The Benefits of Purchasing Secondhand

July 21, 2014

The Benefits of Purchasing Secondhand
The Benefits of Purchasing Secondhand by janeane-pittman
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at Sparrow’s Nest Consignment to share the benefits of purchasing secondhand.  Secondhand encompasses everything from vintage and antiques to modern pieces that people are wanting to sell.  Most of the time when I am looking for items for clients designs, I love to look for vintage pieces that will fit their personality and style, so I am focusing more on vintage in this post.  I do however always encourage seeking out gently used modern pieces as well.
Janeane Pittman Speaking on the Benefits of Purchasing Secondhand
1. Character
Probably one of the biggest benefits to purchasing secondhand is character.  You just cannot deny the feel that a vintage adds instant character to a room.  These are pieces that you just can’t find in modern retail stores.  They are the furniture and accessories that add the wow factor.  To make this work you want to choose a focus.  Select a primary style…traditional, modern, transitional and then layer in vintage.  Don’t let them overpower the room.  Modern chairs paired with a farmhouse table highlights the piece without making it feel like you live literally, well, in a farmhouse.  Creating visual tension is what every successful design should do.
Modern Vintage Dining Room
2. You will not get a Cookie-Cutter Look
The second benefit to purchasing secondhand is that you are not going to get a cookie cutter look.  You want a look that is uniquely yours and one that does not look like page 29 of the Restoration Hardware catalog.  You also don’t want to have your home look like everyone else’s on the block.  When looking for secondhand and vintage pieces you are going to find items that are not widely available so that gives you a chance to curate a look that feels collected, not “Oh, I’ll take the set”.  To get a look that does not feel disjointed from your modern pieces look at the details.  Look for a wood tone that is similar to a table you already own.  Find a leg shape that resembles a chair in your living room and finishes that are the same as current styles.
3. Quality pieces at a lower price point
Don’t be afraid to look for a name on a piece and educate yourself on furnishing brands you like.  Now, this in no way means that shopping secondhand is going to be cheap; it means that those quality pieces that may have been out of reach are now doable.  Now, if you find something you love, but you are not sure how it will work in your home: think of a way to merchandise it.  Create an unexpected place for it such as a vintage mirror in a remodeled modern bath.  Make it a purposeful focal point rather than an afterthought.
Modern Vintage Living Room
4. It Forces you to be Creative
Turning pieces into something other than what they were originally intended is a sure fire way to bring personalization and edge to your design.  An industrial drawer cabinet can be used as a console table or a stack of suitcases can become a nightstand.  Accessories are also a wonderful way to bridge the relationship from modern to vintage such as antique jars lined on sleek floating shelves or a collection of modern frames on a rustic wood table.  Also, think about paint.  There are so many pieces that can have an instant face-lift with a coat of paint and can then easily fit into your home.  Look at the lines of a piece and determine if that is the look you love.  Look past the finish it currently has and visualize it in your dream color.  Monotony is no fun, and mixing it up a bit gives you an opportunity to combine old and new styles seamlessly.
Modern Vintage Bedroom
5. It Opens Up your World to Meeting People
Lastly, a wonderful benefit to purchasing secondhand is that it opens up your world to meeting people.  Every time you come into a shop like Sparrow’s Nest, it is a different experience than going to a retail environment.  You get to meet interesting people and hear stories about the pieces that they are selling.  For those of you who purchase on Craigslist know the many interesting people you come into contact with.
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One Response to “The Benefits of Purchasing Secondhand”

  1. Lulu Says:

    I love these rooms! Repurposing furniture is great. I found a $45 kitchen table that I painted white & distressed. LOVE it! Thank you for sharing and for stopping by SLS. Have a great week.


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