10 Things You Should Never Buy New
It’s not just wine that gets better with age.
These days, it’s getting easier and easier to buy home goods online, especially vintage and antique home goods. Which is good news for Southerners who have a soft spot for flea markets, antiques, hand-me-downs, and all things vintage. So we chatted with Andrea Stanford, the Senior VP of Brand Marketing and Partnerships at Everything But The House about navigating the sometimes daunting waters of vintage and antique online shopping. Here, she gives us the rundown on what to never buy new:
“Even the best leather looks better when worn in a little,” Stanford says. “Leather furniture looks so much better, and has that timeless vintage look.” Plus, she adds, you’ll probably end up paying a better price for used too.
An unexpected item on the list, Stanford says it’s all about the intended use: “I get wanting a new mirror in a bathroom. But if it’s in the entry or on a gallery wall, there’s something about how glass starts looking a little cloudy that’s so nice.”
Southerners know a thing or two about this one. Now, with online shopping there’s a world of antique silver waiting. “I love a silver candelabra, or a great bowl for nuts,” Stanford says. She adds that silver does hold its value quite well, so you may not be getting that much better of a price, but the aged look is worth opting for old.
Lighting can be a little overwhelming to shop vintage for, so Stanford has a few tips. One, look for lighting in local markets and fleas, as it can be expensive to ship. Two, get it rewired. (You're probably already getting a great deal on the body.) Three: “Start broad and see what you like,” Stanford says. “You will start finding those styles you really like, for example, you might realize ‘oh I really love mid-century Italian'.” (Extra tip: she says that’s a great one to lookup.)
“This is such a simple one, but you can find greats books that are sooo inexpensive,” Stanford says. “Not to be judging a book by its cover, but it’s so great to have beautiful books with beautiful covers when designing a space. Both books you're reading and not!”
She says “I don’t know if the gallery wall is done, or had its moment, but you should just be looking for vintage oils that speak to you. It doesn’t matter what or who it is, as long as it speaks to you—oil paintings just add such a lovely touch and layer.” Another tip? She actually advises to look for artists that never made it big but have great work. “It’s fun to look up who it was, and what their story was. There’s always a little gem you can scoop up.”
Nothing freshens up a room like a fresh flower arrangement, so better have some good vases on hand. “I think mid-century pottery is gorgeous,” Stanford says. “Nothing displays a bouquet of flowers like a gorgeous ceramic or glass vase.” She also advises looking for pieces from the ‘20s to ‘30s, though they are harder to come by now.
“This is an easy way to add patina but save money,” Stanford says. “Because If they are hand-woven they absolutely last.” She suggests one of our favorite tricks: layering a small antique rug over a larger sisal rug. She notes you can easily get them cleaned by a local cleaner, or sometimes even simply take a warm, damp cloth to it followed by a gentle vacuum.
Oddball Kitchen Items
Stanford confesses: “I never was into vintage in the kitchen. I do like a more modern kitchen.” But, she says there are two things she can’t resist. One, is a cake stand. “They’re not just for cakes! They add a nice height to whatever you’re putting together, be it fruit for dessert or charcuterie.”
Two, is a vintage cutting board. “I have a very thick cutting board I put in the middle of my stove to break up all the metal,” she says, advising to look for them in large sizes.
Vintage Champagne Buckets
“I love nothing more than a brunch with a bunch of buckets,” Stanford says. “It’s so fun. The big ones can be hard to find, but they have so many uses.”