options for antique and vintage shoppers on a budget. Ebay often has estate sales so there are plenty of antique items on sale for as low as a S$1. Etsy has a wide collection of antiques for under S$150, including small antique vessels that are very popular now and can be a great addition to a Japandi or wabi sabi inspired home. You can also find authentic vintage prints and paintings for a fraction of the price you'd find in traditional antique stores, although you should be extra careful when reading the description to avoid getting a digital print or a duplicate.
With both of these marketplaces, it will be prudent that you do your due diligence to avoid getting scammed. Furthermore, the tradeoff with finding a great deal is that you have to be patient and know what you're looking for, as there are thousands of items available. If you would like to avoid internet shopping entirely, you can check out Singapore's many flea markets and pop-up shops, which offer a plethora of budget-friendly deals. You'll also be able to save on shipping costs and you'll experience the upside of knowing exactly what you're getting, saving you time and money on returns.
Mid-Priced Treasures at Hock Siong, Lorgan's and Chairish
Mid-priced stores typically sell home decor pieces in the range of S$50-S$300 and large furniture in the range of several hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you don't want to pay for shipping and you prefer to see pieces in person, you're in luck because Singapore has plenty of mid-range antique and vintage furniture stores. For instance, Hock Siong has a large variety of vintage furniture, whether you're looking to complete your Grandmillennial with a mocha regency armchair (S$280) and unique blue and white porcelain knobs (S$6.50 each) for that Neoclassical and Victorian-inspired look, or if you're looking add a wabi sabi element with a vintage bamboo basket (S$125). Other local options that are mid-range in price include Lorgan's the Retro Store and Second Charm.
Chairish is another option if you have a healthy budget. It's an online retailer of secondhand, vintage and antique furniture, with thousands of vendors available all over the world. It is priced more affordably than similar sites like 1stDibs, so it may be worth checking them out if you saw something you liked in the more expensive stores. For instance, you can get a Shanxi ceramic vessel to complete your Japandi look for $105-$155 (S$141-S$208), a steal compared to other retailers that charge S$600 and up for similar antique vessels.
Splurge at 1stDibs, Journey East or Auction Houses for High-End Pieces
If you have an unlimited budget or have saved up funds for an heirloom piece, then 1stDibs, Journey East and auction houses like Sothebys or Christies can be great options for high-end, well-preserved furniture and decor. 1stDibs is one of the oldest online marketplace for vintage and antique housewares and they have sellers from all over the world, so you'll be hard pressed to find a better selection elsewhere. Prices are mainly on the higher end, with some items costing under S$100, but most costing over a thousand, and others ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars.
If you are looking to support a local business, Journey East is another option to get high quality vintage items, especially if you're looking for mid-century modern pieces. Their sourced vintage furniture is usually name-brand, so you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for large pieces like a couch, dining set or console, but you can get some interesting pieces from their outlet for over 30% off. Lastly, you can also consider Past Perfect. They offer beautiful colonial-era pieces that can be a great fit for a variety of homes, like a timeless british colonial ebony reeded sofa for S$15,000.
A fun way to get authentic antique items is through auction houses. Sothebys and Christie's often have auctions involving home decor and furniture, like the upcoming European Furniture and Silver auction, where you can find accessories like a 17th century silver-gilded wine cup, a mid-16th century Flemish Verdure Tapestry and more. However, you should note you will have to pay an additional fee for shipping and handling, as well as a buyer's premium (14-25% of the hammer price) and overhead premium (1% of hammer price). With the total of these extra fees potentially adding thousands of dollars to your total sum, you will need to be sure you budget accordingly when placing your maximum bid.
How To Save On Authentic Home Decor
There are plenty of ways to save on home decor, especially if you are purchasing vintage or antique pieces. First, you can almost always negotiate with the seller. This is especially the case with online destinations like Chairish and 1stDibs, where you may be able to negotiate 20-25% off the listed price. Another option is to sign up for email alerts to see when your items may be going on sale. This can be useful as some vendors may have flash sales on their items from time to time. Lastly, you can also use a cashback card to get rewards and points on your purchases.
As a contingency plan, you have to update your home insurance policy after large home purchases to avoid being underinsured and to make sure your new treasures are protected from damage. Regardless of your budget and how you choose to shop, it is important to be careful of scams, fakes and overpriced antiques. Therefore, you should always do your research, talk to the vendor and compare prices across different shops.
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