A common refrain I hear from clients is disappointment that they feel the younger generations are not interested in antiques and instead want to furnish their homes all at once with new items from big-box stores. While of course this stereotype has many exceptions (I am one of them), it is a topic I think about a lot. As both a long-time antique lover and an appraiser who is younger than some of my colleagues in the field, I feel I have a perspective that bridges both worlds. After extensive time mulling the issue, several thoughts emerged which I outline in this post.
Choosing antiques over new furniture reinforces values that are frequently identified as important to many millennials.
Reason 1: It's good for the environment. The greenest item is the one that already exists, right? Purchasing an antique saves the expenditure of resources that would go into the production of a newly manufactured item. I'm certainly not the first to think of this--check out the UK-based website Antiques are Green (http://www.antiquesaregreen.org)
Reason 2: It's good for your health. Many newly manufactured furniture items contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetone. This group of harmful chemicals are called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and they continue to off-gas and release toxic fumes into your home for decades to come. Antique furniture was mostly produced without the use of these chemicals and any off-gassing of VOCs has long since ended.