Contemporary or Traditional Reproduction Furniture?
Choosing the right furniture
With the winter sale period in full flow January is the time that traditionally many people will start to think about that special piece of furniture they have always wanted or perhaps its time to replace that overworked dining set or TV cabinet that no longer suites the new plasma TV that was purchased in the last sale period.
For some the choice for buying traditional or modern will be clear cut but for many it wont be, so what to buy, for those customers caught between the two options I hope these notes will help in this very important decision.
Modern or contemporary styles of furniture in most cases like our garment fashion industry have been designed to match or blend in with current interior decorating styles, many contemporary pieces offer clean lines and usually have a minimalistic look,most modern cabinet pieces today are constructed from light timbers such as oak, ash, beech or cherry,
An increasing population combined with much higher standards of living and easier global trading patterns have seen imports of furniture increase ten fold into the UK, changing fashion trends and limited budgets have have seen the price of furniture coming in from various countries in Asia drop dramatically, these lower costs come at a price, quality !
When purchased as new a contemporary piece of furniture will be at its best but like any piece of furniture it will succumb to the odd knock or scratch and as time passes it may start to look jaded and out of date, there are of course exceptions to the rule as some modern pieces will survive to become master pieces in their own right, as did many of the pieces from now famous designers of past ages such as Chippendale , Sheraton and Hepplewhite to name a few.
So the golden rule is be sure of what you are buying always check the country of origin and be sure the timbers used for the construction of the piece are actually the species of timber being used and if possible always buy the best quality that you can afford.
All of the rules above will still apply to traditional or reproduction style furniture but there is a significant difference when buying quality period style English furniture, although probably more expensive than some of our overseas counterparts furniture that has been designed or maybe copied from an original of the period will not date, it will always be of the period it was designed from so ten or twenty years after the purchase where a new modern piece will be considered old or out of date a quality piece of furniture will still be 17th or 18th century style or of the centaury that it was designed from and unlike its modern counterpart it will retain all or some of its original purchase value.
Modern furniture trends do come and go but a well made traditional piece of furniture will last a life time and if looked after properly and handed down through the family may well become a sought after antique of the future.